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  1. #1

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    Brownie starflex camera

    I have come across a flea market find for $10 and wonder if anyone has any info on this camera. It says "Brownie Starflex Camera" "Dakon lens" and has options for shooting color or b/w. There is notation that says use 127 film??

    If anyone has any knowledge or info on this camera, please share. I would love to try it out. Thanks a lot. Karen

  2. #2
    Dean Williams's Avatar
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    It's basically a box camera, Karen. Get some 100 asa film and go shoot it on a sunny day. Has one shutter speed of around 1/30 sec and the option for color or B&W just changes the aperture. For modern films leave it on the B&W setting and it'll do fine. The Dakon lens is mainly "snapshot" quality. To load it, you'll find a switch on the bottom which will let the whole bottom of the camera fall out. Look closely, and you will see some arrows showing the direction the film is supposed to travel. Look for Efke or Maco films, (there may be one other, I can't remember) as they are the remaining brands that offer 127 film. It looks like a miniature roll of 120.
    [COLOR=Sienna][FONT=Arial]Some days are diamonds. Some days a tree crashes through your roof.[/FONT][/COLOR]

  3. #3
    127
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    Part of the Kodak "star" series introduced in 1957 - basically on of a whole bunch of cameras based upon a common body, to minimise production costs. The starflex is the only one of these with a waist level finder - the rest all had standard viewfinders, but they still managed to keep most of the machining interchanable.

    Quality is doubtfull even for a kodak, but the small body and comparativly huge viewfinder can make this a fun camera for shooting candids. There's info on the starflex on my website (www.onetwoseven.org.uk), including some photo's taken with them (some by me, most not).

    Ian

  4. #4
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    I owned a Starflex (something like 35 years ago), and they're not bad snapshooters. Certainly not up to the standards of even a Pony 135, but if 127 weren't $5 a roll I'd probably look around for something like this as a more compact alternative to the 120 and 620 simple cameras I've started to accumulate.

    You can get all three available 127 emulsions from J&C Photo, and it probably won't be difficult to find a semi-pro minilab that will process the negatives for you, but you probably won't be able to get them printed (locally, at reasonable price, at least) unless you can manage to scan them yourself and take the files to a minilab. Most adjustable plastic developing reels have a (rarely mentioned) setting for 127 -- even my modern Paterson Super System 4 does -- but stainless reels that size seem to have gotten very scarce sometime in the last 25 years.

    What I would strongly suggest, if you like that sort of thing, is to try a roll of color slides in that Starflex. I used to shoot 127 Super Slides on occasion when I was in high school, and they were always impressive -- the square 4x4 frame fits into a standard 2x2 inch mount that fits common projectors, but the image is half again the size of 35 mm slides; very impressive when mixed in with a bunch of regular slides.
    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.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcarey
    I have come across a flea market find for $10 and wonder if anyone has any info on this camera. It says "Brownie Starflex Camera" "Dakon lens" and has options for shooting color or b/w. There is notation that says use 127 film??

    If anyone has any knowledge or info on this camera, please share. I would love to try it out. Thanks a lot. Karen
    Karen -

    I was surprise to find out that my local photo shop (Camera Co/op) regularly stocks 127 film, the macophoto B&W I think. Not to take anything away from J&C, they're great, but I expect there's someone in Philly that stocks it if you just want to buy one roll to check out the camera first. Look for the stores that cater to us neanderthal types - not so much the big guys with windows full of new digi-cams, they're not likely to bother with something with such a limited market as 127.

    Nathan

  6. #6

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    Thank you all so much for the info. After posting the question it occurred to me to do a web search (DUH) and I found out that simply entering brownie starflex camera into the search engine delivered TONs of info. I think I'll have to at least give one roll a try. Any the color slides sound like a great bit of fun as well. Thanks again everyone for your help. -Karen



 

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