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Art Deco Cameras

Kodak Duo Six-20 Series I


Kodak Duo Six-20 Series I
Kodak Duo Six-20 Series I
Manufacturer: Kodak
Produced: UK 1933 - 1934
Classification:Medium Format
Body Type:Folding Bed
Bellows Deployment:Self Erecting
Film Type:620
Film Width:62mm
ImageSize:2¼ x 1⅝ in
No. of Images:16
Lens Type:Kodak Anastigmat
Focal Length:75mm
Focus Type:Variable
Focal Range:3.5ft - inf.
Aperture Type:Iris
Aperture:f/4.5 - f/32
Shutter Type :Pronto S
Shutter Speeds:T,B, I(1/25, 1/50, 1/100 sec)
Size Closed (w x h x d):125 x 90 x 35 mm
Size Open (w x h x d):130 x 110 x 95 mm

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The Duo 620 Series I is a self erecting folding rollfilm camera that takes 16, 2¼ x 1⅝ inch exposures on 620 rollfilm. It has a f/4.5, 75 mm Kodak Anastigmat lens. The iris diaphragm gives a range of f/4.5 to f/32. It has a variable front lens focus and will focus down to 3.5 feet. It has a rim-set Pronto S shutter with speeds 1/25, 1/50, 1/100s, B, T. It has a shutter mounted shutter release and it is uncoupled to the film advance, so double exposure is possible. It has two red windows which are used to get 16 exposures from 620 film. The film is advanced until a number appears in the first window and an image is taken. Then the film is advanced until the same number appears in the second window. Then it's back to the first window for the next number.

The metal body is covered in leather and it has leather bellows. It has a direct optical finder on the body. On the top of the camera is a depth of field calculator.

Dof Calculator
DOF Calc.

There are three versions of this camera. The one shown was the first model.

The second version of this camera appeared in 1937. It had a chrome top plate rather than lined enamel and a knob to wind on rather than a key. It had adorned struts and there was a chrome baseboard release bar and an accessory shoe. Get more info about Series II here:- Kodak Duo Series II.

From Sept 1939, the third version arrived which was fitted with a combined viewfinder/rangefinder, with the shutter and wind-on interlocked. There is no depth of field calculator.

Several lens and shutter combinations were available. These were:-

How to Use

This camera takes 620 film which is still available from selected photographic outlets. Although the actual film is the same as 120 film, the spools are different. The 620 spools are slightly shorter and have a smaller diameter. Do not use 120 film in this camera because it will jam and may snap. It is possible to cut down a spool of 120 film to fit or to re-spool some 120 film onto 620 spools in a darkroom or changing bag.

If you don't want to bother with an exposure meter, follow the guide shown, using shutter speeds of 1/25s, 1/50s and 1/100s. It is based on the 'Sunny 16' rule. Film is so forgiving and will produce acceptable results even when overexposed by 2 or 3 stops or underexposed by 1 stop.

Remember that the exposure guide in the camera user manual may not be helpful as it is based on the use of old film with a low ISO value.

The tables assume that the sun is at least 30 degrees above the horizon - that's 10am - 5pm on a summer's day (May-August) in the UK.

If you are not sure about the light level, err on the side of overexposure - i.e. assume the smaller f number.

Where there is a choice, a larger f number will give a larger depth of field.

For the slower speeds, you may need a tripod to stop blur through shake.

Using ISO 100/125 film

Weather ConditionsShadow DetailShutter Speed (s)
with sharp edges
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesf/22f/16f/11
OvercastBarely visiblef/16f/11f/8
Heavy OvercastNonef/11f/8f/5.6
Open Shade