Vintage Camera: Kodak Duaflex II

One of the key aspects of the vintage cameras I collect is that they should function.  This was the case with the Kodak Duaflex II, a plastic (bakelite) camera manufactured from 1950 to 1954.  It is normally held at waist level, and you look down into the brilliant glass viewfinder, which shows where the camera is pointing.  It was modelled after some of the more expensive cameras of the time, but differed in that what YOU see (via the top lens) is not what the camera sees.

You load this camera with 620 film, which is nothing more than 120 film wound onto a thinner spool (which you have to do in complete darkness).  The film sits at the bottom front of the camera, passes along the back where it is parallel to the lens, and is taken up on a spool in the top of the camera.  I nearly opened it after 8 exposures – which most vintage cameras take – but realized just in time that this camera takes 12 exposures.  Here is a picture of the camera:

Kodak Duaflex II

I just got my photos back from the lab in Oregon – I had called them in July to divert them to India, but instead they took a long detour to Windhoek, back to Washington, and then here.  Always nice to see your vacation photos three months after the vacation!  Foreign concept in the days of digital photography.

The landscape of northern Namibia is perfectly suited for black and white photography.  With its wide open spaces and tortured acacia trees and rocks, black and white suits the mood perfectly.  I’ll just start off with my favorite of the bunch:


We went into an abandoned warehouse in town and had a great time with all the different shades of brown and gray:

Rail Warehouse


Rail Warehouse Inside

And nearby found these apparently unused water towers:

Water Tower

Finally, even this shanty is interesting in grayscale:



To see the rest of the photos, check out the set on Flickr.

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