Brownie Box cameras

Discussion in 'Antiques and Collecting' started by noexit, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. noexit

    noexit Member

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    Anyone know what film speed was intended for use in 1930's Kodak Box cameras? I've got a No. 2 HawkEye model C that I'd like to put a roll of film through.
     
  2. smieglitz

    smieglitz Subscriber

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    Most of the Brownie box camera models I've seen have 3 different aperture settings via a sliding strip at the top and also either Instantaneous (I) or Bulb (B) exposures via a lever on the side. This gives you quite a bit of flexibility with these simple cameras in terms of exposure. For sunny days I bet ISO 100 film would work nicely at one of the smaller apertures assuming the shutter speed is about 1/100 second.

    Joe
     
  3. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    when investigating the workings of a Box Brownie 620 Junior (my mothers) for a similar reason, I found a site that had lots of info on them, but have no idea of the URL. try some googling, it's out there somewhere! I have found for my Brownie, it works best with 400iso film on the small aperture setting. I've found I need to use the smaller aperture setting for sharpness and DOF (no focusing). On full sun days the negs have been overexposed a bit, but that's easier to deal with than underexposed! I don't use it enough to fine tune the film selection and development more than that. I have negatives made from the camera when it was new, and wanted to see if I could produce a neg from it too. All good fun!
     
  4. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    I once tested an old Brownie and found the shutter was precisely 1/60 second. Not bad considering how simple the shutter was and how old the camera.

    Peter Gomena
     
  5. gordrob

    gordrob Subscriber

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  6. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    I almost always used Verichrome Pan (post-1960 ASA 125) in my Brownie Hawkeye when I had it and was generally happy with the exposures in full sun. For modern films, FP4+ or Plus-X Pan, J&C Pro 100, or Fomapan 100 would be good choices in good light (sunny or hazy); if it's a little gloomier ISO 400 (TMY, Tri-X, or Classic 400) would be a better choice.

    If you're talking about older Brownie cameras, it's possibly they might have slower shutters and smaller apertures (the Hawkeye was f/16, but some of the cardboard box cameras ran to f/18 or even f/22 and shutters ranged from 1/25 up to 1/60), but my experience has been that they still work pretty well with ISO 100 in sunny conditions.
     
  7. battra92

    battra92 Member

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    When I use old classic cameras like the Brownies, Ansco Panda etc. I tend to use 100 speed film on a bright sunny summer day. With a gloomy winter day, you could get by with 400. I tend to assume that most box cameras are about f/8 or f/11 with a shutter speed of 1/60th or 1/100th.

    Thing with a box camera is to have fun with it and not worry so much. I tend to put my cheapest B&W film (Arista.edu) in them and see what happens.
     
  8. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Very true -- if you process your own film, you're only into the camera for your purchase price plus about $3, film and processing, if you shop around for bottom-price B&W and use an economical developer. Heck, I paid $3 for a Polaroid this past spring, and spend $30 on a double-pack of Type 669 -- and got about 2 in-focus images from the whole 20 exposures, because the camera had a bent strut. Your box camera *cannot* be as bad as that...

    The good news is, that Polaroid is now one of my better pinhole cameras... :smile:
     
  9. battra92

    battra92 Member

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    Exactly. Rodinal, HC-110 or D-76 are far from expensive per roll of film.


    That's one of the reasons I'm not really into collecting Polaroids. They are way too expensive per shot and I like to play with my cheap cameras.

    Vintage rangefinders and such love to shoot on bulk loaded Fomapan 100 that costs less than a dollar a roll. :wink:
     
  10. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Battra, I don't mind the cost of Polaroid that much -- if you figure that's including processing and a print, it's not really that much more than commercially handled color, and I get that print back in less than two minutes (or five minutes or so with the integral films -- 600, Spectra, 500, etc.). Type 667 can be had for a little under a dollar a print -- and that's ISO 3000; my Model 350 will let me hand hold in good indoor light without flash (f/8.8).

    OTOH, if I hadn't used 669 in that 210, I'd never have noticed that stuff *behind* the subject was in focus and determined the need to convert to pinhole; I'd have kept getting slightly fuzzy B&W prints until I gave up...

    Yeah, I shoot bulk loads in 35 mm, too, but in 120, which is the bulk of my film consumption, the best I can do is about $1.39/roll. That's still not bad, though, and some of that is relabeled Foma 100 -- which is film I first got to know in 9x12 cm in my plate cameras, and eminently worth the time. It likes HC-110 and Rodinal, BTW... :wink:
     
  11. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    Brownies are great fun as are all the box cameras. I tend to use the ones with built in yellow and close up filters, makes them more versatile. My current user is a Flash 111 and I use tri-x with the filter in place. Another good 'un is the Zeiss box tengor which has sort of focussing and variable apertures. I am starting to add classics to my web page and have already two cameras up. I'm doing box cameras this month and should have it posted by the next day or two. Nothing too deep just a brief overview and a cople of photos taken with that particular camera- gives me an excuse to get out and use them! You can access the site by googling Tony Lockerbie (first light photography)
     
  12. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    The neat thing to do with Brownies is to put slide film in them (see some pics in my gallery). The color saturation is surprising but because the lenses are not corrected you get way cool faded colors effect. Plus you can invest in a flash unit and play with bulbs (see my avatar) to simplify exposure even more.
     
  13. papisa

    papisa Member

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    Brownie Holiday Flash Camera.

    Just went into one of my dressers and pulled out this camera, is this the same one you are talking about, i think we bought it in either 52 or 55.
    The camera is dark brown in color, to open it has on each side 2 crome slides made out of metal that you push down to open the camera to put the film in and the neck or carrying strp is attached to it.
    On the cameras left side with you looking at it from the front it is to your right there are 3 round metal pieces sticking out, the top one is solid with a small tit sticking out like to make contack, # 2 down is threaded on the inside, # 3 is center drilled open, like a to put a male end in it.

    The face of the camera is metal with 2 small screws holding the face plate on, round the camera lens which is dard brown in color it reads Made in the U.S.A. by Eastman Kodak Company.
    Then it says Kodet Lens, on the main body of the camera all it has is YMRR in capitol letters in side and a serial # on the back piece, the serial # is 125480, that is all the information that is on the camera.

    Mike.
     
  14. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    The Brownie Holiday Flash is a little different from the Brownie Hawkeye Flash -- first, it probably takes 127 film, and has a different viewfinder arrangement. The flash connector is the standard one for Kodak in the 1950s; there were at least four models of flash that fit that connector, from the oldest that uses #5 and 25 bulbs (big bayonet types that will leave your subjects seeing spots for hours) to the last version, the Supermite, that uses AG-1 (and a European version that use Phillips PF-1 baseless bulbs) -- there was also a version for M2 and M3, and the Rotary Flasholder that held *six* M2 or M3 and allowed changing bulbs in about one second, while the supply held out -- just pull, twist, and release and you have a fresh bulb in the bowl. BTW, the lower two points are the contacts; the upper is just to locate and stabilize the flash unit against the camera.

    The YMRR code is a "CAMEROSITY" coded number, which translates as 0355, indicating your camera was made in early 1955.

    You can buy Efke 100 film in 127 size from J&C Photo; if the lens is clean and the shutter still works, that camera will make images just as good now as it did 50 years ago.
     
  15. Fred Haeseker

    Fred Haeseker Member

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    I read somewhere on a vintage camera site that the general shutter speed and aperure on box cameras was about 1/40 or so at f11. Back in the distant past I used my first camera (Argus 75) with 620-size Plus-X (ASA 100 then, I think) and got good results on bright days. Later I picked up a No. 3 Model B box Brownie dated around 1920 and got even better besults. It boasted 3 f-stops and used 122 film, then still available in Verichrome Pan. 122 film yielded 8 exposures 3-1/4 x 4-1/4 inches, which made for fine contact prints. Too bad 122 film is no longer available anywhere. I've seen no. 122 contact prints shot with a postcard-size Graflex (3-1/4 x 5-1/4) which are just fabulous. Of course film emulsions contained a lot more silver in those days.
     
  16. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Just shot my first roll of film with the #2 and used asa 25 Efke. At largest aperture (hole size, not number size) the shot was ok, but slightly thin. I estimated the shutter speed to be between 1/30th and 1/15th based of comparing it to a LF lens. Focal length with slide gave f11, f22, f42. I'm trying FP4 next with this camera and it should be just right. See my most recent upload to the gallery for the shot. tim
     
  17. sjperry

    sjperry Member

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    Coincidently, I recently sold an Argus 75 that I had picked up at an estate sale. I has taken a roll of film with it, and you can get pretty good shots. Surprising really how well some of the simple one aperature/ one shutter speed cameras work. They use a small aperature for good depth of field, and a quick enough shutter that you usually won't move the camera while its open. By the way 122 film IS avaiable from Film for Classics, but it is expensive ($20 for Plus-X Pan).
    Steve Perry