3-A Folding Brownie

Discussion in 'Antiques and Collecting' started by Joze, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. Joze

    Joze Member

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    I have just become the proud owner of an Eastman-Kodak 3-A Folding Brownie (manufactured 1909 -1913). This took 122 film, which as far as I know is not available in the U.K. Does anyone know if it's possible to use this camera? I have the original wood and metal take-up spool. Is it possible to adapt other 'classic camera' film or 120 film or even large format in some way? (the neg. size would be 8.5x14cm). Any help would be appreciated!

    Joze
     
  2. John Bartley

    John Bartley Member

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    Hello Joze,

    I also have one of these and have thought about making an adaptor system so that I could use 120 or 220 film on it. I don;t think it would be too difficult, but it seems an awful lot of work (time).
    Mine came from my great-uncle who was a photography enthusiast and did his own developing and printing starting in the late 19-teens, and I'd would like to run just one more roll thru' it in honor of him.
    I'll be watching this thread with interest

    cheers
     
  3. JHannon

    JHannon Member

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    The 122 film size is usually 3 1/4 x 5 1/2. The Ansco Vest Pocket Junior for example uses 120 film and the size is 2 1/4 x 3 1/4. The roll is 1 inch wider for 122. It would probably be very difficult unless you can make a mask to fit the film window and some way of extending the winder/takeup.

    If you want to spend $31 a roll Central Camera sells 122, 126 and other odd sized hand rolled from Tri-X and Plus X. Color is also available.

    Too bad there is no easy way, I have a few older format cameras too...

    Regards,
    John
     
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  4. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    In B&W Photography isue 45 there is an article, "Car boot conversions", on that subject by a Trevor Ashby. Its quite interesting and it seems easy to do the conversions including the changing of the lens to e.g. an 90mm Angulon.
    He shows some 120 spools extended with parts of a spare spool sawed into pieces and glued onto another one.
    Regards Søren
     
  5. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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  6. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    The easiest way to take one picture would be to tape a piece of sheet film into the back of the camera - orthochromatic film would be easier if you need to cut it to size, as you can work under red safelight.
     
  7. 127

    127 Member

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    Central Camera (http://www.central-camera.com/) in chicago sell it, but you don't want to know the price, even before they ship it to the UK. I'm guessing there must be some arial film size that can be cut down easily.

    If you're 3a brownie is anything like mine, the entire front assembly seperates from the back. It should be pretty trivial to build a new back from mdf which will take a sheet film holder. I bought mt 3a with the intention of doing this, but haven't got round to it yet.

    Ian
     
  8. JHannon

    JHannon Member

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    Thanks for the information Søeren. I was also thinking you would have to use the thinner 630 spool Vs the newer 120 so it will fit. If you somehow could find the original 122 spools, spacers could be added but you would have to still hand wind the 120 film.
     
  9. athanasius80

    athanasius80 Member

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    Here's what I did. You get a (approximately) 6x12 cm negative from this method. I took backing paper from a roll of 120 film, and cut pieces to work as film guides. Scotch tape in place, and its a reversible change. Use the original 122 spool for the take up spool. Center a roll of 120 using dowels or whathave you. (I remember using coins taped together.) Now you need a donor roll of film, because you're going to expose a roll with the back off, and mark where the exposures end. My Kodak 3A had the Autographic door, so I could compare my marked up roll with a roll loaded in the camera and (in theory) avoid double exposures. Give it a try, I wish you luck.
     
  10. Joze

    Joze Member

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    Thanks to all for your prompt and helpful replies. This is my first post to this forum, and I can guarantee there will be more!

    A couple of questions

    - Soeren, is that Black & White Photography, that's published in Lewes, U.K.?


    - athanasius, I feel there are real gems of wisdom, here, but could you clarify a couple of points?

    Could you tell me how exactly you made the guides? Were they placed along the back of the camera?

    As I don't have the Autographic door (I'm not sure what this is, so can't visualise it either) do you think it would work to simply work out the number of turns of the take-up spool, and count these each time?

    -David, - I've used Ilford Ortho Copy to make enlarged negs for cyanotypes. Do you think this would work well or is there another brand you could reccommend?

    Thanks again. I'll definitely let you know how it goes. Keep me posted with any further insights!
    Regards,

    Joze
     
  11. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    Try Film for Classics. http://www.filmforclassics.com/

    I've gotten 122 film for my Folding Pocket Kodak 3A from them. I think there might be a minimum order of $100 for international orders, but someone here might be willing to get some for you and ship it to you.
     
  12. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Yes Joze, it's the British Black & White Photography. Where are you located ?
    Greetings Søren
     
  13. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    Somewhere on Bob Monaghan's extensive site, he had a page devoted to using 3A's as panoramic cameras although I can't find it at the moment. Here is a related page. The page I'm speaking offers a number of different ideas, one was to put a sheet of thin glass over the film plane in order to maintain film flatness.

    Another idea I've seen somewhere is to use the little plastic wall anchors normally used to put a screw into gypsum board ("sheetrock"). You just find a size that fits the 'nub' and insert one into either end of a 120 spool. Haven't tried it myself. In fact, I have a 3A awaiting this treatment, someday when I get a round tuit.

    Nathan
     
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  15. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    Here it is: Postcard Wide Angle Panoramic 6x12+cm Camera

    Nathan

    PS - keep us updated on this project, maybe it'll give me the required kick in the derierre to get my own 3A going :smile:
     
  16. Joze

    Joze Member

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    Soeren, I'm in the U.K. and know the magazine well, so no problem there (not sure why my location isn't in my profile as I thought I put it in & can't see how to change it..)
    Thanks, Diane and Nathan....I can see I'm going to have no excuse now, but to get on with it!
     
  17. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Nathen also a thanks from me. That site looks interesting.
    Regards Søren
     
  18. athanasius80

    athanasius80 Member

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    Joze et al,
    I'd be glad to clarify. Regarding the guides, think I just put in strips of Scotch tape running from one film roller to the other. In retrospect, I wouldn't do that again as it might scratch the film.
    You could work out the number of turns needed per exposure, but know that the turn rate will change. The takeup spool gets fatter as it goes through the roll, and each turn will pull a little more film through. Just take a donor roll of 120 and play with it I guess. :0)

    Don't worry about the Autographic door. Most all Kodaks from the mid-Teens to about 1930 had a flip up door or slider in the back of the camera body where you could write information on the negative when using special Kodak Autographic film. It was a marketing feature that no one seemed to use.

    Don't be shy if I can be of further assistance.
     
  19. John Cook

    John Cook Member

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  20. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    Even though the film is expensive, it stikes me that the easiest way to handle it would be to get a couple few rolls and then buy some bulk film to cut down. Once you have the dimensions to cut and have the correct spools and paper, you can just keep rolling your own.
     
  21. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    I took the lens off mine at the weekend and mounted it on a lens panel for my Shen Hao... Took it for trip to the upper reaches of the Thames at New Bridge - interesting name for a bridge built over 700 years ago (and still sitting on its original Elm foundations)...

    Very disappointing: the lens is far too good! Below are two scans of the FP4+ neg (ID-11 1+1) taken at f/11 - a full 4x5 scan and a closeup of an edge detail. Usual excuses apply for the scan quality (in this case somewhat justified as the closeup is scanned at 3200 ppi for which the Epson 3200 photo scanner really does not have a good enough lens). A bit of sharpening applied to compensate for the mushy scanner lens.

    Given that the telephone wires are at at the edge of the 4x5" negative, and are sharp as a razor on the neg, that's not at all bad for the lens (complete with fungus). You can easily count the slates on the roof of The Rose Revived pub.

    Cheers, Bob.
     

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  22. Joze

    Joze Member

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    I've just caught up with the thread (sorry, haven't been paying attention!). I think it probably would be worth getting some of the 122 film, if only for the spools, as suggested - the problem for me personally is it's not available in the U.K. and any method of getting it here has got to be expensive. I think I might try something like Ilford Ortho Copy sheet film - I've used it before for enlarging negs - do you reckon it would work O.K.? Any reasons why it wouldn't? Just to try it out, anyway (Do you think black card might work as a mask?). Ordinary life has caught up with me recently (as it does) and already I've put the camera to one side. Don't want to, though, I'm convinced I'm going to be surprised at the good quality images it's possible to get with it!
    Good wishes to all, keep the comments coming!
    Jo
     
  23. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Last I looked, Film for Classics was processing, but not selling 122, 124, and similar films wider than 70 mm. They may still be able to provide precut reloads for 116/616, since that's just unperforated 70 mm, but 122 and 124 are 90 mm wide, actually a bit larger than 9x12 cm sheet film (which is about 88 mm to allow for the film sheath and fit where a 90 mm glass plate did). Spools are easily fabricated from hobby brass sheet and dowel stock, of course; you can obtain aerographic film and cut it to width with a slitter (the 9 1/2" size won't quite produce three 90 mm strips, sadly), but backing paper is a real killer; the best method I've seen for 116/616 is to make it up from two strips of 120, but even that may not work for 122 and 124 because of the very long frame spacing -- almost 4 1/2 inches in 124 and just over 5 1/2 inches in 122.

    J&C Photo seemingly has a source of usable backing, and a semi-tame coating and cutting capability for their Pro 100 in 120 -- I wonder if they might be convinced to produce a run of 116/616 and 122 or 124 reloads (film and backing to fit customer spools) or complete film (with fabricated spools) in this stock. The question might just be, how big would the order have to be to get a custom cut.

    It's nice film for the price...
     
  24. Kevin Roach

    Kevin Roach Member

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  25. egdinger

    egdinger Member

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    Do you have any pictures of your 3A to show. I have a kodak folder that I can't positivly identify, but I belive it is a 3A.

    I have ran a respooled 120 onto a 122 spool, I just haven't devolped it yet, so I can't tell you if it works fine or not. But you will have to cover up the red window so you don't fog the film, it's edges don't cover the window.
     
  26. MenacingTourist

    MenacingTourist Member

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    Here's some pics of a 3a I just sent to Jeremy...
     

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