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  1. #1

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    Brownie Box cameras

    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. #2
    smieglitz's Avatar
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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

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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. #4

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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. #5

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    You can check this site for a little info on the No 2 Hawkeye Model C

    http://cameras.bretculp.com/pages/2hawkeyec.htm

    Gord

  6. #6
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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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. #7
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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. #8
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by battra92
    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.
    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...
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  9. #9
    battra92's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Qualls
    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.
    Exactly. Rodinal, HC-110 or D-76 are far from expensive per roll of film.


    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...
    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.

  10. #10
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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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...
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

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