My first camera was a Brownie Hawkeye Flash [circa 1960s cube] without the flash. Rugged and dependable.
Many years later I started using my kids Fisher-Price 110 camera with flash rather than ski with an SLR and multiple lenses. This was padded and very rugged. Would I consider it a toy => NO! I slipped it in my pocket and took it skiing every time. It handled the cold, falls, ski jumping, and the kids throwing it to each other. Never failed. the photos were always sharp. That is not a toy, yet it was bright yellow and bright blue and it was labled Fisher-Price.
The proof is in the pudding. The several types of distortion my Brownie Bullet's Dacon lens produces (vegneting, barrel, and a notable lack of sharpness even printed at 4x6) add up to definite toy quality. I think my Mamiya C330 with body cap pinhole would produce sharper pictures at that degree of enlargement, and the lime green all plastic Imperial I shot at the 1964 Worlds Fair (NY,NY) produced much higher quality images than the Brownie.
As pointed out in this thread before, it depends on which model you are talking about.
I modify the series box cameras to take 120. I shoot both round and 6X11 format. I don't think they are in the Holga realm, they produce too good of a photo.
"As pointed out in this thread before, it depends on which model you are talking about.
Ya, a Brownie Autographic would not be considered a toy most likely, because of the sharp, undistorted images produced by their good glass (and they did cost a decent price back in the day). This is also true of many Brownie box cameras, even the Baby, the Bull's Eye, and the Hawkeye. But the Bullet, Holiday, and such like with Dakon lenses, they make the Dianas and Holgas look good, IMO. Not as bad as the give-me 35mm I once got because I bought a Time magazine subscription, but pretty darn artsy.
Now, perhaps we can hammer out the difference between an image distorted by crappy lenses and ill-fitting backs, and the artful expression of an inward vision using less than optimal equipment? :)
Naw, lets just take our cameras out and have fun making photographs.
P.S., Grayhoundman, great images.
I need to get my Crown Graphic back from Number Two child and try out that 170 mm Rapid Rectilinear I salvaged from a trashed Autographic 3. See if I can make it a big toy. :)
Cool photos! How do you modify the cameras - other lenses or more complicated stuff?
Originally Posted by greyhoundman
I use thin cardboard (cereal box) to make the new film guides in the back. Just glue them over the old ones. I use the original lenses. On one I modified the shutter to get 1/50 second speed. The other I left at the base 1/30 second. The round photos were done with a mask added in the back.
A 116 box camera will give 6 -6X11 photos on 120. I moved the red window to the center of the back and used the middle row of numbers. You only use the odd numbers, 1, 3, 5, 7, 9,11.
I have the pics of the mods on my blog, and I will be posting a Kodak 3 modified camera today.
Thanks for the tips. Will covert a otherwise useless 116 this weekend! Might try an elliptical mask.
I REALLY enjoyed your flickr site.... there's a warmth and sensitivity to the natural world that seems few people possess anymore. Hey, your house was better than mine- I was raised in a log cabin built in 1814 by my grandad's ancestors...
Hm I suppose Brownies is a very wide ranging term, but that still makes me sad that something like my No. 2 Model E which took this picture:
somehow doesn't count because of the camera's name.
Also that picture has totally blown the doors off the rumours that you need slow film in old cameras. That's ISO 400, bulb mode for 3-5 seconds(handheld too! I'm so steady) on an overcast morning, and obviously a fair bit of snow.
At 3-5 seconds handheld, I'm not sure a Nikon would have done much better.