Kodak Bantam Colorsnap

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The Bantam Colorsnap was made in the UK by Kodak Ltd, in three models lasting from 1955-1963. It takes 28×40mm pictures on 828 roll film. There were three models, though the first two are very similar. The first two models have a body styled rather like the US-made Pony 828, but with a platform around the lens barrel. The third model is based on a body very like the Brownie 44A.

Bantam Colorsnap

The first model of the Colorsnap (1955-59), like its successors, has a robust metal body with a moulded plastic top structure, housing the small reverse-Galilean viewfinder. The Anaston lens is of glass, and coated. The focal length is probably two inches on this and the second model;[1] it is an f/4.5.[2] It is mounted on a platform that projects about 10 mm from the front of the body. The lens focuses to three feet, and the focus scale is also marked with three ranges: Views, Groups and Close-ups. Exposure is set by a large ring at the base of the lens mount, marked with arbitrary exposure numbers 1-11.[3] For marks 1-10 this simply adjusts the iris (with setting 1 being the smallest aperture, and 10 full aperture). Adjusting to setting 11 reduces the shutter speed to give one more stop. The shutter has three blades, and is behind the lens.

There is an exposure calculator printed on a plate on the back (as illustrated). The exposure number is given based on the light conditions (from 'clear sun' to 'cloudy dull'), for light, average or dark subjects, and for several different Kodak film types. Mischa Koning suggests the camera was intended to encourage a wider public to buy Kodachrome film, in a cheaper format than 35 mm;[2] the calculator also has settings for Kodacolor negative film in at least some examples.

In the centre of the calculator is the red window. Some of the earlier Bantam cameras have a mechanism for automatic frame spacing (without using the red window: 828 film had a single perforation per frame to allow this); these models do not have such a mechanism. There is a large knob for film advance on the photographer's left, and a film-type reminder on the right of the top plate; the shutter-release is a simple button on the top. This incorporates a double-exposure prevention mechanism; the button stays down after pressing, and is released when the film winder is turned. On at least some cameras, there is also a lever under the top housing, by the film winder, to override the double-exposure prevention.

The left-hand strap loop slides down to open the back (there is a button on this end of the camera to allow the catch to open). Inside, the film chamber suggests that the camera is based on a model for 127 film; the chamber is unnecessarily tall for 828 film. The film spools sit on platforms about 5 mm tall at each side, and it would have been similarly possible to save some height at the top of the chamber.

There is a tripod bush in the base of the camera. This would be used to attach a flash bracket. The camera can accept 32 mm slip-on lens hood and filters.

Bantam Colorsnap II

The second model, which replaced the first from 1959 to 61, is very like the first. The main difference is a change to how a flash is attached, with a threaded hole on the right-hand end of the camera.[1]

Bantam Colorsnap 3

In the third model (1961-63) the exposure is selected using a true Exposure Value scale. The exposure scale around the lens is linked with pointers (for dark and light scenes) to four weather symbols on the front plate. There is a second scale on the EV ring, below the lens, for use with flash. The lens is now an f/3.9.[4] The shutter-release is by the front of the viewfinder (larger than in previous models), and is a square plastic button which presses inwards (i.e. toward the photographer). The film is now advanced by a lever on the right. The film reminder is now on the photographer's left.

The Bantam Colorsnap was followed by the Colorsnap 35.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Bantam Colorsnap II at Kodak Classics.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bantam Colorsnap at Kodak Classics.
  3. If the normal shutter speed is 1/50 second, the exposure numbers 1-11 are equivalent to EV 19 to EV 9 respectively.
  4. Bantam colorsnap 3 at Kodak Classics.