Kodak Duex Redux

A couple of weeks ago I tried out a vintage (ca. 1940) Kodak Duex. It makes 16 4.5cm × 6cm images on medium format film. I had to unspool the film from 120 spools and put it onto 620 spools which are slightly smaller. (If they were slightly bigger it would be easier I think, but no matter…)

Except for my terrible skill at putting the film on the developing reel, I think this first roll went pretty well. I haven’t enlarged any of them (yet) but here’s a contact sheet:

16 black and white pictures of trees on one sheet; there is a large white rectangle near the bottom.

Contact Sheet

My “terrible skill” is obvious at the bottom of the sheet. The film was touching in the developing tank, and the chemicals didn’t get to that portion. The camera loads the film opposite to Stubbie (my Holga), which means that the images look upside down if you’re reviewing them in exposure order. (The first exposure is on the bottom right of the image.) This also has some ramifications for doing panoramas, if I was so inclined…

According to my journal, these photos were made on a day when “it was fully sunny, with some snow around on the ground. Plus-X (expired 1997). This camera originally came with about 25-50 speed film (I guess?). The Plus-X box speed is 125.”

The exposures look a little on the dingy side (probably due to the film as much as the exposure), but I’ll see what happens when I print. I also noticed there’s a light leak, probably from the little red exposure window. I’ll have to remember to cover that up.

All in all, the Duex is a fun little conversation piece, but probably not a camera I will use on a regular basis.