|Kodak Signet 40|
by John Hufnagel
The Kodak Signet 40 is a 35 mm rangefinder camera produced from 1956 to 1959 by Kodak in the USA. It was the second Kodak Signet model, introduced some 5 years after the first model, the Kodak Signet 35. It has a coated (Lumenized!) Kodak Ektanon f/3.5-f/22 F=46mm (or Ektanar 46mm/f3.5) lens, focusing to 2 feet, which accepts Series V accessories. The manually-cocked shutter is a Kodak Synchro 400 unit, with speeds of 1/5 to 1/400th sec. plus bulb. The coupled coincident image rangefinder system is essentially that of the upscale Kodak Signet 35, although the body is largely Bakelite with numerous metallic panels, inserts, and fittings. The unit focusing mount uses ball bearings, again like the Signet 35. A depth of field scale surrounds the mount. Film advance is by a triple-stroke lever located on the upper right side of the camera's back.
The shutter release is located on the right front of the camera; the top plate has (from the left) a very large rewind knob with exposure guide, a manually reset frame counter, and a film type reminder dial. The back latch is on the right side; on the left side are the Kodalite connectors for attaching a flash bulb holder. The shutter is synced for both flashbulbs (m sync) and electronic flash (x sync). M sync connection is through the Kodalite connections. X sync requires the use of an obscure adapter that screws into the center of the Kodalite fitting.
An interesting fact is that the Signet 40's lens contains thorium oxide, and is in fact radioactive.
It originally sold for $65 USD (approximately $500 USD in 2007).
- History of Kodak Cameras at www.kodak.com