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.