View Full Version : A 77 Year Old Camera Goes to the Mountains - Kodak Medalist

Colorado CJ
7-Aug-2016, 18:36
I recently won an auction on a camera I've been wanting for a while, a Kodak Medalist I in excellent condition. Whenever I get some new photo gear, I head up the canyon to Rocky Mountain National Park to test it out. It was a windy, wet day in the park with lots of overcast skies. Makes for some interesting shots though!

I wish there was a way to display these images like they are displayed on my calibrated screen, large and full of tones, the down res image displayed on the internet color palate doesn't let you see the full qualities of these images.

Anyway, saying that, here they are.

These were shot on a 77 year old Kodak Medalist I that I received a couple of days ago. These are my first rolls and my first shots taken with this old camera, so I really didn't know what to expect. The first images were shot with trough a minus blue filter on Neopan Acros 100 film rated at 50 ISO and developed in Rodinal at 50:1 for 9 minutes. After they dried, I scanned them in using an Epson V750 pro.

https://c6.staticflickr.com/9/8611/28759958541_a3f30f2e00_o.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/KPqiGa)Kodak Medalist 1 - Test 1 (https://flic.kr/p/KPqiGa) by Andrew Marjama (https://www.flickr.com/photos/55229792@N03/), on Flickr

https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8431/28551916130_90367b0082_o.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Kv32W3)Kodak Medalist 1 - Test 2 (https://flic.kr/p/Kv32W3) by Andrew Marjama (https://www.flickr.com/photos/55229792@N03/), on Flickr

https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8683/28731237202_64053f6558_o.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/KLT6QE)Kodak Medalist 1 - Test 3 (https://flic.kr/p/KLT6QE) by Andrew Marjama (https://www.flickr.com/photos/55229792@N03/), on Flickr

These next few were taken between 11,500 ft and 12,000 ft altitude. It was raining on and off, but it made for some good photo taking.

https://c6.staticflickr.com/9/8650/28759964781_6ba5f1e979_o.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/KPqkxK)Kodak Medalist 1 - Test 4 (https://flic.kr/p/KPqkxK) by Andrew Marjama (https://www.flickr.com/photos/55229792@N03/), on Flickr

Colorado CJ
7-Aug-2016, 18:38
https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8586/28551915540_be4ca6b7ae_o.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Kv32KS)Kodak Medalist 1 - Test 5 (https://flic.kr/p/Kv32KS) by Andrew Marjama (https://www.flickr.com/photos/55229792@N03/), on Flickr

https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8831/28551915100_b49f7bde1b_o.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Kv32Ch)Kodak Medalist 1 - Test 6 (https://flic.kr/p/Kv32Ch) by Andrew Marjama (https://www.flickr.com/photos/55229792@N03/), on Flickr

These last images were using the same film and shot through the same filter, but I used Pyrocat MC at 1:1:100 to develop them. The negatives were a little thick at 15 minutes development time, so next time I'm going to develop for 12 minutes.

https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8863/28835999275_5d3d8cb064_o.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/KW92Xi)Kodak Medalist 1 - Test 7 (https://flic.kr/p/KW92Xi) by Andrew Marjama (https://www.flickr.com/photos/55229792@N03/), on Flickr

https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8856/28731236632_3891177a56_o.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/KLT6EQ)Kodak Medalist 1 - Test 8 (https://flic.kr/p/KLT6EQ) by Andrew Marjama (https://www.flickr.com/photos/55229792@N03/), on Flickr

Colorado CJ
7-Aug-2016, 18:39
https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8594/28759964081_bd3b56eb41_o.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/KPqkkF)Kodak Medalist 1 - Test 9 (https://flic.kr/p/KPqkkF) by Andrew Marjama (https://www.flickr.com/photos/55229792@N03/), on Flickr

Thats it for now. I have a few other photos (I shot 3 rolls, so 24 exposures total), but they weren't as interesting, or were doubles of these.

Next weekend I am going to take this camera, along with my 4x5 large format camera and my D600 to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park for some more photography and camping.

Kevin Crisp
7-Aug-2016, 18:44
I've got a Medalist II. The lenses on these cameras are outstanding. And with a little practice, you can rewind 120 onto 620 reels. Have fun with it.

7-Aug-2016, 18:50
I've been thinking of buying one, interesting reading your perspective. Would like to hear more about what you think of the camera in use. I've been using a c.1937 Voigtlander Bessa RF and will take it with me to Canadian Rockies. Both Medalist and Bessa have a 5-element Heliar designed lens. I'm pretty sure mine is uncoated though, where Medalist has internal elements single coated.

Kent in SD

Kevin Crisp
24-Aug-2016, 11:13
The earlier Medalists had coated lenses, gold in color on the coating, and it is fairly soft and often overcleaned on the front element. The Medalist II had a 'luminized' blue coating that is quite durable.

25-Aug-2016, 09:36
The Medalist is a great walk-around camera. If you aren't a high-volume professional user re-rolling 120 onto 620 film isn't really a problem. I've heard it's not hard to convert the supply side to 120, although I've never found good enough instructions on how to attempt it myself. Supposedly, Kodak designed the camera to make it especially hard to convert from 620 to 120, as they were the only major film manufacturer to offer 620 I believe.

Jim Galli
25-Aug-2016, 16:36
Those are pretty . . . but . . . it doesn't really count unless you take it to the mountains in a 77 year old car ;~'))

25-Aug-2016, 23:53
What is a "minus blue filter?" Like a K1 or K2?

26-Aug-2016, 00:05
What is a "minus blue filter?" Like a K1 or K2?

A yellow filter

David Lobato
26-Aug-2016, 04:13
Great photos Andrew. I have a Medalist 1, a gift from my wife. Re-rolling 120 film onto a 620 spool took a learning curve and you need a third spool to do it well. For me a tripod is necessary. It's a fine camera.

26-Aug-2016, 08:47
Great photos Andrew. I have a Medalist 1, a gift from my wife. Re-rolling 120 film onto a 620 spool took a learning curve and you need a third spool to do it well. For me a tripod is necessary. It's a fine camera.

Interesting- Please expand on your third spool re-rolling technique. My technique is to unroll the 120 roll into a loose roll in my hand. Then start tightly rolling it onto the 620 roll. Inevitably, at the end the tape won't be in the right position so you gently untape the film and re-tape it so that the film doesn't have a warp in it at the end. The re-taping is the riskiest part of the endeavour, otherwise pretty straightforward.

Kevin Crisp
26-Aug-2016, 11:11
This is how I do it, works fine. Be really careful not to bend film too much, particularly with T emulsions. Do it in the dark, of course.


Colorado CJ
26-Aug-2016, 16:12
I roll onto a spare 620 spool, then re roll it onto a the 620 spool.

Doing it this way, you don't have to reposition the tape as the film has not moved

Chauncey Walden
16-Jan-2017, 12:26
These are scans from prints from negs made in the San Juans of Colorado taken with my Medalist II which was modified by Bald Mountain to use 120 film directly. Unfortunately the prints are larger than my scanner so they are cut off some. The Medalists are great cameras.

David Karp
16-Jan-2017, 12:56
What is a "minus blue filter?" Like a K1 or K2?

Great! That is all I need -- Another camera to want!!


At any rate, now that I have seen this thread, I was taught that a minus blue filter is technically a yellow #12.

Randy Moe
16-Jan-2017, 14:34
Great! That is all I need -- Another camera to want!!


How many do you want? :)

David Karp
16-Jan-2017, 14:37
Unfortunately, more than I have or need! :D

Randy Moe
16-Jan-2017, 14:52
Unfortunately, more than I have or need! :D

I have a friend with a large pile. His problem...

David Karp
16-Jan-2017, 15:10
I'm OK Randy. I have a few view cameras. One was a gift. My film cameras include the camera I bought for myself in high school and the one my dad owned at the same time. He also gave me his Pentax MX. I have a couple of MF cameras. I never owned an autofocus film camera. I have a digital mirrorless and a point and shoot. I have plenty. I just keep seeing things on the forum that people are selling and I want one of those too! I have the bug, but I have a decent amount of will power.

Randy Moe
16-Jan-2017, 15:17
If I was only allowed one camera. It would be my MX. :)

David Karp
16-Jan-2017, 16:10
Well, it seems like we have taken this thread off on a drift - just like conversations drift! :)

I love that MX. You might be right. Compact, handy, great lenses! Funny - When I purchased my Olympus E-M1 I took it home and set it next to the MX. No surprise I was attracted to that digital camera. Most of them are so big and unwieldy. The Olympus is just about the size of the MX. My other cameras are all so big. Who needs to carry a big hand held camera?