visual spectrum: Kodak Signet 50


The Kodak Signet 50 wasn’t my first camera, but it was the first camera I used as a self-conscious photographer.  My very first camera, like that of so many people of my generation, was a Kodak Pocket Instamatic that fired cheap 110 cartridges.  My second camera was a sort of compact SLR that my mother let me borrow, much to her chagrin when I dropped it in the sand and gritted up the winding mechanism.  The Kodak Signet 50, my third camera, was a thrift store find.  The brown leather case that the camera came with was in perfect condition, and the camera itself was as new.  The Signet 50 is a viewfinder camera, rather than a true rangefinder (there’s no focusing mechanism), so basically you need to estimate the distance by eye, and then fix the settings based on guesswork.  This was good practice for the LC-A that I was going to end up owning, many years later.  I probably shot a couple of dozen rolls of film with the Signet — almost entirely in black and white — but I only have a few of the negatives lying around.  I’m not sure what happened to the others.  Probably lost in one of the eight or nine moves that I’ve made since the early 1990s when I last used this camera.

Now that I think about it, I’m not really sure what happened to the camera either.


2 Responses to “visual spectrum: Kodak Signet 50”

  1. 1 Ginger

    How is it that I can recognize James from behind after all these years? Ah, Hearts Desire… My favorite beach… Fun to see the pics and remember when.

    • 2 Trane DeVore

      I think it must be that signature hands-in-pockets, neck-tilted-to-the-side look that gives it away. That and those all-too-cute skinny, skinny legs. James would have been a champion in the skinny jeans era.

      I love Heart’s Desire too. I can’t remember when the last time I visited it was. It must be over a decade ago now . . .

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