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Dave Goodwin

Cine Kodak Model A rehab

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I recently acquired a pair of Cine Kodak Model As.  One is very nice cosmetically and the other is a bit rougher but not horrible.  Both crank very smoothly and the aperture controls work fine, but both exhibit a frozen focus adjustment, which I gather isn't too uncommon on these cameras.  The rougher one is also missing the metal cover over the front lens of the viewfinder.  Both are missing the hinged lens cover door.  The nicer one is missing its crank handle but I'll take the one from the rougher unit, turning it into a parts camera essentially, though I may try to make a handle at our local maker space for it later.

Does anyone know of any resources for the disassembly of the body and the lens on these machines?  Maybe a service manual, parts catalog or exploded diagram?  I'd really love to get one, or both, of these old timers back in operation but I don't want to just blindly hack on them unless there's no other way.

If anyone has, or knows of a source of parts for these also, I'd love to hear about it.  I'd like to find a lens cover and hinge some day.


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These were more or less the very first 16mm cameras, and since they haven't been manufactured for 90 years I think the only source of parts you'll find will be other cameras. I've never come across a repair manual or exploded diagram for them either. 

There used to be a Cine Camera Yahoo group led by Michael Cleveland (it might be a Facebook group now), who is something of an authority on early American 16mm cameras. I recall him trying to unfreeze a few Cine Kodak A lenses, and he has certainly pulled a few apart. In the end, you may need to dive in yourself and gain familiarity through experience. That's what I've done with countless cameras and lenses that never came with disassembly instructions. Take it slow, mark and document things as you go, and you'll be fine. 

You may not be able to unfreeze the lens if the metal surfaces have fused together, but try soaking it in penetrating oil or rust inhibitor, and using a little heat from a hair dryer. There is a danger of separating doublets, but the lens is useless as it is anyway.

There are a few interesting manuals and guides for early Cine Kodaks in the Internet Archive, but nothing to do with maintenance or repair unfortunately.




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Thanks all.  I did join the Facebook group and Michael did comment on a post there about the stuck focus.  It's sounding like fixing it may be very unlikely but I'll probably give it a shot anyway on one of the two.

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