|Kodak Monitor 620|
by John Hufnagel
The Kodak Tourists were the last in a long line of American made folding roll film cameras from Eastman Kodak. The Tourist, introduced on April of 1948, strongly resembles the German made Kodak Suprema, albeit a mirror image of that camera. (The pre-war Suprema itself was resurrected in Great Britain in 1955 as the Kodak Sterling II.) The Tourist II, introduced in May of 1951, features a redesigned top cover and a new viewfinder, which contains frame lines for the optional 828 roll film adapter. Production was discontinued in July of 1958.
The Tourists use 620 film making 8 2¼x3¼ exposures. The use of 828 roll film for 8 28x40mm exposures was an option. The Tourist's most unusual feature is its back; through the use of cleverly engineered latches, it can be opened on the left side, right side, or removed completely.
Removing the back allows the use of the multi-format Kodak Tourist Adapter Kit, which consists of: a camera back with red windows for 4 different formats; 2¼x2¼ inch, 2¼x1⅝ inch and 28x40mm masks; 828 roll film supply and take up spool adapters; and viewfinder masks for each of the three additional formats.
The Tourists are well made and feature a die cast aluminum body, covered in black Kodadur, a synthetic leather of remarkable durability. All models feature a tripod socket, a lens door mounted shutter release, and eye-level viewfinders. All Tourists feature flash synchronization. The Anaston and Anastar lens models feature cable release sockets on the shutter, front-element focusing, and top mounted accessory shoes; the fixed-focus Kodet lens models lack these features. Frame spacing and shutter cocking are completely manual.
The camera back on the Anaston and Anastar lens models features a rectangular exposure calculator that is biased towards over-exposure – it pretty much uses a “sunny 8” rule. The exposure calculator on the Kodak Tourist Adapter Kit back is circular in format (and accommodates more film types).
A variety of lens/shutter combinations were available on the Tourists; at the low end, the camera is little more than a folding equivalent of a box camera; at the upper end, the camera is capable of producing professional level results.
According to Kodak the Tourist was introduced at a price of $95 USD (app. $870 USD in 2007). At this price, the model was probably the top-of-the-line Anastar version.
Lenses and Shutters
Single element meniscus lens:
- Kodet 86mm f/12.5 lens in Flash Kodon shutter app. 1/50 sec plus bulb and time
Three element Cooke triplet type lenses:
- Kodak Anaston 101mm f/8,8 in Flash Diomatic shutter 1/25 – 1/150 sec plus bulb and time (not available on Tourist II)
- Kodak Anaston 100mm or 105mm f/6.3 in Flash Diomatic shutter 1/25 – 1/150 sec plus bulb and time
Four element Tessar type lenses:
- Kodak Anaston 105mm f/4.5 in Flash Kodamatic shutter 1/10 – 1/200 sec plus bulb and time
- Kodak Anastar 101mm f/4.5 in Synchro-Rapid shutter 1 – 1/800 sec plus bulb
- History of Kodak Cameras at www.kodak.com
- PDF Manual - Tourist with Anastar lens on Mike Butkus' site
- PDF Manual - Tourist II with Kodet lens on Mike Butkus' site
- History of Kodak Cameras at Kodak's website
- Brian Coe, Kodak Cameras - The First Hundred Years, Hove Foto Books, 1988
- Original Kodak user manuals for the Tourist and Tourist II