Kodak Tourist

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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[1] (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


  1. History of Kodak Cameras at www.kodak.com



Original documents

  • Brian Coe, Kodak Cameras - The First Hundred Years, Hove Foto Books, 1988
  • Original Kodak user manuals for the Tourist and Tourist II