Kodak Recomar 33

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The Kodak Recomar 33 is a 3¼×4¼ (9x12cm) folding bed camera, made by the German Kodak AG since 1932. Originally the same model had been the Nagel No.33, made from 1928 until 1932, when Kodak acquired the Nagel camera works of Stuttgart, Germany.

The cameras were equipped with fast f4.5 Anastigmat lenses in Compur shutter. A brilliant finder with spirit level, a big sports finder, the double extension bed and the possibility of vertical and horizontal lens movement made this a sophisticated camera for amateurs. Production continued to 1940.

A smaller 2¼×3¼ version of this camera is the Kodak Recomar 18.

Physical description

When collapsed, the Recomar is not much wider or taller than a 9x12 dark slide, and about two inches deep. When the bed is opened the designers' ingenuity for packing many many features into a small space is clear. The front standard has knobs for rise/fall and horizontal shift (about five degrees in any given direction when the camera is focused at infinity, or less when the camera is focused very close), as well as a special collapsing, pivoting brilliant finder. This finder is hinged so that it folds into a very compact shape when the camera is closed. On the front of the finder is a bidirectional spirit level, which has a bubble centered over a dot when the camera is level along both of its horizontal axes. Also mounted on the front standard is a large hoop that forms the front of the sports finder; coupled with a folding rear eyepiece on the body of the camera, this allows fast eye-level viewing.

The bed has a double-extension rail that doubles as a focusing rack. When the standard is pulled out to the infinity stop, the stop can be released and the rack can be moved forward using a knob to focus closer than infinity.

The camera comes equipped with a ground-glass slide with a collapsing leather hood, for direct focusing. This cannot accommodate a dark slide and must be removed before inserting one.


The shutter is a Compur model, lacking flash synchronization but with a (for the time) full range of speeds from 1 second to 1/200th, plus T and B, as well as a self timer. The self timer is not immediately obvious. To use it, one cocks the shutter (not at 1/200th, T or B), presses a small catch on top of the shutter and then pushes the cocking lever even further to tension the timer.

There is a cable release socket, awkwardly placed near the rise/fall knob.


The lens is a Schneider-Kreuznach, as most German Kodak lenses are. It is the notably fast Xenar f:4.5 135mm, uncoated. The aperture range goes down to f:32 from wide open. Large format is forgiving enough of diffraction that even this small aperture is considered usable.