Photographica Pages

An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff

Kodak No.3-A Autographic Special with coupled rangefinder

In 1917, Eastman Kodak introduced the world's first coupled rangefinder on their top-of-the-line #3-A Autographic Kodak Special cameras. It can be seen as the rectangular housing just below the shutter. The basic camera with the standard shutter and lens cost about $30, however, these cameras were offered with a number of exotic shutter and lens combinations. Some combinations such as this Compur shutter and Ross Homocentric lens could easily bring the price up to $120--about $3,500 in current dollars. The 'Autographic' refers to a feature that allowed the user to inscribe information with a stylus on the backing of the film through a small slot in the back of the camera. Interestingly, these historically significant cameras are still seen fairly often, and the very best ones often sell for less than their original prices.

Text and photos courtesy of Milan Zahorcak.