No. 4 Folding Kodet - horizontal model (1894-1897)
This is a lower grade, easy to use plate camera for the not so wealthy amateur photographer of the mid 1890's.
The camera takes 4 x 5 inch pictures on glass plates in double plate holders or on a roll of film in a roll holder. In the video you can see three double plate holders in the back. There's also a ground glass in a wooden frame in the back.
The Kodet cameras were cheaper then the Folding Kodaks or regular Kodak box cameras. This made photography available for the not so wealthy enthusiast. In its most simple version with achromatic lens and Kodet shutter it cost $ 12.00. The most expensive version cost $ 23.50. The optional roll holder would cost another $ 10.00. In the same period a high quality No. 4 Folding Kodak with roll holder did cost $ 60.00.
The No. 4 Folding Kodet could be used as a hand camera and as a tripod camera. When used as a hand camera the photographer had to set the distance from camera to object on a ivory scale on the drop bed. The little reflex finder on the drop bed helped to aim the camera.
The camera has two tripod nuts. If mounted on a tripod, or put on a table or something, the photographer could focus and compose the image on the ground glass in the back. To do so, s/he had to take out the plate holders first and open the door in the back. Of course the distance scale and reflex finder could also be used if the instrument was mounted on a tripod.
On top of the lens panel is a lever to set the shutter on I (instantaneous) or T (time) exposures. On the front of the lens panel is a lever to regulate the speed of the shutter. One could choose between fast or slow and something in between.
To regulate the amount of light entering the camera there is a wheel with four apertures: 8, 16, 32 and 64 on the US scale. This is equivalent to f/11, f/16, f/22 and f/32.
The shutter had to be cocked before taking a photo. This was done by pushing the lever on the side of the lens panel down. Then the photographer could press the button on the side of the lens panel to take the pic.
The No. 4 Folding Kodet was made in two versions: a horizontal and a vertical. Together only 2246 cameras were produced between 1894 and 1897. They are quite rare today.