Saturday, May 20, 2017
Kodak Pony 828
Included in the Pony's sleek and ergonomic design was an extraordinarily big, bright viewfinder. The camera's shutter/lens assembly could be telescoped inward to allow easy pocketing of the little camera. The three-element Anaston lens was coated and produced pretty good sharpness, certainly more than adequate for its intended purposes. With a top shutter speed of 1/200 and an aperture range from f4.5 to f22, the camera can still easily handle fast 400-speed film. Most of these features would be passed along to other cameras in the developing Pony lineup which was switched to the more popular 35mm format. The 828 roll film format was discontinued in 1959 along with the Pony 828 camera. The width of the 828 film is the same as 35mm, and it is not terribly difficult to roll a strip of 35mm film onto the 828 reels if one wants to try the camera today. The small size and light weight of the Pony 828 make it a pleasure to carry and shoot.
The last shot illustrates the Pony's one design flaw which I have encountered. The red-hued light leak is the product of an easily broken small plastic tab which is a part of the latch mechanism. The camera will still seem to close tightly, but the missing portion of the tab may let in a bit of light. Most newly acquired Pony 828 cameras are also likely to need some cleaning of the shutter, lens and viewfinder. That is a pretty simple procedure which is very well illustrated at the Camera Collecting and Restoration web site.
I bought a Pony 828 used at the UW bookstore in 1961, just a couple years after Kodak ceased production of the camera. I think I only shot a couple of rolls of film in it at the time. I'm enjoying getting to know the Pony better all these years later.