Kodak Six-16 Brownie

This camera came to me by the way of the Emulsive secret Santa. I was very lucky this year and got an amazing Santa. Not only was this camera in my box, but loads of film, a hat, straps, close-up filters, and an adapter for a Holga. Not only that, it was all delivered from the USA so the postage charge alone was way more than the supposed allowance.

The camera seemed to be in good condition, but I gave it a clean anyway. That made the viewfinders much brighter. The strap was broken so I made a new one out of some soft leather I had lying around. Luckily I had just purchased some 3D printed adapters for this size of film for another camera I recently tried. Using those, I loaded the camera with some of the Lomochrome purple that came in the package.

I was happily taking photos near my home on boxing day when it suddenly occurred to me…wait, this camera takes quite long photos. I was clearly not winding on enough. I was using the red window as a counter but the film inside was 120, not 616. Even though the numbers lined up, they were the wrong numbers. For the last 2 shots, I skipped a number and that seemed more reasonable. For the others, I would have to consider the overlapping happy accidents.

The next roll I loaded was a Fuji NPS160 someone else had given me. This time I only shot on the odd numbers, skipping the even ones. That worked perfectly and there was no overlapping on the scans I received. I managed to get 7 shots from the roll. To be honest I didn’t take much effort with these shots as I wasn’t sure how the film had been stored or if the overlapping issue had been resolved…and I was feeling lazy.

Using this 1930s camera is very simple. There is a switch on the front of the camera for distances of 5-10 feet which I used for the gate and shot. On the basketball shot, where I didn’t use the switch, you can see the minimum focal distance is long.

There is a lever on the side, which you push up or down to take a shot depending on the last position. On the top of the camera is a pull-out lever to change the aperture, flat for f16 and pulled up for f22. The shutter has the same type of pull-out lever. When pushed in or flat, the camera shoots at 1/50th. When pulled out the camera is in timed mode, the shutter stays open until you press the lever again.

I have to say the 3D printed adapters I got from eBay were not very good quality and they tended to slip or the wind-on mechanism dropped out completely. At some point, I will have to get the FAK616 ones as they have a metal insert to stop this from happening.

This post says the camera’s large negative was perfect for contact printing so I will use this camera for my next project, cyanotypes. I am leaving that link there to remind me to do more research on that. I think that will be a summer project.

A lovely gift, and an interesting camera for projects, but not for my everyday shooting.


15 thoughts on “Kodak Six-16 Brownie

  1. Darrell Meekcom says:

    Well I’m going to be blunt here Peg, eventhough I have a few Kodak Brownies dotted around the house they are what they are; the working man’s ready made pinhole camera. The only vaguely decent shot you get from these is the full bright sun holiday snap of the family from a distance of 3 metres….if you’re lucky. But…without Kodak where would photography be today so I suppose we do owe a modicum of respect to this great corporation and to these little wooden or bakalite boxes.


  2. Roger B. says:

    I’ve got one of these, along with its little 620 brother – purchased mainly for an art deco camera display shelf. Thank you for the tip on how to properly wind on 120 film in a 116 camera – did not know that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peggy says:

      I just got the film back and just using the odd numbers was perfect. The images are touching but not really overlapped, or it is just a mm.


  3. Len Lin says:

    Hi, I just bought this camera recently. In your tutorial, I learned the shutter speed is 1/50 and aperture is F16/22. But what confuses me is how to set the ISO? I am used to measuring light with a digital camera first, and then taking pictures with a film camera. I plan to take photos with this camera and Kodak Gold 200 film. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peggy says:

      Hi. There is no way to set the iso. You basically have to judge the light and choose the film. If it is dull use a 200 if it is bright a 50 or 100. If you think about when this camera was used originally, the films available all very slow.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.