This was one of the cleaner examples of Brownies from my job lot. I gave it an extra clean as the front pops off easily and, well, I could. It is also one of the prettiest from the collection. Look at it.
There are two versions of this camera, this is the second which was released between 1953-57. You can tell the difference by the horizontally striped design faceplate, plastic winding knob, and a plastic shutter release button. This version of the Brownie has more features than most models.
A built-in sliding portrait lens for close-ups
A yellow filter for use with black and white film, adding contrast
2-pin flash contacts…though you might not be able to use them
Tripod sockets for landscape and portrait photos
A shutter lock stops double or accidental exposures…though I do think I got a couple of them on my test roll
A cable release socket
I loaded mine with Fuji Acros and took it to Wales for the weekend, though I did take all the shots at one destination…Goodrich castle. I decided on that destination as I have just bought membership to English Heritage. Basically for the cost of visiting this location was more expensive than the monthly fee, so why the hell not. This year I have decided to resurrect my other blog and want to visit more castles and stuff. But this blog is about the camera.
…And this camera was great. It just worked. The shutter release was a tiny bit juddery, but nothing serious. The viewfinders were big and bright, though you do have to look at just the right angle. The only thing that detracts from this version of the Brownie is the Six-20 in the name, meaning you have to respool 120 film in order to use it more smoothly.
But respool it I did, and here are the shots I got from this camera. Actually a couple of the shots were taken by the person in the photos. She is now the proud owner of this camera and has set herself the goal of learning to use it and develop a roll of film.
These are the shots from that excursion.
The first couple of shots do look like there is a double exposure, and that is possible on this camera. I can’t be totally sure as I wasn’t holding the camera the whole time the film was inside. But for a 60+ year old camera, the results are very nice. If you are going to get a Brownie then this version is a great one to have…apart from the re-rolling of course.
This Brownie is one of the few I have decided to keep from the box of 60+ I gained recently. My decision was based on the fact I could take the front off and clean the lens, mirrors, and viewfinders. That made it very easy to use. Also, this version has a close-up lens built-in. Although, close up, means between 3-7 feet so not really close. The only thing I didn’t like was the lack of a tripod socket. With the long exposures of Brownies, there is always chance of camera shake. I find this especially true in regards to the button press versions. On the plus, there was a flash attachments and I do have the flash, but alas no bulbs.
I put in a roll of respooled Fomapan 100 and went on a short walk to use the 8 shots of 6×9.
I loved using this camera, it was simple and just worked. There is surprisingly very little camera shake and it is sharper than any toy camera I have tried. I like the look of the resulting photos. If you are looking for a brownie, then this one is a reliable choice. As mentioned it is easy to clean and very well built. Of course being about 75 years old makes that all depend on previous owners….oh what it might have seen.
Welcome to Brownie blog post. I have a feeling there might be a few of these in the future. This one is for the gorgeously striped Model C produced from 1953. There is an earlier version which has a black front with no stripes.
This one was in good condition, but I was able to clean the mirrors, viewfinders, and lens to make it even better. As you can see it takes 620 film of which there are none. Luckily it is the same size as 120 with a slightly thinner spool. Each one of the cameras I obtained had an empty spool inside so I used the technique I have previously written about to transfer the film. I chose a Fomapan 100 as I thought a faster film would be over exposed at the camera’s f11 aperture and 1/50th speed. There is also a bulb mode and, as with most Brownies, you can take multiple exposures.
I took my example to the Yorkshire Marathon where I was a volunteer spotter for the relay race. That meant I had to “spot” the relay runners in the pack and walkie-talkie the number to the changeover point to make sure their team member was at the front of the queue. It was fun, but tricky when a whole heap of runners went passed. While waiting in the changing area for the bus to take me to the allocated location I tried the bulb mode. I set the camera on a table and pressed the shutter for a count of 45 elephants. It was a guess.
Once at the location, I had time to test the camera while waiting for the next runner. The relay racers set off after the individual runners so I had a little free time, just a little. Anyway, there were only 7 shots left, so it didn’t take long to finish the film.
I did buy some eggs 🙂
For a 65 year old camera, I think it did very well. I enjoyed using it, the clean viewfinder added to the experience. Some Brownies have very dark and dirty viewfinders, but they are easy to clean. These cameras are so cheap that I would recommend waiting to get one that has either been cleaned or is possible to clean, like this one. I sometimes find Brownies hard to align and compose, so a dirty viewfinder would be very frustrating.