View Full Version : Kodak Bantam RF?

11-22-2009, 07:55
Anyone know anything about it?

My father-in-law gave me one last night. I did some preliminary research and it seems it used special film (Kodak 828?). It's amazing what good condition it's in, so I'd love to run a roll through it... but can I?

Anyone have one that can tell me more?

11-22-2009, 08:07
Afraid I dont have any real help to offer. I totally read your title as the Kodak Batman RF - which amused me no end. :)

Got any photos of the camera? Sounds interesting.

Roger Hicks
11-22-2009, 08:44
828 Bantam is an imperforate paper-backed 35mm format, 8-on, 28x40mm image, introduced in 1936. The styling of the Bantam Special is stunning.



11-22-2009, 09:14
As RH said - Beautiful camera.

Could be the queen of your shelf.

Haven't seen any rolls of 828 in more than 30 years. Sorry.

11-22-2009, 10:12
Believe it or not, B&H sells the film... Just not sure where I'd get it developed (more research underway)...

I'll try to take some photos of the camera later tonight... it really is nice and the lens looks nice and clear!

11-22-2009, 10:57
I purchased some 828 film on the evil bay. 828 film itself is made from 35mm film stock, but without the sprocket holes. It uses a single perforation to delineate the 8 frames per roll.

So, I purchased some unused 828 film, and un-wound it, removing the film from the backing. Then I used the old film to measure a length of new 35mm film. Then I attached the new 35mm film to the backing, just as the original 828 film had been. Ready to load in the camera at that point.

The Bantam Special was made to use the single perforation to stop the film advance at just the right spot. Once it stops, there's a small button on the back of the camera you push to begin to advance to the next frame. With 35mm stock, each sprocket hole catches. To get around this problem, you muist hold the button down continuously as you advance the film, and simply use the window to know when to stop. This works just fine.

The photo image overlaps the sprocket holes on top and bottom, but you don't lose too much. The camera is very elegant-- jewel like. I've run a couple of rolls of B&W through mine, but haven't printed them yet. I plan to use a negative carrier slightly larger than regular 35mm (they call them full-frame sometimes).

When you remove the 35mm film, you save the spool and backing paper to reuse. Should be good for several trips through the camera, although eventually it would tear or just wear out. As others said, you can purchase 828 film, just not at the Drug Store.

Enjoy your camera.

11-22-2009, 11:56
I have a Bantam RF, too. It and the Kodak stereo camera from that era are all brown except for the bright metal parts. I think they are prettier than other Kodak cameras from the 50s that had black, gray, and silver parts. Why? I don't know why! By the way, with the Bantam RF, once you line up number "1" in the red window, the film stops automatically for following exposures like a 35mm camera does. Nice. Also, there are instructions on the web for making 828 film from 120 film. Did you know the Kodak Pony 828 has a green window instead of a red window! Why... One last thing and then I'll shut up ( unless I think of something else) you can also find an instruction book for the Bantam RF on line.

11-24-2009, 16:44
Guess what? There is one more thing. As I was looking for something else, I ran across a roll of 828 negatives. I am sure it was the one that was in the Bantam RF when I got it used. Surprise, surprise! The film had nine full negatives on it and just a sliver of number ten. Seems the automatic stop mechanism lets you keeps on winding and stopping as long as there is film or backing paper going through the camera. Therefore you can get one bonus negative.

01-04-2010, 20:57
here are my instructions for cutting 120 film down and loading onto 828 spools:


have fun.

(and yes, you have aquired one of the most beautiful cameras ever made.)