Camera Review: Kodak Tourist

I got this awesome little (big) camera from my inlaws for Christmas. They found it in an antique shop and knew it was something I’d love. And they were right. One of my favorite things about shooting film is shooting with old cameras. I imagine all the happy moments that were captured with them over the years: birthdays, graduations, Christmas mornings, bike rides, vacations…it’s really neat. And being the photographer that I am, I can’t bare to think of a camera sitting on the shelf as strictly decor. So I’m happy this guy found it’s home with me, where it’ll get fed a roll of film on a somewhat regular basis!

Kodak Tourist Stats

This camera was built between 1948-1951. It’s a folding camera with beautiful bellows. It takes 620mm rolls of film. (620mm rolls are no longer made, however several camera and film companies wind 120mm film into 620mm spools). It has an Optical Real-Image Viewfinder, meaning what you see in the viewfinder and what your lens sees are not the same exact image. They came with various lens and shutter options. Mine is the Kodak Anaston f/4.5 105mm glass lens and Kodak T-1/200 shutter. The negatives are 6x9 giving you 8 large frames on a 120mm roll of film.

Kodak Tourist Camera Review black and white photo

Pros

It’s a blast to shoot with. It’s all mechanical, so you don’t have to worry about batteries. You can also take doubles since you wind it yourself. The negatives are huge…6x9 cameras are not as common as they used to be, so it’s a fun one to add to the collection. If you find one that was taken care of, you’ll have no worries. Mine fires on all shutter speeds and I’ve nailed the 4.5 aperture as well.

double+exposure+image+on+Kodak+Tourist

Cons

Optical Real-Image Viewfinders are challenging. You have to properly judge your distance from your subject so you can nail that focus…especially if you’re shooting at a wide aperture. So photographing kids and dogs is a challenge - eh em, below. It’s also heavy and big…obviously…it’s a 6x9. But honestly, all of it nothing compared to how fun it is to shoot this beautiful camera.

Kodak TMax and Kodak Tourist Camera

What do you think?

Do you have this camera? Or it’s younger brother the Tourist 2? I’d love to hear how you like shooting with it. And as always, if you have questions, pop them down in the comments. I’m happy to share more about this fun camera!