Camera Reviews, Photography

Kodak Junior Six-16 Series II

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I scored a beautiful folding camera not too long ago, a Kodak Junior Six-16 Series II. Doesn’t it look like it was hardly ever used?

Kodak Junior Six-16, Series II

From 1934 to 1936, Kodak produced a camera with a gorgeous art-deco body called the Six-16 that, true to its name, used size 616 film. It was expensive at $40, so in 1935, Kodak put the same works inside a more pedestrian body, lowered the price, and called it the Junior Six-16. They made a few improvements to the camera in 1937, added “Series II” to the name, and charged $12 for it until it went out of production in 1940.

Kodak also made a Junior Six-20 camera that was very similar to the Junior Six-16 except that it took size 620 film. Kodak hasn’t made either 616 or 620 film in years, but if you have a spare 620 spool, you can roll still-available 120 film onto it and take pictures with any working 620 camera. There’s no such luck with 616 film, and so my poor Junior Six-16 will have to be satisfied with looking good on a shelf in my living room.

Kodak Junior Six-16, Series II

Kodak made a bazillion folding cameras in about the first half of the last century. They’re very easy to come by and, with a few exceptions, won’t put much hurt on your checkbook. But most old folders I find are significantly worn, sometimes with the leather chipping or peeling off or the bellows brittle or torn. I don’t get around too awful much compared to more serious camera collectors, who may think my camera is dime-a-dozen, but this folding Kodak is in the best condition of any I’ve ever seen. It also came in its original box.

Update 27 Jan 2010: Go here to see a photo taken with a Kodak Junior Six-16, Series II.

Do you like vintage cameras? Click here to see my entire collection.

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39 thoughts on “Kodak Junior Six-16 Series II

  1. Hi,

    It’s so odd that you just posted this entry. I also just came across the same kind of camera while helping my parents move out (it belonged to my mother’s aunt), and the one I found also has the original box and is in amazing condition.

    I imagine you’ve come across this page with the manual:
    http://www.butkus.org/chinon/kodak/kodak_junior/kodak_junior.htm

    However (and sorry to bug you with questions), my model seems to have some significant differences from yours and those I see around the internet. My speed selector has fewer choices (just T and 100, if I remember right), and my stop opening pointer is a dial rather than a lever. I was just curious if maybe you’ve come across anything that explains that—such as, do I have a camera that’s different than what the box says?

    Thanks if you can help!

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  2. Greg, I don’t know what to make of it. Does the release bar say “Kodak Junior Six-16 Series II”? If not, you have a different camera. Otherwise, I’d say you probably have a variant of some sort. I know that Kodak sometimes changed trim details on a camera for sale in the UK.

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  3. Pingback: Scott Pennington » Blog Archive » rare

  4. Pretty cool, I just bought a Junior Six-16 series II as well; came with a couple old minolta’s for a bargain. The kodak is almost new condition, in original box (tiny!), with all documentation and manuals etc. Pretty sad to hear that you cant get film for it because I would have liked to have tried it out. Well it will go on my shelf along with my growing collection, like yours.

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  5. Richard, mine came in its box, too. I’ll bet that if you wanted it bad enough you could cut 120 film to fit this camera, but… well, you’d have to want it pretty darn bad.

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  6. Dianna says:

    Hi,
    I am cleaning out my parents home and found the Kodak Junior six-16 series II in the original box with manuals. The difference from your photo
    and this camera is on the metal lever to pull the camera out does not say KODAK but has numbers 23951. What do you make of this and what is the value? Thanks, Dianns

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    • Rita says:

      Hi,

      I too found a Kodak Junior six 16 Series II in the original box with manuals. The metal lever to pull the camera out also has numbers on it 62714. Did you ever find out anything about it?

      Rita

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      • I am only guessing here — but I believe Kodak made this camera with various combos of lens and shutter, and the lowest line lens and shutter combo may have come with a plain metal pullout. Perhaps numbers were engraved on it. Is this the case with your camera?

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  7. Dianna, finding a camera in the box with manuals is always best for value, but unfortunately I’m no expert and couldn’t tell you what yours is worth. You might do an eBay search on closed auctions for this camera and see what similar ones have gone for. I’ve never seen one of these with numbers on that lever so that’s a puzzler to me!

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  8. Paul von Fange says:

    Two things – to Reg’s posting of 616 film at Central Camera – I don’t see it and I think it’s been discontinued. If you can find it somewhere, though, I’ll buy some! Second – Jim, I have a Kodak Junior Six-16 Series III. Do you know anything about it?

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  9. ELAINE TROUBLE says:

    This past wknd I came across a KODAK JUNIOR SIX-16 and I fell in love with it and just had to have it. so I paid $13.00 and i cleaned it up and it’s on my shelf, I want to know do you know how much this camara would really be worth? I’m keeping mine because it does make my shelf look expensive. ; ) lol. If you can give me an answer I would really appreciate it.

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    • I couldn’t tell you what this camera is worth. Best way to get a sense is to go to eBay and search on ended auctions for this camera, and see what they’re going for.

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  10. Fabulous condition camera. Curious about what the lens and shutter say on them! Notice the little door on the back? That is because the film backing paper they had been using for verichrome film (and Ansco’s fabulous versachrome) could not stop the red light rays from printing through the backing paper on panchromatic film, so they put the door on to shut off the light except when you were winding to the next exposure. 616 size is unavailable, but 116 is available from one or two speciality houses. You need another 616 spool, and in something like a daylight changing bag, spool it over on one 616 spool, then re roll it back on the other spool and either tape it or rubber band it and bingo! a roll of 616 film.

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    • Jan, thanks for shedding some light on 616/116. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll see if someone in town still processes film by hand and would be willing to take on a roll of 116-respooled-as-616!

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      • What kind of heresy is this? Have some guy you don’t even know develope your film? What has the world come to! A $7.00 bottle of rodinal, some hypo, midnight in the bathroom with all of the house lights off and the window blocked off with a piece of black trash bag and the door shut and you are in business. Buy an old film developing tank off of e—-y. Before you buy the tank ask the seller how high the tank is without the tank lid on it. Should be 3 1/2 or more inches or more high. You’ll have to probably make a new spool spacer out of pvc pipe. Practice by developing 120 or 620 first so you learn how to load developing tank spool in the dark. When you have thought this all through, let me know as then I will tell you how to re-load ortho film for about $1.00 a load. So, if you start to develope before you contact me again, be careful to save all spools and the backing paper. Now, remember, this is all part of the fun of b/w film–YOU are in control!!

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        • Heh, yeah, well… I’ve developed film before and let’s just say I enjoy the phot0-taking end of the process a WHOLE lot more!

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  11. Sheila Greenlee says:

    I have this camera with the box and paper work. I also have a CINE-KODAK MODEL K camcorder with box and paper work. They are both for sale! They are from1929-1930.

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  12. ryoko861 says:

    Wow, sorry I missed this post!

    It’s gorgeous! And even though you can’t get film for it (how cool would that be if you could take pictures with it today?!) it’ll be beautiful sitting on display!

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    • It sits atop my vintage Kodak Metal Tripod No. 1 in the corner of my living room!

      It still works, but I’d have to adapt it to work with 120 film. There are guides on the Internet for adapting 616/116 cameras to take 120 film, but lordy does that ever look like too much work.

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  13. I have a Senior 616 that was sitting around in a box forever. I patched up the bellows and found that I could feed a roll of 120 film unto the 616 spool. I judged the spacing by starting at 3 and incrementing by three. That yielded 5 2 1/4 x 4 1/4 images. Here is an example of what I got. It was fairly simple to do other than I had to unload the film in the dark.
    Image taken with Kodak Senior Six-16

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    • That’s cool. I’ve heard of people making adapters for 616 cameras to take 120 but never considered just spooling 120 onto a 616 spool and hoping for the best.

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  14. lettthesunshine10 says:

    Hi there, I am selling one of these vintage cameras on behalf of my grandmother. What would this sell for today? I am from Canada and it is in a worn box but I think it is in good condition—> I don’t know how to use it) Thanks for the help.

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  15. dan says:

    I would not count on getting much more than $20 if you are lucky. I collect cameras and this camera is so common I finally had to tell people to stop buying them for me as friends and family would see one at a rummage sale or fleas market and buy it for me, usually for a couple of bucks. I have 12 of them in excellent condition so I really wish I could say that they are worth a fortune,but, unfortunatly they are not.

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    • AEB says:

      Thanks for all the information. I have my grandfather’s camera and box and instructions and its value to me is much greater, for the sentiment. I too have the camera displayed – the design is so beautiful. Interesting to know there are still so many of them out there, especially with Kodak going down the drain. So sad.

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  16. Pingback: Kodak Metal Tripod No. 1 | Down the Road

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