Kodak Instamatic 304  –  Vintage Camera

Kodak Instamatic 304 (three quarters)

Kodak Instamatic 304 (three quarters)

Kodak Instamatic 304 (three quarters)

Kodak Instamatic 304 (three quarters)

Kodak Instamatic 304 (front view)

Kodak Instamatic 304 (front view)

Kodak Instamatic 304 (rear view)

Kodak Instamatic 304 (rear view)

Kodak Instamatic 304 (top view)

Kodak Instamatic 304 (top view)

Sears 2.8 / Easi-Load (top view)

Sears 2.8 / Easi-Load (top view)

Kodak Instamatic 304 (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Kodak Instamatic 304 (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Kodak Instamatic 304 (three quarters)Kodak Instamatic 304 (three quarters)Kodak Instamatic 304 (front view)Kodak Instamatic 304 (rear view)Kodak Instamatic 304 (top view)Sears 2.8 / Easi-Load (top view)Kodak Instamatic 304 (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Kodak Instamatic 304 Specifications

Manufacturer: Eastman Kodak Company
   
Country of Origin: USA
   
Made in: Rochester, NY, USA
   
Introduced: 1965
   
Camera Type: Viewfinder
   
Format: 126 Film
   
Dimensions (cm): 10.4 x 6.2 x 5.8

Kodak Instamatic 304 Review

The Kodak Instamatic 304 is one of the more technologically advanced cameras in Kodak’s famous Instamatic line with a then-sophisticated automatic aperture system controlled by a selenium meter (seen on the front next to the viewfinder). It has a relatively simple Kodar 41mm f/8 lens with two shutter speeds: 1/90 and 1/40 for flash photography.

This Instamatic is also one of the first to use flash cubes, plastic rotating cubes that have four single-use zirconium foil flash bulbs good for four exposures before you eject it by pressing the little black button under the light meter. Like other Instamatics, the film advance lever is recessed (into the side, in this case) while the relatively unusual rocker switch style shutter button sits on top of the camera.

The Kodak Instamatic 304 retailed for $44.50 when it was brand new which comes out to the modern price of about $325 and I think I know why. The hefty 304 feels rock solid in your hand and inspires confidence in ways that other Instamatics (and, let’s be honest, most modern compact cameras) simply can’t. Couple that with cutting edge technology and I begin to see why someone would shell out seemingly silly amounts of money for a camera. Fortunately for me, I only shelled out $4.

References:

McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown’s Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 2001-2002. (Grantsburg: Centennial Photo Service, 2001), 348.

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