A truly crappy camera
Kodak EasyShare Z730
I learned a lot about how not to select a vintage camera when I bought this Kodak Tourist. At the time, I wanted to build a collection of folders and rangefinders. I set the Tourist in my sights as the last folder Kodak made.
What I didn’t realize is that most old folders could be had with a range of lenses and shutters. There would be an entry-level lens/shutter, a top-of-the-line lens/shutter, and often several choices in between.
I wound up with a Tourist packing the entry-level lens and shutter. The fixed-focus Kodet lens is probably a simple one-element meniscus; its widest aperture is a narrow f/12.5. The shutter offers one speed, probably 1/50 sec, plus Time and Bulb. My Tourist had specs similar to a box camera, and was about as versatile. When I put film through it (review here), the soft, poorly exposed results were disappointing.
Kodak offered the Tourist (and its similar successor, the Tourist II) with several other, better, lens/shutter options. Most of them were 100mm or 105mm Kodak Anaston lenses, a classic Cooke triplet, at f/4.5, f/6.3, or f/8.8. They were set in various Kodak shutters, the least of which offered speeds of 1/25 to 1/100 sec., and the best of which offered speeds of 1/5 to 1/400 sec.
I could also have held out for the Tourist II with the 101mm f/4.5 Kodak Anastar lens, a Tessar. It was set in a Synchro-Rapid shutter of 1 to 1/800 sec.
I would have had much more fun, and gotten much better results, from even the least of these improved Tourists! Perhaps I should look for another, better specified Tourist so I can find out for sure.
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