Medium & Large Format

Kodak Jiffy VP Art Deco Camera – My Pre-1940’s Camera Project – By Kate Johnson

August 18, 2020

The Kodak Jiffy VP Art Deco Model, was produced during the main Art Deco Period, between  1935-1942.  It was designed by Walter Dorwin Teague, a prominent Art Deco designer of the time.  I do not know the exact date of my Camera. But it came with the Original Box (see Grand Unboxing Here).

if you are interested, there is a fairly comprehensive description of the camera here

The condition of this camera suggests that it was a display model and never actually used.  Note the Eastman Kodak Camera Logo from the Art Deco Era:

The Jiffy Art Deco VP was made from Bakelite, the First Plastic, synthesized in 1907.  It uses 127 film, still available from limited sources, or you can trim down your own 120 film rolls. I’m using Rera Pan ISO 100 film.

The 127 format produces a 1 -5/8 X  2-1/2 inch photo.  The camera has a 70 mm focal length and a focussing range of 10 feet to infinity.  It has apertures of f/11 and f/16, and  shutter speeds of ‘T’ and 1/50 sec.  The folding chrome rangefinder is similar to the Kodak Bantam Model.

Today you can see the best few shots from the very first roll of Rera Pan 127 B&W film (ISO 100).  I was amazed at the results considering that I knew very little about the Camera, and there are after all, only 8 exposure on each roll.  Now let’s look at my camera test location: Lake Waneka.  We’ll start with a new view, looking west from the Boat House:

Below, my usual view looking east towards the Boat House:

Below, the beginnings of our COVID-19 Rock Monument (sorry a bit out of focus).  There are more rocks now…….

My Classic Boat Dock View.  Today featuring a fisherman……

And my Classic Tree Reflection that you’ve seen in other Camera Tests:

Origin of The Pre 1940 Camera Project

Years ago my mother gave me a very old camera.  It was my Great Aunt Lenora’s camera, vintage 1913 Kodak Autographic VP (127 film).  In fact, it was a Soldier’s Camera.  Produced the year before WWI started, It was the camera carried into the trenches, but her’s was in bad shape, so I didn’t give it much more thought.  Then for Christmas 2019, my mother gave me Her teenager camera, a Kodak 620 Art Deco.  It was in very good condition and once I found a source of 620 film I started experimenting and I was hooked.   I eventually found a Soldier’s Camera in better working condition and a 120 Kodak Autographic, also from 1913.  Oh. and there are more, a few as ‘young’ as the late 1940’s.  If you are interested in seeing more from these cameras, let me know.

You can also find my website here


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  • Reply
    August 18, 2020 at 4:30 pm

    Brilliant, I love all these old cameras, especially when you get them working and producing results like you have done. I will check out your website…Cheers, Rock

  • Reply
    Bill Mattocks
    August 18, 2020 at 5:08 pm

    Very interesting, thank you!

  • Reply
    Kate Johnson
    August 18, 2020 at 5:52 pm

    Thanks All! This has become a new focus in my photographic interests. I have about a dozen of these vintage and antique cameras. You’ll be seing more of them in2021 because I plan to make them the focus of my Frugal Film Project…..

  • Reply
    August 18, 2020 at 7:28 pm

    Can’t wait to see more of these vintage beauties! I have a Agfa Billy Record 6×9 that I’m pretty attached to.

  • Reply
    Lilianna Elrod
    August 18, 2020 at 7:59 pm

    What a lovely camera! Lovely images, thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    Deidre Helen Crumbley
    November 30, 2020 at 2:03 pm

    Many thanks Kate for these dreamy misty images, especially the classic tree reflection

  • Reply
    November 30, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    There will be some Agfa Billy Clacks coming in 2021 too!

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