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collector

I have a large camera and accessories collection, and this is part of it.

 This is the Army model- there is also an Air Force version as well as civilian. At the time this was a very good camera, relatively tough and reliable.

Signet-Army Model.JPG

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manayunkman

Is it the green leather and black body that make it so?

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Longbranch

Yes, these were basically only ever sold to the public as the Kodak Signet 35 in a silvery “bare” aluminum finish (the bare aluminum of the camera body casting was clearcoated). They made a special version in the early 1950s, like the one posted, in the OD/black color scheme for the Army and black/black for the USAF. Military versions were designated the KE-7 and a designation plate was generally riveted to the bottom of the camera (often missing on surviving examples). Otherwise it is pretty much identical to the civilian model.

 

There was also a special film developing setup & enlarger kit in a handy travel case for processing the 35mm film and making prints that went along with the camera.

 

Kodak did something similar in WW2 with an earlier camera model, taking their normal Kodak 35 camera and producing it in an OD/black color scheme to create the Army PH-324 camera.

 

Both the Signet 35 and Kodak 35 are competent 35mm camera models, but they are totally blown out of the water by much better cameras made by Leica, Zeiss, and others during this period. Of course, during WW2 it was basically impossible to get some of these 35mm German made cameras for obvious reasons!

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collector

Longbranch you sound like you are a photographer or enthusiast. 

Happily my Signet has the data plate. The Air Force version is even harder to find.

These cameras were made in the 50's and were relatively expensive (about $800 in todays money) for a person who just wanted to make snapshots. The competition Longbranch mentioned. Leica and others, were even more expensive ($3000 or more in today's money). Also very desirable were the Rolliflex line. During that time, Kodak also made cameras in Germany, a common one is the Retina series. I've included photos of a Leica, Rolliflex,and a Retina of the same period from my collection. The Leica has a Nikkor lens, since by then Japan was making some good cameras again and selling lenses that worked on other cameras. My parents bought and used the Leica and Retina during the 50's. I shot with all three during the late 60's when just starting out.

Retina IIIc.JPG

c51-Rolleiflex Automat 2-K4B2.JPG

Leica IIIfz.png

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