Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Kodak EK6 Instant Camera

I don't imagine that anyone would be surprised to hear that this Kodak EK6 came from an estate sale in a box with a bunch of other beat up cameras. Back from the mid-seventies until the early 1980's Kodak made a run at establishing their own brand of instant film and cameras.  Polaroid didn't like this and managed to use the courts to make Kodak stop.  The result was a complete wipe-out for Kodak.  They were forced to shut down their efforts at making instant film and pay reparations.  I think that Kodak offered some kind of refund or trade-in for people who had purchased their brand of instant camera. The Kodak EK6 was part of this commercial drama.

And from the looks of it that is about the only thing that is dramatic about the Kodak EK6.  Other than it was made from 1976 to 1979 I could find little info about this camera.  The thing I notice most about the EK6 is that it is heavy - weighing over two pounds.  Basically, it looks like a simple zone focusing camera.  I think film came out like the Polariod SX-70 film.  The camera here has a film pack in it.  Unfortunately, even if the film still had some life in it, the battery pack that is included in the film pack doesn't.

Throughout its history Kodak appears to have put a lot of effort into putting out films in formats that they could make proprietary. While they had a lot of success for a time with efforts like 126 film, just as often this seems to have back-fired on them such as with their instant film.  Kodak actually made film for Polaroid before the lawsuit, however because of the conflict Polaroid took all their production in house.  So Kodak lost what must have been a pretty good revenue stream back when Polaroid was at its most popular.

So like many cameras it is doubtful that this Kodak EK6 will ever again take pictures with its intended film. Today it is just a humble reminder of a corporate battle that seemed like a big deal in its time.