The No. 1A Autographic Junior was made in various versions between 1914 and 1927. it’s got a beautifully detailed brass and enamel faceplate, a fold-out foot with the Kodak logo, and its name engraved on a brass plate below the shutter assembly. They all shot 6.5 by 11 cm frames on size 116 autographic film (which allowed you to add details to the photo via a small window on the back and a slim metal “pen”) and cost between 11 and 24 bucks back in the day.
This particular version, with its Kodak Anastigmat f/7.7-45 lens and Kodak ball bearing shutter, was made between 1915 and 1925. As the lens name implies, it allows apertures from f/7.7 to f/45, with f/11, 16, 22 and 32 in between, and the shutter takes T, B, and 1/25, 1/50, or 1/100s exposures. Apparently some versions had fixed focal lengths, but this one lets you slide out the bellows and click the lens into a slot anywhere between 6 and 100 feet camera to subject distance.
I’ve had this camera for a few years, but I never tried running any film through it until last year’s Let it Develop 365 project. It’s an easy enough camera to use, and I used fresh Tri-X 400 (size 120) but disappointingly all the pictures ended up fogged. This camera is in amazing shape, but even so, I suspect the bellows have been replaced at least once because they’re absolutely pristine without any worn corners that might hide pinholes that would ruin the exposures. And none of this explains why my photos didn’t really turn out.
Verdict: Should have taken much better pictures: clean lens, smooth operating shutter with plenty of settings for any light conditions, pristine bellows. Maybe some controlled bracketing/testing would help identify the problem? Sharing a few other folks’ results below for comparison: