Sunday, January 22, 2012

Treasure Hunt: Vintage Kodak Camera Lens

Samples of my junk:  Vintage wooden clock casing and
antique weights that adorn my mantlepiece
I'm a known collector of junk.  And when I say junk, I mean *junk*.  I love the quirky, charming, and often aesthetically pleasing nature of weird and wonderful industrial wares, cast off architectural bits and other pieces of miscellany that would probably go into the garbage bin if it wasn't for me collecting them on shelves. I have many times over been inspired by Sue Whitney and Kai Nassauer's book Junk Market Style and love getting the chance to repurpose, reuse or simply reconnect with something odd and quirky.

Today's boot sale treasure initially was bought to fit that bill.  For a whopping 50 pence (approximately 75 cents U.S.) I purchased a vintage Kodak camera lens.  About an inch in diameter with thick glass lenses, it felt heavy for its diminutive size.  I liked the way it felt and looked and thought it might be a fun addition to my pile of curiosities. 

Today's Treasure:  The Kodak Anastigmat f-6.3/127 mm lens
But as my father used to collect, and has a large collection of, vintage Kodak Brownies and box cameras, I thought I'd take a look on Google to find out more about it and then check on eBay to see if it had any possible value.  Lo and behold, it turned out to be a find!  Made at best guess in the '30s, the lens was for specialized photography, either for professionals or strong amateurs.  This particular one, a f stop 6.3, 127 millimeter lens, seems to be not very common.  A similar one is listed, set into the shutter, on eBay for a whopping $124.99 (£80.50!).  While my little lens is by no means worth that much, it was definitely a bargain of a treasure purchased for only pocket change!

Now the decision will be can my impulse buy make enough on eBay to make parting with it worthwhile or would I rather just keep it on my shelf of junky treasures, another conversation piece?  Tough decisions....

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