Category Archives: Junk Camera Finds

Kodak Brownie Bullet (Holiday, Chiquita)

As you may know I recently purchased a whole heap of box cameras. I am slowly going through them, cleaning and sorting them. I picked out two to try first, I wanted to chose something slightly different to the two brownies I have tried before.

This little camera looked markedly different from all the others in the box so it was first on my list to try. I think I should have used a banana for scale.

First produced in 1957 it was not on sale in the general market and was obtained by collecting coupons from various promotional deals. I found this out through this amazing Brownie resource. This website is the fountain of all Brownie related knowledge, though it does not give the aperture or speed on the camera page, both are set as there is no scope to change anything. Looking further into the website I found this explanation of all technical details. Using that information I could estimate f11 and 1/50th which was confirmed on this blog. That blog also tells you how to clean this camera. Luckily for me, my example was one of the few in the box that was in great condition. Oh and you can take multiple exposures as the shutter is not connected to the wind on mechanism.

Due to the number of cameras I received and the price of film, I wanted to try a few of the cameras in the cheapest way possible. Sometimes that makes the act of trying them more interesting for me. For this one it meant making a 127 film from a 35mm film with an adapted 120 backing paper. I have tried 35mm in a 127 camera before, but I have not adapted or created a new backing paper before. For the last try, I had already used a new 127 film and reused that roll. I left that backing paper in Japan, but luckily there were many 127 spools and a used 127 roll in one of the boxes. As it was my only one I wanted to preserve it for as long as possible. That was the main reason for trying to make a new backing paper from one of the many, cheaper 120 rolls papers in my possession.

As you can see a 127 spool is smaller than 120 spool. That meant trimming the paper.

So here is how to do that. As you can see in the photo below, an easy way to line things up is by using paper clips. The 120 roll is much longer than 127 so you can easily make the new end sections. Then cut, it doesn’t have to be precise. Test it by rolling it onto the spool without the film. This way you will see if it fits without damaging the film. On mine I found some sections slightly too big by millimetres but that didn’t affect the final results, a roll on a spool.

Next, before adding the film, I wrote the numbers on the new paper.

There were two sets of numbers so I wrote both as I wasn’t sure which I needed. I crossed out the other numbers just to be sure I wouldn’t get confused.

And then, tape the end of the 35mm film to the new paper so you can line it up as straight as possible, put two small pieces of sellotape on the back of your hand. You will need these pieces of tape once you put everything in the dark bag. One for the roll, one for the paper.

Make sure it is at the end of the paper not the beginning as you will be rolling it straight onto the spool.

Before putting everything in a dark bag attach the end of the new 127 paper to the 127 spool and start to roll it as tight as possible until you get passed the end of the exposed film. Now with everything inside the dark bag, keep rolling the paper and releasing the 35mm film, keeping it as tight as possible without touching the film. Once you are close, but not at the end of the paper, cut and tape the end of the film to the paper with the tape you put on your hand. The other piece of tape is to keep the roll paper nice and tight when you removed it from the dark bag.

And finally load it in the camera of your choice, for me the Bullet, at your leisure.

I used my camera on a rainy walk to the bus station. There are just 8 shots so it didn’t take long. I developed it in Ilfosol 3 when I got home.

This time I managed to scan the sprockets by using a 120 mask and some tape. The long sides did curl up a little, but I sacrificed a little sharpness for the sake of saving my scanner plate from sticky residue.

I love the results and really liked the camera. It is the only one from the box that would actually fit into my pocket. Making the 127 roll was easy and cheaper than buying 127 film. I just had to remember to align the image in the center of the viewfinder as the results would not be square. There are other 127 cameras in the box so I will use this system again, unless I get some 127 film for Xmas 🙂

Brownie Box cameras GALORE!!!

Yesterday I was browsing Facebook Market place and noticed and advert for what looked like 6 box brownies. They were £30, unfortunately I didn’t take a screenshot, but the cameras in the photo were the basic box brownie type. I thought, well that is a bit much for 6 cheapo brownies. But out of interest I decided to read the description instead of just skimming passed it. Holy Moly, this wasn’t for 6 cameras, that photo was a taster. This listing was for over 60 cameras!

I couldn’t resist that so I sent a message and arranged to pick them up the next day, and not a minute too soon. Once I got to the location I found the cameras in a number of boxes in a garage. Later, looking through them I found a few were a bit damp, the bags were on the cusp of starting to get moldy.

I brought them into my house and started going through them. In all there totaled 67 cameras, nearly all different. Of those 3 didn’t seem to be working, but might be fixable and 5 were beyond help and were not worth fixing. Lots of them took 620 film which I have never tried and is not really available, but luckily many had an empty spool inside. So for the spools alone, it was worth the drive.

Once I had made a list and sorted them, I picked out 4 to give a quick clean and to retrieve the spools. One of those had a 120 spool jammed inside which proved to me it wouldn’t really work. Now I have a 620 spool in my hand I can see the diameter is a little smaller than 120 so they turn smoothly. I have previously opened a brownie and cleaned it so I had a tiny bit of experience on that front.

I had no experience respooling 120 film onto 620 spools so I watched this video.

I didn’t roll it onto a 620 then roll it onto another 620. I just unrolled it loose then respooled it onto the 620, it worked fine.

Then I loaded it into one of the cameras I had cleaned.

Not the sexiest choice, but it was now clean and it worked smoothly. I will try it out sometime in the next couple of weeks.

And here is a list of all the cameras in the lot.

Kodak Brownies (I just don’t want to write this loads of times)
Six-20 Model C
No.2 – 116
Cresta
Six-20 Popular
Six-20 Junior
Portrait No.2
Popular
Flash B
Flash 20
C (four examples)
127 (three examples)
Cresta 3 (Three examples)
Six-20 Target
Brownies with no other information (Six examples, one with a built in filter, one blue)
Six-20 Model D (4 examples)
Flash II (Two examples each with a flash attachment, one 4 version, one 5 version)
Duaflex
Modern No.2
44A
Reflex 20
Bullet
Starmite
Flashmite

Kodak Hawkeyes
Cartridge Model B (two examples)
No.2 Model C
Mod B B
Portrait Star

Extra – Kodak Flash holder Model II in box

Coronet
Popular twelve (two examples)
Twelve 20
Every
D-20
Conway
Conway Popular
Cadet

Other Makes
Balda Frontbox
Ensign E-29 (two examples, one blue – takes 129 film which is unavailable)
Ensign Ful-Vue
Ernemann 6×9 Box Brownie Type Camera **this could be the star piece, rarer**

Folding cameras – not working, might be fixable
Kershaw Penguin Eight 20
Kodak Folding Brownie Six 20
Balda Baldanette

I definitely will not be film testing all of these. I will choose a few examples to compare and might think about an exhibition in the future. Otherwise they are going to be stuck in boxes and bags for a long time.

And if you got all the way to the end of this list and post…One camera, an unsalvageable Kodak had a 127 film roll inside. It looked in fairly good condition so I tried to develop it. In the end….there was no film, it was just the backing paper. I could use it to respool some 35mm onto it as there are a number of those kind of cameras in the lot.

Prinz Mastermatic III

I have a feeling this camera was part of a job lot otherwise I have no idea where I got it. It is certainly not something I would have chosen. The skin of the camera dropped off the moment I picked it up. I decided to recover it even before I tested it with film. Looking it over everything seemed to work so I though why not and why not use a completely new-to-me type of skin.

Animals of Farthing Wood. I got a book from a charity shop and used the old skin as a template. The paper was a little stiff on the curves but once the varnish made the paper a little wetter it was easier to manipulate.

This camera from 1967 was cheap and cheerful at the time and still is. The selenium cell means you don’t even have to buy batteries. Even though it is partly metal, I thought it felt quite cheap. Before the new skin, I thought it looked it too but now it looks awesome. The photos of the cameras are enhanced by the lovely Nidderdale countryside where I took it to try it out. It seemed appropriate.

The meter’s needle indicator on this example was a bit hit and miss, I have a feeling there might be a loose wire inside, but I don’t feel like taking it apart to see. The meter gives a reading in EV mode. The camera can be set to operate in regular or EV mode. It is much easier to change the settings than on some other EV cameras I have tried. There is no rangefinder so you have to guess the distance or use zone focusing.

I have already promised the camera to someone who liked the look of it, so I wanted to try it very quickly. That meant I tried a new developing company. They offered a download link of the scans. Literally the next day from posting the films I received an email with the link, amazingly quick. I paid for the cheapest version of scans and that is what I got. Though it looks like the films I sent were developed very well, I am unimpressed with the scans. I am not going to name names, but I will stick to my regular C41 developer as they are cheaper when choosing a decent set of scans. Unless I am in a hurry again, but then I will try the more expensive scans to check the difference.

Ok that said, I put in a half used roll of XP2 that I was given. Here are the test shots.

Well, the light meter was accurate when it worked. But the focus and lens is “funky”, that is the only word I can think of. I kind of like it, but it is funky with a definite drop off. Focusing at close range was tricky and I would recommend sticking with infinity-ish.

I tried processing some of these shots with the Snapseed App on my phone. I love the results.

Today I sold three cameras including this one, I sort of regret it but I always do and I can’t use all the cameras I have so in the end it is a good thing…keep saying it out loud, selling your cameras is a good thing.

Pentax Zoom 70 R

For a compact camera, this Pentax is massive! Plus it takes two CR123 batteries…TWO!

For that reason alone I initially did not like this camera from 1991.

There was a found film inside and I blasted through it, just trying to lighten my load. I took it to Huddersfield quickly finished it off with the industrial landscape.

Nothing special and that film was poor too. My feeling for this camera just took a bigger plummet. I started writing this blog almost immediately and while doing so I found the manual.

In the manual I saw these two pages…

Look at all those settings! Bulb, bulb with synchro flash, Multi Exposure, Dual Frame Self Timer, backlight compensation…no wonder this camera needs two batteries. I think I better give this camera another chance.

Of course I did play with all the buttons on the camera and did see the symbols, but it is easy to forget them when you have already formed an opinion about something. Changing your mind after a bad first impression is very hard to do, hence all the advice against it during interviews etc.

I loaded a fresher Kodak 200 and decided to focus on the colour red meaning I would carry the camera with me, despite the size, and have something of red in each photo.

That was until I got bored and the rain came down and I just wanted to get rid of the damn thing. The first impression stuck. Here are some shots from the next roll.

As you can see I went to the UCI finishing line in Harrogate, in fact I was a volunteer up two of the main climbs during terrible weather. Today, I am coughing from a cold as a result of a very rainy weekend in a tent. Worth it? Maybe, but I would prefer to be working. The whole week wasn’t the best advertisement for the Yorkshire area in terms of weather, which was a shame as it really is gorgeous. For the UCI I volunteered for the location of Lofthouse, little did I know there were two places with that name in Yorkshire. The one I volunteered for was a couple of hours from my house. So this roll has both Lofthouses on it, I bet that doesn’t happen often.

I also took the camera to Blackpool, hence the deckchairs and that is it, experiment over. I do not like this camera 😦

Ricoh FF-9

There is something about this camera from 1988 that I absolutely love. I think it is the way the flash pops up from the side when it is needed. Or it might be the lovely selection of modes that are not easily found on other point and shoots, including multi exposure. It is a nice size for a bag, but not a pocket. AND it has a slot for a cable release, that is quite rare indeed. Quite smart looking all round.

I took mine on a trip to Blackpool when the weather was quite miserable. This camera coped beautifully as you can see by my results below.

What a cracking little camera 🙂 Cheap, cheerful..does what it says on the tin with a little extra class.

Oh and it looks like WordPress are updating their gallery settings, so things might be a bit iffy until they sort that out. Sorry about that, but if it stabilises I think it has lots more options for the creators.

Pentax Espio 738S (738G)

I put the 738S and 738G versions in the title as I obtained both in a job lot purchase. Looking both over, I could not see any differences between them apart from a few variations on appearance. I sent the 738G to a friend and used the 738S to try out the DX altered film I prepared previously as the camera accepts films with an iso rating from 25-1600. This camera was released around 1998.

As I also have the Espio 928M which I feel is a slightly better camera, I will not be keeping this one no matter how it performs in the test.

The film I chose was an expired truprint 200 I found inside the camera. I changed the DX code so the camera would think it was a 50 iso and took the camera to The Great North Run. I had to drop some family members off at the start and wait for them at the finish. That meant I had a couple of hours to hang around in South Shields, so why not test a camera?

In the end how many photos can you take of people running, so I finished the film off around The Hepworth Wakefield. Here are the results.

Well, changing the iso rating worked really well for this camera and film. The original rating of 200 would have under exposed the shots. The camera is a fine point and shoot, but as I have many others, to keep one it would have to be very special. For me, this one has nothing special to offer. It is fine, it is ok, it does the job without bells and whistles.

Olympus Superzoom 140S (Accura 140)

Well, I thought I had tried this camera before, but that was the mju version. They are very similar, but apparently this is the cheap version. Both cameras were out at the same time, this one released in 1999. The superzoom was not as pretty, but bit more rugged. You can find some German technical details here.

I really liked the mju version, but I didn’t have much luck with it so I eventually sold it. If this one worked I might keep it…might. Inside was a found film which I finished off while on a bike ride. Why not? The camera is rugged and in its case it fit perfectly in the water holder.

There were only a few shots left on the film, the rest of the shots were fogged. Someone probably opened the film door at some point.

Well, for an expired film these are ok. There isn’t much to the camera for the user, the best feature is the titled “superzoom”. I also liked the addition of the diopter as my eyesight is getting worse with age.

It is a fine camera and a great, cheaper, alternative to the mju version. It is not exactly a heavy duty camera, but it is cheap enough to through around a bit.

Canon Ixus Z50 (ELPH LT260, IXY 220) APS

I obtained this camera in a pile of point and shoots along with some containing films. The film I tried in this one was a retrieved film. I took it out of a camera that was already on my list, used a screw driver to change the position of the indicator and reloaded it in this camera. The original camera’s counter was set at two exposures and the first two of this film were double exposed quite nicely so that left 23 of the Kodak Advantix Ultra for me 🙂

When I lived in Japan lots of the Canon APS cameras I found where named IXY, now they are Ixus as I am in Europe. They can also be called Elph, this camera from 2000 also has many names. You can find them here along with some extra details here.

It is tiny but feels well built. When you turn it on the flash pops up, but you can turn it off manually. I would say, if you are going to go for a small point and shoot APS camera, then this is a good one to try. Though I am sure the flash is not very powerful so it would be best to use it outside on a nice day.

I took my found film and camera on a trip to Huddersfield. It was my first visit there and I quite liked it, not that I would go back as the train journey back was a real pain but that was not Huddersfield’s fault. I was just unlucky with demonstrations and accidents.

The film didn’t do too bad considering it was left inside the original camera for an undetermined amount of time in undetermined conditions. This camera’s ISO cannot be changed so that did well too. A nice, small camera to keep in a pocket…except I have a few APS cameras of that description so it will be moved along.