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Kodak Pony 135 - 1950
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• Inexpensive 35mm from Kodak

• $34.75 in 1950 ($314 in 2010 dollars)

The Pony 828 was Kodak's first post-war inexpensive miniature camera; 828 was the same size as 35mm, but packaged as a roll film. The 135, which followed a year later, in 1950, took 35mm cartridges.

Because it had no sprocket holes, 828 film gave bigger pictures: 28x40mm instead of 24x36mm. There were just 8 exposures on a roll. (Kodak stopped making 828 film in 1985.)

The Pony 828 and 135 cameras were twins, except that the 828 needed no rewind knob. The 135's rewind knob was where the 828's film reminder was, Its viewfinder housing was wider, to hold the film reminder and the exposure counter.

Neither had a rangefinder, but they focused with a distance scale on the lens. Usually non-rangefinders have a slightly wide-angle lens to provide more depth-of-field, but not in the case of the Pony--it had a 51mm lens. But the widest aperture was only f4.5.

The Pony cameras were hugely popular, going through several versions. Kodak stopped making the Pony 828 in 1959 and the Pony IV, last of the 135 line, in 1961. (Instamatics, whose 126 film was also 35mm wide, came out in 1963 for the same market segment that the Pony had served.)

If you're a Baby Boomer and have slides your parents took in the 1950s, like the one shown below, there's a good chance they used a Kodak Pony.

Kodak Pony 135Kodak Pony 135Kodak Pony 135Kodak Pony 135
Kodak Pony 135Ad from Popular Photography, April 1950Ad from Popular Photography, July 1950Ad from Popular Photography, April 1951
Guide entry from Popular Photography, May 1951Ad from Popular Photography, July 1951Ad from Popular Photography, Oct. 1951Listing in Sears Camera Catalog, 1952
Taken with Pony 135 in 1956

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