Monday, January 13, 2014
I took my No.1 Autographic Kodak Special to the Albuquerque train station. The Amtrak Express was being fueled for a trip north.
With its high-res Tessar lens and a snappy Wollensak Optimo shutter, this is my favorite Kodak. I would shoot it more often were it not for a persistent light leak that I haven't been able to stamp out. That is not for lack of trying. The commonest source of such problems is pinholes in the bellows. I did find some early on which I was able to eliminate with opaque fabric paint.
My usual routine in looking for the source of light leaks is to extend the bellows, open the camera back and hold the camera up to the sun. Usually, pinhole leaks will be visible as bright specks of light in the corners and creases of the bellows. Not all can be found in that way, however, so I usually then go on to inspect the bellows in the dark using a small led light like the keychain flashlight above. Having meticulously examined the bellows, I'm suspicious that the light leak in the No.1 Special may be somewhere in the slide-open back. I've added some light seal material to the back as well as half-covering the ruby window from the inside and putting a strip of black tape over the outside which I lift only when advancing the film. No luck so far.