Certain Sadness

Discussion in 'Collector's Corner' started by Mitica100, May 30, 2005.

  1. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Oh boy... :meh: I just saw this camera being sold on Ebay for over $1,700:

    [​IMG]
    The famous Kodak Ektra, the very first 35mm with removable backs.
    This brings back memories... I had an entire Kodak Ektra kit, camera and its two backs, 4 lenses and finders, IB and original leather case. Sold it about 10 years ago (or so) for a little more than the above, but it was a kit! Everything was original on it, even the serial numbers of the camera matched the serial numbers of every accessory, meaning they were specifically hand made for that particular body.

    The camera was made between 1940 and 1946, only about 2,000 bodies made after which production stopped. The prices at that point were ridiculously high for anyone wanting one. Leicas and 35mm Zeiss (or Voigtlanders) were a ton cheaper.

    I will find the BW pictures I took of my Ektra kit just before selling it and post them here... ;)
     
  2. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Holy crap!! It's a beauty of a camera, looks to be in excellent repair, but yeah....that has to be a little painful. ;)

    I've never even heard of this model. :blushing: Do find your pictures of your kit.... I wanna see! :D
     
  3. mygrain

    mygrain Friend to nose goblins everywhere

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    What makes it such an expensive camera? The rareness? It's Kodak...how great can the lens be? Don't get me wrong!!! It is a beaut but I'd rather drop that money on a larger format.
     
  4. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Many things make it rare and desirable. First of all, Kodak wanted to make a camera that will compete with the German camera makers Leica and Zeiss. Their approach was somewhat different though. They created a 35mm camera that had interchangeable backs, just like MF cameras of today. None of the Leica and Zeiss camera (to the best of my recollection) had such feature. On top of that, each camera had its accessories made specifically for it. Hence a camera that had a serial number of 123456789 had also all accessories with the same serial number. They were all hand made and precisely hand fitted. Their lenses were excellent performers, as you know many Ektars perform rather very well in Large Format. It was sold as a kit, with four lenses. A fifth one was also made (a weird focal length, can't remember right now) and that doubles the price of the camera. The Ektra was made between 1940 and 1946, after that production stopped due to the fact that it was too expensive to produce and it commanded a very high price for that time.

    Now, onto the topic of why one would buy such camera and not a LF camera... Remember, this is the Collector's Corner, we are talking about rare cameras and their values. Sure, it's expensive to own one and from the user's point of view perhaps not needed (since there are so many 35mm cameras out there) but the rarity of it makes it unique. Only 2,000 made, many of which did not survive, many that survived having problems with the shutter and very few that work properly.

    I hope this answers your questions.:D
     
  5. mygrain

    mygrain Friend to nose goblins everywhere

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    yup. thanks! I had no idea that kodak put that much effort into any camera. Cool. And if the set is complete even sweeter. The interchangable backs on a 35mm is very rare indeed but I didn't think it to be enough alone to support the hefty price tag so I had to ask.
     
  6. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You're welcome!... :)
     

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