Kodak Motormatic 35F

by Karen Nakamura


The Kodak Motomatic 35 is a unique 35mm zone-focus camera made by Kodak between 1960-62. They then came out with the Motormatic 35F with a built-in flash which they sold from 1962-67. It was designed to be a simple camera for the average person. The user would set the shutter-speed, but the camera would set the aperture automatically.

What's unique about this camera is the spring-wind motor. It requires film in the camera to engage. Once you put in film and wind up the motor, you can shoot 5-7 frames in quick succession before you have to wind the motor more. The camera has a maximum firing rate of about 2 fps.

The camera is zone-focus. In the viewfinder, CLOSE - GROUP -SCENE appear so you know where you're focusing.

The camera takes flash bulbs which can be pushed into a socket that pops up out of the top of the camera. All in all, it's a well-designed if very clunky camera.


For some reason, I have two of these cameras in near-mint condition with cases, so I'm selling them. Please make me a reasonable offer.


















Overview and Personal Comments



Interesting quirks



Technical Details

Camera Name
Motormatic 35 Motormatic 35F
Place of Manufacture


Date of Manufacture
1960-62 1962-67
Focusing System

Zone focus: CLOSE - GROUP - SCENE


Kodak Ektanar 44mm f/2.8


Kodak Automatic Shutter

Kodak Automatic Flash Shutter
1/40, 1/80, 1/125, 1/250

Metering System

Shutter-priority selenium metering


f/2.8 - f/32

  Built-in bulb flash holder
Film type / speeds

Type 135 (35mm standard film)
24x36mm frame size

ASA 10-800

Battery type
Dimensions and weight


Retail price
$109.50 in 1960 $119.50 in 1962



About Kodak

Let me get something straight: Kodak was never about high quality photography. George Eastman wanted to make photography available for the masses, to put a camera in every hand. Previously, photography was a messy, icky affair with wet chemistry glass plates that had to be coated before each exposure and processed immediately in a darkroom tent. You literally needed your own pack mule to take photos anywhere.

Kodak developed the technique of putting film emulsion onto a thin flexible backing and thus developed the first roll film. Kodak also gave us the numbering system (Type 135 for 35mm film; Type120/220 for medium format roll film, etc.). Originally, 35mm film was designed solely for motion picture usage. It was Oscar Barnack's brilliant idea to use it for still photography that led to the Leica, and the development of 35mm miniature cameras.

Despite the fact that I'm a technical snob and wouldn't use (or touch!) any Kodak camera except a Nagel-type Retina and a film snob so the only Kodak film I use is Tri-X (I'm Fuji Film all the way otherwise), I do have to credit Kodak (and Leica) with making photography available to everyone. Otherwise, we'd all still be hauling heavy glass plate cameras around on our pack mules. If you think your SUV gets bad mileage! ...


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