Box Cameras

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by brofkand, Oct 4, 2008.

  1. brofkand

    brofkand Member

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    I am more or less "anti-Holga." I think they are overpriced for what they are. But, I still want to get a Holga-esque look, but without spending $30 for something that fogs film and the like.

    So, are there any readily available box cameras that use 120 film? I have a Kodak Target Six-20 that I have used a few times, but it's a bit of a pain to re-roll the film to get it to work. I'm considering selling it and buying a box camera that can use 120 film outright. Any suggestions?

    Thanks!
     
  2. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    look for an agfa sure shot
    they took 120 film ..

    you might also look here: http://www.boxcameras.com/
    for some ideas as well.

    good luck!

    john
     
  3. brofkand

    brofkand Member

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    John:

    Thanks. Do you know if anyone still makes box cameras?
     
  4. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Also, the Zeiss Ikon Box Tengors also took 120 film. There are prewar and postwar models.

    However, the Goerz Frontar lens on the Box Tengor might be too sharp for what you want.

    You could always look for an inexpensive Agfa, Zeiss Ikon (Nettar or Ikonta), Balda or Welti folder. The Voigtlander folding cameras currently are unjustifiably expensive.
     
  5. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Member

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    I've just started playing with a
    Brownie Hawkeye. It needs a
    620 take-up spool but you can
    load it with 120 film -- the 120
    spools will fit in the film chamber.

    A number of older Brownies take
    120 film. I believe that all of the
    No. 2 Brownies, including the Beau
    Brownie, use 120 film.

    Brofkand asks for a camera that
    makes a Holga-like negative. You
    can flip a Brownie's meniscus lens
    for a very cool look. I'm attaching
    a shot I just took using a Brownie
    Hawkeye with a flipped lens onto
    120 Tri-X roll film.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. dried_squid

    dried_squid Member

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    It's hard for me to concentrate on the whole picture.
     
  7. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes, well, thats ok, I remember what things were like when I was 14.
     
  8. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    No.2 Brownies won't give you a holga look at all. They were designed to give more or less full, sharp coverage of a 6x9 negative.
    Holgas aren't really as bad as you might think. The fogging/lightleaks normally comes from rolls being rolled improperly. Once you learn to very carefully line up the backing paper on the takeup spool (and get a new holga that has the little foam inserts to give you better spool tension), you should get very few light leaks. This set of photos were taken with my old holga that i've glued foam into the, um, full spool end for lack of a better term. I loaded and unloaded it in normal light, sent it through the post to a lab for development etc. http://www.flickr.com/photos/fishies_go_pook/sets/72157607747060754/
    These are examples of Brownie No.2 photos http://www.flickr.com/photos/fishies_go_pook/sets/72157607747320758/
     
  9. jmooney

    jmooney Member

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    I actully just picked up 2 box cameras for eBay. They're LF box cams...I've never heard of them till I stumbled on them the other day. The sellers listed them as 4X5 but I think they're actually plate cameras of some sort. I paid Holga like prices and expect Holga like results so they'll be something fun to mess with.

    Antique Pre 1900 Box Camera;

    [​IMG]


    Vintage 4x5 Sears & Roebuck Perfection Camera:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    Look for box cameras using 120 film at garage sales and swap meets. There were literally hundreds of different makes available.
     
  11. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    WHy don't you put these beauties up for sale in the classified section of this forum? I am sure many would be interested, but of course you have to set a price rather than auction them.
     
  12. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    An alternative is a Spiratone Portragon, occasionally pops up on ebay. Turns your Nikon into a Diana, sans light leaks etc..

    A cheaper Krappy-Kamera is an Empire Baby, takes 127 film. There are quite a few really bad 127 cameras available, usually too crappy to make it to ebay.
     
  13. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi

    i don't think anyone still makes box cameras, too bad they aren't being
    re-introduced as an alternative to the holga. no-focus, point and shoot,
    sharp or not so sharp image sounds good to me!


    john
     
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  15. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i have the same things!
    they are just like the delmar ...
    and they take a modern film holder
    AND polaroid 545 backs :smile:
    if you need to clean the shutter/s
    there are 4 screws on the face plate that can
    be removed, and the whole thing pops off.
    the shutter is a simple guillotine.
    usually after 100 +/- years
    there is a little bit of debris and lint / dustbunnies in the shutter, and
    it can be cleaned ( pick the lint and stuff out ) and lubed
    ( drop of sewingmachine oil on a toothpick ) and put back on the box.

    demar good

    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=32742&ppuser=682
     
  16. Nigel

    Nigel Member

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    I find this very difficult to believe.
     
  17. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Sure there are, and as popular as ever, the modern box camera is called a 'disposable' - and it is back to the original concept of the Kodak box camera: you return the whole thing for processing and never have to touch the film.

    They seem to be putting 2-element lenses into the things, though. Bummer.
     
  18. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi nicholas,

    yes, i agree the 35mm disposable is kind of like the original concept,
    but there is not a 120 format box camera,
    that the user can load and unload the film into.

    127 format too crappy to make it to ebay??
    my first camera was a box that took 127 film, a flashfun, it was great!

    john
     
  19. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    I don't think 120 is ever going to be a consumer film again. The original Holga [made for the Chinese market and using 120 film because it doesn't require an enlarger to make prints] was probably the last of the breed.

    There are some reusable 35mm crappy cameras, I don't know if they are being made new: "Time Magazine", "Benz Gant" ... The Benz Gant advertisements are a scream - see the 'heard the news' section of junk store cameras, below.

    http://www.merrillphoto.com/JunkStoreCameras.htm has reviews and sample shots.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 5, 2008
  20. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i think you are right :smile:
    that website is great, thanks !

    john
     
  21. brofkand

    brofkand Member

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    There are simply too many choices in the box camera realm. It's impossible to know which one to look for, and how much is too much to pay. I'll probably just keep using the Brownie. It's not too big of a hassle to re-roll 120 film. I just need to get a changing bag so I can do it while watching TV :smile:
     
  22. cordeliaflyte

    cordeliaflyte Member

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    unconstructive comment: that black box of wooden film holders is seriously sexy.

    somewhat redundant comment: I find that almost every antique/old-junk store has at LEAST one box camera in it somewhere. Most are not worth more than $5 max, though I find that quite often they're marked all kinds of crazy prices, from $30-$250. Estate sales and estate auctions are also a good place to find old cameras. Sometimes at auctions you can even score crazy lots of cameras or bits of cameras. Fun fun fun!

    There are some great pages about box cameras on the web. This one's about Kodak Brownies, this one about box cameras generally.

    For that "crappy" holga-esque look, I would tend towards the plastic-lens era of box cameras. You can find things like the Kodak Holiday Flash and Ansco Panda (amongst many others) around and very cheap... even some earlier Kodak bakelite numbers, like the Baby Brownie (all three of those cameras take 127, though).
     
  23. Brian Bullen

    Brian Bullen Member

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    Go for the brownie hawkeye with the reversed lens, they're great! Easy to find and cheap. I have 2 and both were in the $5.00 range.
     

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  24. aparat

    aparat Member

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    May I suggest that you look for Druh Synchro or Ami 66. These are Polish plastic cameras, similar to Holga, but unique in their own ways. They take standard 120 film and should be very cheap.
     
  25. athanasius80

    athanasius80 Member

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    There's also the Ansco Shur-Shot, but its a neither-nor. Mine was neither sharp enough to be a typical camera nor fuzzy enough to be Holgaesque.
     
  26. elekm

    elekm Member

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    You're right -- I don't think there is a category "too crappy for eBay."

    If it doesn't disintegrate, then people will put it up for sale as "nearly mint."