This article was originally published by Roger and Betty Reinke as part of an eBay auction, published here with permission. It provides indentification of numerous collectors "points" relating to the first and last Ektras produced.



Dealers of Rare and Collectible Photographic Equipment

Roger & Betty Reinke
16833 SE 93rd Cuthbert Circle
The Villages, FL 32162
                        Phone: 352-751-1633

(Not all photos are of bodies 1002 and 5833 .. although most are)


It has always been believed that there is virtually NO difference between the first Ektra and the LAST made Ektra cameras, but when you own one at each end of the manufacturing period spectrum (theoretically 7 years ... 1941 to 1948), it is much easier to notice the differences .. one of them fairly substantial!!

Supposedly 2,500 EKTRA cameras were made, but since we own both Ektra #1002 and Ektra #5833 it would seem to totally dispute that notion. In that we own EKTRA SN 1002 and SN 3426 (a difference of 2,424 cameras), we think that these two cameras may constitute the bulk of that initial serial number range of 2500 cameras.

When the additional cameras that were supposedly manufactured AFTER WWII, using left over parts, it seems to me that this second batch started a new numbering sequence .. with a 1,000 to 1,400(?) gap between the two sequences. The company may have started a new serial number at approx. 4800 (we own SN 4802 and 5833) and went on making them to approx. 5833. This second manufactured "batch" of parts manufactured cameras may have been approximately 1,000 cameras. I have been monitoring EKTRA serial numbers over the years, and find this theory to be quite plausible!!

In speaking with an old time Kodak employee, he told me that the Kodak Company had the habit of giving a number of EKTRAs out, during the war, to influential people / businesses in order to gain special favors, special equipment, special recognition, special contracts, etc. If this is fact, we will probably NEVER know the actual TRUE number of EKTRA cameras made.

The Kodak EKTRA II (one known with a serial number of 7021) may have started a new serial number "block" at approximately SN 7000, but there may have been another large empty space between the second "block" of numbers and the third block (of SN 7000).



    The first (factory made) approx. Serial Number "block"

1,001 to 3,500?

    An unused Serial Number "block"

3,500 to 4,800?

    The second (leftover parts) approx. Serial Number "block"

4,800 to 5,800?

    An unused Serial Number "block"

5,800 to 7,000?

    The proposed third "block" (for Kodak EKTRA II cameras?)

7,000 to ?
  Every Serial Number may not have been used, in any "block".  

  Still hard to see because of bad lighting, one model camera uses a spanner wrench screw head and the same screw in the other body used a straight slot screw head.


  SN 1002 and 5833.
#1002 is the 2nd or 3rd EKTRA made (and is still in the prototype stage .. as is the lens that was on it). It is interesting to note that in the original Kodak Ektra Instruction Book and separate Ektra brochure, two different cameras/camera serial numbers are shown (1004 and 1040) .. in the same book/brochure.


  Note that one body (the later model) has a small round inspection entry plate.

  The EKTRA top plates show different shape strap lugs. Also there is a different size and shape curved oval counter window .. which can be seen better in a later photo.
  This shows perhaps the GREATEST design change (on the top dial). It is completely different in the patent papers and earlier bodies .. than it shows in the later models.

Note that in the earlier model bodies the retard speed dial goes from B, 1, 2, 5, 10 and then a small o.

On the later model bodies, the dial sequences continued on to 25-1000.

It is also quite interesting that the early Ektra books show both types of retard dials in the same book's pictorial information.

  A better view of the curved oval counter windows. The window on the right hand camera is longer and is cut wider.

  Different shaped leather insert pieces.
Note the No. 152 on the bottom dial and 153 on the top dial.

  Different shaped bottom inner lugs.

  Inner body numbers .. indicating the numbers of each handmade back, as well as the number of backs made for each EKTRA body (in this case, four backs were made for this body). Finding a body and ALL the indicated backs made for it is an almost impossible task. Many have been lost or paired with other (wrong) bodies. As they were "handmade matched" bodies and backs.

  Serial numbers on two ends of the inner body. The C-2613 on the left hand side of the top photo is intended to match the body's serial number. The number on the right end serves an unknown function.

The second photo shows that a number engraved on the metal body end plate and the bodies have different serial numbers.
NOTE: This is not a mismatched back, as every Ektra that I have examined has two different number sequences at these points.

  EKTRA Patent papers.

  The exterior of the ONLY EKTRA ORIGINAL BOX that I have EVER seen. (Not included with this listing.)

  The interior of the same box .. a Display type interior!

  An inner body number. I do not know it's significance at this time.

  The Serial Number 1002 body has a patent number list in the inner body cavity. The later body does not.

  The Serial Number 1002 prototype body came with a prototype 35/3.3 lens .. NOT a complete lens, as such.


05/18/2007 4:15