Meet the Kodak Duaflex III (with a Kodet 75mm lens). This little gem of a camera is a real treat to use. The Duaflex line was discontinued in the 60’s but with a 13 year production run they are still pretty easy to find. Some highlights of the camera are it’s simple one button operation, beautiful glass and a waist level viewfinder. I also enjoy it’s clunky design and its ‘sure grip’ film advance knob. One drawback for this line of cameras is that they were all manufactured for 620 film. This is easily remedied by re-spooling a roll of 120 on a 620 spool. For a smooth shooting experience I recommend advancing the roll onto an additional 620 spool. This means you’ll have to find one or maybe two 620 spools. These old spools hold their value on eBay. Its often times cheaper to buy a second 620 format camera (make sure it has a 620 spool in it) over hunting down spools on their own. Another option is to cut down a 120 spool to a 620 size. The last but not least option is to simply order 620 film from a photo supplier such as B and H Photo. You will end up paying an additional cost for the convenience…but it is very convenient.
On re-spooling 620 film…I remember my first go at it in undergrad. A co-worker in the lab (Keith) introduced the process to me. I locked myself in the film closet and met frustration. First impressions last awhile so re-pooling after that was not a process I engaged in on a regular basis which certainly didn’t help me get any better at it. Fast forward two art degrees and many years later and now I look forward to re-spooling 620. Practice makes perfect. As for a tip (this will cost you a roll of 120)…transfer a roll in the light before you try it in the dark. You’ll lose the role but the knowledge you’ll gain from the process will pay for itself in the long run.
I shoot Ilford HP5 in my Duaflex. It’s a pretty versatile film that works well with the f15 aperture/ 1/30 shutter speed used by the Kodet lens. I am currently using an Ilford chemical line (Ilfosol-s developer) as well but will soon be going back to D76. The D76 just seems to be more of a workhorse (much like the HP5) which suits my darkroom well. Let me know if you have any questions.
My Duaflex is calling-