The Kodak Tourists were the last in a long line of American made folding roll film cameras from Eastman Kodak. 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 films making 8 2¼×3¼ exposures. The use of 828 roll film for 8 28×40mm 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; 2¼×2¼ inch, 2¼×1⅝ inch, and 28×40mm 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 and had smaller viewfinders. 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.
The Tourists show a curious similarity to two European Kodak models introduced somewhat later. The British Kodak Sterling II and Juniors (Tourist) and the French Kodak Modèle B 11 (Tourist II) utilize strikingly similar folding struts and top plate/viewfinder assemblies, though the folding bed on these cameras are hinged on the left whereas the Tourist follows the American convention and is hinged on the right.
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 100mm or 101mm f/8,8 in Flash Diomatic shutter 1/25 – 1/100 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
- Kodak Anaston 105mm f/6.3 in Flash Diomatic shutter 1/25 – 1/100 sec plus bulb and time
- Kodak Anaston 105mm f/6.3 in Flash 200 shutter 1/25 – 1/200 sec plus bulb
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
- Kodak patents, over 1,200 patents related to Kodak cameras.
- Kodak Tourist, Kodak Tourist, Kodak Tourist and Kodak Tourist II on www.collection-appareils.fr by Sylvain Halgand
- Brian Coe, Kodak Cameras - The First Hundred Years, Hove Foto Books, 1988
- Original Kodak user manuals for the Tourist and Tourist II