Anyone Shoot with a Brownie?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by honeydo, May 18, 2008.

  1. honeydo

    honeydo Member

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    I have my Grandfather's Brownie. What kind of light conditions are best for shooting with it? I'm guessing sunny days.... Anyone have any pics to share?
     
  2. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Not on a regular basis, but earlier this year I ran a roll of Delta 100 through my Brownie Target 620 (after respooling the film). On a reasonably bright day, an ISO 100 film should be pretty decent. I vaguely recall the old Verichrome Pan was about 64 or 80. This camera has a little tab that slides a smaller aperture into place for beach or snow scenes. I suspect 400 films might get a bit overcooked.

    The camera has been in my posession since new -- not exactly sure when -- maybe 1950 or 51.

    DaveT
     
  3. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    Hi honeydo.Which Brownie are you speaking of? There are many.
     
  4. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    Some of my Brownie No.2 Shots. The -trans pages were shot on expired Agfa RSXII ISO 200 slide film. The scans don't really do the slides justice.
    http://www.stargazy.org/photos/dorset-trans/
    http://www.stargazy.org/photos/matlockbath-trans/ (the "vignetting" on the top of 06-07 is actually from window edge of a cable-car i was shooting through glass)
    Some of the stuff my husband shot in March with one of my Brownie No.2 (Model F)
    http://www.stargazy.org/photos/sullyBrownieUS/
    There's really nothing wrong with them, check out the information on brownie-cameras.com for approximate shutter speed (though I argue with their 1/60th or slower shutter speed estimate. I estimate mine at 1/100th - no worse than a modern Holga) and approximate apertures and bring along a handmeter. Don't bother shooting if conditions aren't right.

    I found the Brownie cameras ideal for getting into small contact printing for alt processes like cyanotype. In fact, for most of the last year of me working in cyanotype I've been using Brownie camera negs.
     
  5. honeydo

    honeydo Member

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    I've got the Brownie Hawkeye....no adjustments can be made on it. It was great....it came with a roll of film in it my grandfather exposed most of 40 years ago. I developed it and got wonderful pics of my sisters and uncle at Kennywood in Pittsburgh.
     
  6. honeydo

    honeydo Member

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    Great pictures. I think my favorite is the one with all the ice. I like ice :D And I liked the vignetting in the one set. I need to get some different film and run it thru and see how it goes.
     
  7. Stephen Frizza

    Stephen Frizza Member

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    I have a solid base of clients here in Sydney Australia who shoot on the brownies.
     
  8. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    The hawkeye is a lot of fun.One version takes standard 120 rolls.
    100 ASA B&W film,sunny day,ya can't go wrong.

    Mike
     
  9. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

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    Me and a friend shoot with Brownie Six-20's, (an E and an F), and just trim down 120 spools to fit properly. We've guessed the aperture at f/16, and the shutter speed around 1/60. Gotten some neat results, even some quite nice slides.
     
  10. dmr

    dmr Member

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    IIRC, Verichrome Pan, ca. mid 1960s, was ASA 125.
     
  11. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I've got a #3 Brownie that I'm using for wet-plate. The #3 has two shutter speeds - T and 1/xxxth, and three apertures - f11,f16,f22. It makes for some slow exposures, since wet plate has an ASA of about 1, give or take, kinda sorta. The #3 used an extinct rollfilm format that yielded approximately 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 inch negatives, which is coincidentally 1/4 plate size.
     
  12. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Hmmm -- you prompted me to dig a little -- yes according to my 1965 Kodak Master Darkroom Dataguide(!) Verichrome Pan was indeed 125.

    A Google search got me to a Kodak history page which says Verichrome Pan was introduced in 1956. That leads me to the sobering conclusion that I probably started out shooting plain ol' Verichrome without the "Pan." I'm pretty sure I got that camera as a gift circa 1950. Oy -- I can feel my joints creaking! :tongue:

    Thus far I haven't found a speed mentioned for plain Verichrome -- mayhaps that's where I got the 64/80 notion. Anyway, those 1940s and 50s box cameras should play reasonably well with 100 +/- negative films.

    (Oh - and I believe Kodachrome was ASA 10 when I first shot it. :rolleyes:smile:

    DaveT
     
  13. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Hello,

    I have shot a lot with my Brownie No. 2. This model takes 120 (makes eight 6x9 pix in this case), so is one of the best to get these days, since you can get the film in any photo store, unlike 620, 127, etc.

    The camera has three apertures (and one shutter speed, plus a T feature), which is a lot better than some Brownies. The pix are actually "decent" until you get out to the edges, where they get dark and soft. The smaller the aperture, the farther from the center of the frame is sharp, and the less vignetting you get.

    I have blown them up to 8x12, but I was after a kind of soft look. At 5x7 they look "sharp"...Brownie sharp, anyhow.

    They are "best" in bright sun, like most crummy cameras. But you might not want "best", depending on what you are after. I have used all sorts of films. I like Pan F the best. It seems to line up well with whatever was intended to go into the camera when it was new, meaning that the aperture settings are actually pretty accurate (sun, cloudy sun, shade, etc.). Pan F is usually a 25 film anyhow for me, so the camera must have been made with a 25 film in mind, or something thereabouts.

    You just have to shoot some and see what happens, then make adjustments the next time. Nothing is very accurate on them. That's why they are so fun, though.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2008
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  15. honeydo

    honeydo Member

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    Mine will take the 120 roll as long as I use the 620 for the take up.
     
  16. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    The Hawkeye is pretty neat with a flash attachment. I use it in daylight with 100 or 400 film, depending on what I have. At night, you have an open shutter setting that's pretty cool for making multiple exposures &c since the camera is essentially a TLR.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Wishy

    Wishy Member

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    I've just picked up a number 2 beau brownie (120) for not a lot of cash. Will be putting some film through it shortly :smile:
     
  18. dmr

    dmr Member

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    My dad used to say that Verichrome ortho and Super-XX were the two best films ever made and Big Yellow discontinued them about the same time, which was about when they came out with Verichrome Pan. He would kind of badmouth VP from time to time, citing it as a poor replacement for the original Verichrome and Super-XX.

    When I got my own first camera (a Brownie Starflash, about 8yo) Verichrome Pan was the only Kodak B&W film you could get for it. I would sometimes use Ansco All-Weather Pan, and quite honestly I don't think anybody could tell the difference between them. :smile:

    Yeah, I'm gettin' old too! :sad: :smile:
     
  19. amuderick

    amuderick Member

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    I frequently use a Kodak #2 Box Camera from 1930. I measured the aperture and shutter speed. The camera is designed for shooting ASA 25 film in full sun. With Fuji 800 speed film, I can shoot nicely around evening/dusk. I also use Efke 100 in sunlight and hold a #25 filter in front of the lens. I like the look of the single element lens but prefer glass to plastic. That's the same reason I prefer my Woca Holga to a regular Holga.
     
  20. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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    I, too, own a brand-spanking new (or so it looks!) Brownie Hawkeye. The original pre-flash version. Came with the original yellow Kodak box and a receipt for $5.50. But I beg to differ. Adjustments can be made to it. After a complete disassembly and cleaning, I made the following:

    * Measured the true f/stop value for the little fixed meniscus lens and the true shutter speed using a Calumet Shutter Tester. Came to almost exactly f/11 and about 1/40th of a second. A bit slow for anything moving (sometimes including me, unfortunately).

    * Using a tiny piece of appropriately curved black photographic tape, I masked off just enough of the rotary shutter blade opening to give me a measured 1/250th second at f/11. Much nicer.

    * Cut a small square from an extra Kodak Wratten #8 (yellow) gelatin filter and during reassembly placed it immediately behind the small internal square of glass that covers the lens. Normally there's about a 1-stop correction required for this filter.

    Since my tested and standardized EI for 120 HP5+ is 250, the overall net effect of these adjustments is that the camera is now a perfect-exposure machine for Sunny-16 days. And the now high-speed shutter means subjects are no longer motion-blurred. And the little monochrome filter works wonders to sharpen up the B&W images, as well as give me nicely rendered blue skies.

    And, yes, believe it or not, I have been asked - more than once - what kind of digital camera it is...

    Ken
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2008
  21. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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  22. amuderick

    amuderick Member

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    Ken, Thanks for the tip to 'speed up' the shutter. I'll have to give that a try. 1/40 is definitely causing me sharpness problems.
     
  23. mhcfires

    mhcfires Subscriber

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    I'm using a Target Six-20. I find it a pain to respool the 120 onto 620 spools, but it has been worth the effort. I use mostly Delta 100. Tri-X is a little too much for me with this camera.:smile:
     
  24. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    I am getting ready to try a few brownies that I have had for many years and never used: a Brownie Bullet camera (127 film), a No. 2 Box Brownie camera (120), and a Brownie Flash Six-20 (620). I have a lot of 120 size Ilford Pan-F plus 50ISO film, so will try that out also.

    Jon
     
  25. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    In the dark ages before ASA and ISO film speeds, the 1943 Kodak Films pamphlet listed orthochromatic Verichrome's Kodak speed as 250, Weston speed as 50, and GE speed as 80. Recommended exposure for average subjects in bright sunlight was f/11 at 1/50 second. The 1948 pamphlet listed orthochromatic Verichrome as daylight ASA 50 with the same recommended exposure. The 1953 pamphlet listed orthochromatic Verichrome as daylight 64 and the same recommended exposure. A 1981 Kodak Master Photoguide lists panchromatic Verichrome as ISO 125.
     
  26. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I love this Website.