Old Brownie No 0 missing lens, fix

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Christopher Walrath, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

    Messages:
    7,114
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Location:
    In a darkroo
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well, a friend gave me an old Brownie No. 0 that he got in an estate. It was missing the lens so I took an old lens from a dismantled 6x6 Wirgin folder (Wollensak Anistigmat f/4.5) and the back casing of the front group fits into the front lens hole with the metal ring that was crimped around the front face removed. Now to find some 127 film to test focusing and then shoot.
     
  2. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

    Messages:
    2,385
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Location:
    Boston area
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Was it really missing the lens or is it a simple meniscus, behind the shutter arrangement? Many of the early Kodaks used that set-up, to good effect.
     
  3. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

    Messages:
    7,114
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Location:
    In a darkroo
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    There was a lens element behind the shutter but the front hole on the outside of the box was open and the shutter exposed to the elements and dust and all that nasty stuff.
     
  4. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

    Messages:
    2,385
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Location:
    Boston area
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I believe it was made to be that way. I have two of the box brownies and a folder that are that way. The folder actually gets used a good bit. No problems with "that nasty stuff" yet. Take some pictures before modifying it, you may be surprised.
     
  5. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

    Messages:
    479
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I think you're right, but it sounds like that point has been passed, Whitey. Now it's going to be a new sort of lens altogether :smile:

    Nathan
     
  6. amuderick

    amuderick Member

    Messages:
    283
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    The box camera is supposed to have an empty hole in the front. It is a single element miniscus lens. The only reason to put something on the front is to use a Kodak Portrait Attachment.
     
  7. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    2,385
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Location:
    Cleveland, O
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Think of it the other way around - the shutter is protecting the lens. The recessed lens position also turns the front hole into a functional sun-shade.

    The early box cameras were designed correctly. For optimum optical performance with a meniscus lens the proper position for the stop is in front.

    The present exposed lens design for a box camera is for aesthetics. And I guess the lens now protects the shutter, but now the lens is exposed.
     
  8. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

    Messages:
    2,385
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Location:
    Boston area
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Point taken.
     
  9. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

    Messages:
    7,114
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Location:
    In a darkroo
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    No, haven't done anything drastically stupid yet. Was on the verge, though. Whitey saves the day for nostalgia again. Thanks, Whitey.
     
  10. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

    Messages:
    2,385
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Location:
    Boston area
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Not trying to save anything, Chris. Just giving options, is all. Thanks for the comment, though. The "Frankin-lens" you described making may actually be pretty neat. Perhaps a cobbled together version will tell you what you might most benefit from having.
     
  11. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

    Messages:
    7,114
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Location:
    In a darkroo
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yeah, I'm gonna try it out before affixing anything. It would be unique and a great topic of conversation to boot. Got the film comin' regardless. Thank you all for your comments. I really do appreciate the time you all took.