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Art Deco Cameras

Kodak Vigilant Junior Six-20


Kodak Vigilant Junior Six-20
Kodak Vigilant Junior Six-20
Manufacturer: Kodak
Produced: 1940
Classification:Medium Format
Body Type:Folding Bed
Bellows Deployment:Self Erecting
Film Type:620
Film Width:62mm
ImageSize:2¼ x 3¼ in
No. of Images:8
Lens Type:Kodet
Focus Type:Variable
Focal Length:87mm
Focal Range:4ft(f/32) 8ft(f/12.5) - inf.
Aperture Type:Iris
Aperture:f/12.5 - f/32
Shutter Type :DAK
Shutter Speeds:T,B, I*(1/40)
Size Closed (w x h x d):95 x 165 x 40 mm
Size Open (w x h x d):120 x 155 x 130 mm

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Ornate Struts

The Kodak Vigilant Junior Six-20 is a folding, self-erecting camera made in the USA and Canada by Kodak from 1940 to 1948. It took 6x9cm images on 620 film. It was similar to the Kodak Vigilant Six-20, but with a simpler lens and shutter. There was also a larger model, the Vigilant Junior Six-16. The curved body takes its style from the Streamline Moderne era.

This camera has a simple fixed focus Kodet meniscus lens in a Dak shutter. The camera also had the option of having a better 3 element Bimat lens with a fully adjustable f/11 to f/32 iris. It had a Dakon shutter with time, bulb, and 1/25s plus 1/50s exposure settings.

The camera has a single action type shutter with I, T and B settings. A remote cable release socket is provided. The five blade iris type aperture is variable between f/12.5 and f/32. It has both fold down eye level frame viewfinder and a waist level brilliant viewfinder. Two tripod sockets for both portrait and landscape orientation are available.

How to Use

A manual for this camera is provided here:- Kodak Vigilant Junior Six-20 manual.

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.

As the shutter speed is only 1/40s, hold the camera firmly against your body to reduce shake. Using a tripod is a good idea. However, holding it against a wall or other solid object would work as well.

If you don't want to bother with an exposure meter, follow the guide shown. 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.

The table assumes that the sun is at least 30 degrees above the horizon - that's 10am - 5pm on a summers day in the UK.

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

Using ISO 100/125 film - shutter speed 1/40s

Weather ConditionsShadow DetailApertureExposure
with sharp edges
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesf/16Good
OvercastBarely visiblef/12.5Good
Heavy OvercastNonef/12.5-1 Stop
Open Shade
Nonef/12.5-2 Stops
Not Acceptable