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Old 01-25-2017   #41
tunalegs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seany65 View Post
@tunaegs, thanks for the extra info and the new camera suggestion.

Some of the simpler 126 cameras, such as the kodak 177x) had fixed focus, 1 speed and 2 apertures. They were basically small box cameras. If more 126 cameras had been like the rollei 126 or ricoh 126 (prolly not quite the right names) ie. like 'proper' cameras but with easier film loading, then maybe 126 wouldn't have died out.

@wjj3. That brownie flash iv is quite pretty, but I think it's even simpler than the brownie model 2 f, so I wonder why they'd do that given the rise of more complicated cameras.
Box cameras got simpler precisely because other cameras got more complex. Most box cameras were produced and sold by film companies. Basically to provide the cheapest entry into photography and thus build a consumer base for film. In order to sell cameras for $3-$5 they just made them fixed focus, fixed aperture, 1 shutter speed, plastic or cardboard. Camera companies didn't need to bother growing the film market so generally didn't venture into the very bottom of the camera market, they left that to Kodak, Ansco, etc.
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Old 01-29-2017   #42
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I suppose you're right tunalegs. Though I don't get why they'd go so far with the simplification as they did: early on I think the simplicity wasn't too bad as most people didn't have access to the good cameras and didn't really want to do the faffing about needed for good pics, by the end I think they were too simple to get decent results and at the same time people had much better access to good but cheap cameras and had begun to want the better results.

Anyway, despite what I said in an earlier post about not bothering with a box camera yet, I've just 'pulled the trigger' on a Gevaert Gevabox version 2, with 1 speed (I think 1/30th) and 3 apertures (f8, f11 and f16) and 3 focus zones. I'm probably wrong but I thought this would give me 3 usable apertures rather than the 2 of a brownie 2f.

I just hope I ca find a manual for this version.
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Old 01-29-2017   #43
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The Gevabox seems like a good choice, I have seen some nice results from others using them. As I mentioned before I find having selectable focus more useful than having multiple shutter speeds, plus with three apertures you do have a modicum of control over exposure that will suffice for most usual situations.

As regards the simplicity of later box cameras, I think it had to do with many different developments. For a company like Kodak that manufactured a full line of a cameras the lack of features on the most basic cameras gave them an opportunity to upsell to their customers, using a loss-leader approach. Show people the cheapest camera to get their interest, then try and sell them on the one that's a step up from it. And if they didn't go for it, at least they bought a camera and would buy film in the future.

The other thing is with the advent of more sophisticated films like Verichrome Pan (which was as I understand it, developed primarily with box cameras in mind) the need for multiple apertures was reduced, and the advent of cheap flashbulbs meant the need for T and B settings was similarly reduced.
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Old 01-29-2017   #44
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Originally Posted by seany65 View Post
I'm probably wrong but I thought this would give me 3 useable apertures rather than the 2 of a brownie 2f.
If I may be a terrible nit picker, the Brownie 2F has three apertures, roughly F10 - 20 - 30. Leastaways, every one I have owned (at least four) has.

Mind you, I wouldn't kick the Gevabox out of bed for farting...

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Old 01-29-2017   #45
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Shameless self-promotion for a short piece I wrote on box cameras: https://filmosaur.wordpress.com/2017...o-box-cameras/


And another Ilford Craftsman photo, just because:

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Old 01-29-2017   #46
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I have an Artima Arti-Six which is a slightly fancy 6x9 box camera (bake-lite) that uses 120 film. Three apertures(f9,f12.5,f18), three shutter speeds (1/25, 1/50, 1/100, bulb) and scale focus at four focus stops (4ft, 6ft, 13ft, and inf). It has a viewfinder as opposed to a WL finder of a typical box camera. That's the good news, the bad news is it's a single element lens which only has acuity in the central portion of the image. It's a fun shooter that's light and portable. I believe a mono-pod might improve results if one were expecting to make any enlargements. Then again, if I were expecting to enlarge very much, it's definitely the wrong tool.

Anyway here is a shot using the Arti-Six circa June 2016 (FP4+ @100 ISO, Rodinal/Blazinal 1:50).



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Old 01-30-2017   #47
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@tunalegs. I think would've een in the lot that did not buy a 'step up' camera if the results I got from the cheapo were any good. I think it would've put me off.

@Muggins. Apparently the apertures No. 2 F has are f11, f22 and f32 according to what I've read. What I was thinking about is I'd been using my lightmeter to see what apertures would be suggested with a speed of 1/60th (to see if a no.2 f would 'work' for me), and f32 almost didn't come up at all, and f22 only came up sometimes whereas experimenting using 1/30th (to see if the gevabox would 'work' for me) the apertures f8, f11 and f16 have come up more often.

@o2pilot. I've just looked at your article. It's quite interesting. I found the craftsman pic at f9 to be out of focus, I can't see the 'reasonably well defined' bit. Is that the sort of result to expect from a doublet lens?

@Mark. I've just dome a quick google on the camera you mention. To be honest it's not what I'd call 'pretty'. It's also the same sort of shape as the 3 cameras I've got now so I woun't be getting one. Thanks for the suggestion though.
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Old 01-30-2017   #48
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Originally Posted by seany65 View Post
@o2pilot. I've just looked at your article. It's quite interesting. I found the craftsman pic at f9 to be out of focus, I can't see the 'reasonably well defined' bit. Is that the sort of result to expect from a doublet lens?
I think there's a few things at play here. The version you see there is scaled down considerably, and the way Wordpress compresses (I'm not sure if that's the correct technical term) images makes it look a bit softer than the original scan. It's not out of focus, just soft, and there's still quite a bit of detail in there. If you want to see out of focus from that camera, look at the distant areas in the photo I most recently posted in this thread.

I would not say that this lens is necessarily representative of all doublets. Nor is it to everyone's taste, to be sure. I much prefer it to the overall better performance of the Brownie Hawkeye I also mention in the blog post, as the Ilford has a lot more character to it. If I want sharp, there are plenty of other, better choices.
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Old 01-31-2017   #49
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I have a Kinoflex with a doublet - also known as the Halina Prefect, Wales Reflex, and doubtless many other names:

Penny Wheeler by Berang Berang, on Flickr

Reasonably sharp in the center, massively soft in the corners.

This is not an achromat cemented doublet, but rather a "periscope" style with two symmetrically opposed elements separated by the shutter. This eliminates barrel and pincushion distortion but does nothing for anything else.
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Old 02-01-2017   #50
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@02pilot. Yes, I suppose the pics would be affected by being scaled down and compressed.

@tunalegs. If only that last pic of yours was /mono/sepia, I think it'd look much better.

The Gevabox turned up earlier today and it seems to be working so I cleaned it up by getting rid of almost all of the rust and the bits of 'black, sticky' stuff. 'She' looks much better now.

I have seen a video on youtube by a man using the same style of gevabox and he says the focus goes from 1.5m to infinity. (I think mine is in feet as the numbers go from 5-10, 13-20 and 23-inf.) The lens also rotates freely between 5 and to Inf. the long way around, but not the short way and there's no 'click' stops.

This gives me the impression that it can focus on any distance between the min. and max. distances. Does anyone know if this is correct?

Has anyone got any idea why the distances marked (on mine, see the thumb I posted earlier) don't mention any between 10 and 13 and between 20 and 23?

Does anyone know if I turn the lens so that the dot at the top is half-way between the '10' and the '13' the lens will be focussed on '11.5'?

Ditto for the dot being half-way between the '20' and the 23', will it be focussed on '21.5'?

Any help would be much appreciated.
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Old 02-01-2017   #51
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I'm not really familiar with the gevabox, but if the lens simply screws in or out of the body to focus, then presumably the focus can be set at distances between the marked zones. The lens should screw out further the closer the indicated distance.

The engraved distances probably have gaps because the zones were chosen to optimize depth of field. That is if they marked 21', the DOF might not have been great enough to reach infinity, so instead they moved focus a bit back to do so, and never mind the tiny gap between 20 and 23.

Edit: playing with the DOF calculator, assuming a focal length of between 90 and 100mm, and the known f/stop of f/8, the actual focus distance for 23' to infinity, would be around 50 feet. Depth of field then covers the rest of the indicated zone. In truth there is probably some "overlap" of DOF between zones, but the maker may have excluded that overlap to ensure people didn't misjudge distances when focusing (for example, somebody was standing 21 feet away, it'd be safer for the user to step back a few more feet and select the last zone, than try and guess which zone would be best between two different zones).
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Old 02-01-2017   #52
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Thanks for the info and the faffing about with your dof calculator tunalegs.

Edit: I've just been thinking about getting an accessory rangefinder for it just to be 'on the safe side', but if the actual focussed distance is 50ft when the lens shows 23ft-inf. and is not 23 feet, could thast mean the other distances on the lens aren't actually what they say they are as well? If so, is ther any point in getting a rangefinder for it?
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Old 02-01-2017   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seany65 View Post
Thanks for the info and the faffing about with your dof calculator tunalegs.

Edit: I've just been thinking about getting an accessory rangefinder for it just to be 'on the safe side', but if the actual focussed distance is 50ft when the lens shows 23ft-inf. and is not 23 feet, could thast mean the other distances on the lens aren't actually what they say they are as well? If so, is ther any point in getting a rangefinder for it?
Not really. Keep in mind when you shoot at f/16 you'll have even greater depth of field. Only the first zone might be tricky, but it should be pretty easy to guess, over five feet would be roughly the length of a person lying down on the ground (I usually just guess where my head would be if I decided to lay down and nap right there), over 10 feet would be roughly just a bit short of a car length, so pretty easy to estimate by looking. I think the whole point of toying around with box cameras is doing away with all the ancillary stuff and just having a go with the absolute basics, if you miss focus on a shot once in a while no big deal.
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Old 02-05-2017   #54
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You're probably right tunalegs, though knowing me I think I'll still end up getting a rangefinder to check the distance.

Unfortunately, that will have to be after I get another Gevabox version 2 as I've just broken the one I got the other day. I'd managed to get inside and clean the vertical viewfinder and saw that there was a piece of wood behind and above the 'finder mirrors and I removed it.

Either the piece of wood did something or I broke something in trying to remove it, but the shutter stopped working. Not 'dead', but either not opening or closing fully or properly.

So it had to go.
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Old 02-05-2017   #55
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Send it to me. It's probably nothing complicated.
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Old 02-06-2017   #56
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Originally Posted by tunalegs View Post
Send it to me. It's probably nothing complicated.
Thanks for the offer tunalegs, but it's gone to the great camera shop in the sky, ie. chucked in the bin and the binmen have emptied the bin.

I now wish I'd posted about it sooner and perhaps you could've made it comeback to life, but I was a bit too miffed with myself to post.

Still, I suppose another one'll come along sooner or later.
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Old 02-06-2017   #57
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Don't you find it a little bit silly that the thing survived five or so decades, only to be thrown out because of what was likely a simple issue? Even if it was terminal, it could have been converted into a very fancy pinhole camera with no real effort and gone on a while longer.

I wouldn't want to encourage hoarding, but there is very little worth throwing away when it comes to old cameras.
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Old 03-13-2017   #58
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I've just bought another Gevabox that's the same design as my first one. It came with a manual. I was surprised to find that it says the shutter speed is 1/50. I thought they were about 1/30. I suppose everyone could think it was 1/30 'cos all the shutters have slowed down since and thus given a false impression of their speed.

I was also surprised to learn that they could take a flash, attached to the bottom of the camera. Unfortunately neither of mine had/have these connections. I presume that means there were slightly different versions made over time.

I'm wondering if the manual I have is for an early version of this type or if it's the last version of this type they made?

I'm also wondering how usual it is for these cameras to have lenses that are not properly fixed in place? I was cleaning the inside of it by using a cotton bud with the shutter set to 'B' and the lens popped out. It has a plastic ring which wasn't fixed to it and I managed to get them both back in.

It doesn't mention in the manual what the focal length of the lens is. Anyone have any idea?

Finally, does anyone have any idea of what speed the shutter has, when it's set to 'B' but the button is released straight away? This is an actual alternate 'speed' setting recommended in the manual for when '1/50' isn't enough.
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Old 03-13-2017   #59
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. . . Finally, does anyone have any idea of what speed the shutter has, when it's set to 'B' but the button is released straight away? This is an actual alternate 'speed' setting recommended in the manual for when '1/50' isn't enough.
Depends on how fast you release it! Sorry to be a smart-arse but it ain't likely to be outstandingly consistent. I'd guess about 1/10 to 1/20 but that is complete guesswork.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 03-14-2017   #60
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Most 6x9 box cameras use a lens with a focal length of around 100mm. Some are slightly longer, and some are slight shorter. So far I have not encountered one that is not at least slightly wide. No point in worrying about it though, it is what it is.

Put some film in it and shoot.
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Old 03-15-2017   #61
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Thanks to Roger and tunalegs for the replies and the info.

I'll start using it once I've got a tripod, lens hood and sky 1b/2,4,8 nd filters (and prolly a yellow and a green filter). I know they ain't got the thread for such things, but I'd like to use them anyway. From what I can gather using a metal ruler, the measurement of the outside edge of the plastic barrel is somewhere around 32.5mm-33mm. So I reckon on getting a 32.5mm step-up ring (and filing it if necessary) and bunging filter and hood on that. With a bit of practice perhpas a couple of the pics won't be really all that bad.
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Old 03-15-2017   #62
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I am going to give a warning to not bother with any of that until after you shoot a test roll. You will be risking frustration and wasting your time if the camera has some issue like a light leak. Run outside, get through the test roll, and see that everything works satisfactorily before you start messing about with things. I just tested one box camera where the viewfinder was way off, and you're not going to know these things until you get some results back. You've got eight exposures, shouldn't take but five minutes to get through and establish what you're working with.

I would suggest you use all three focus zones so you have a practical idea of where they actually fall, then check the viewfinders, both of them, frame so that something is perfectly centered in the VF, so when you get the film back you can get an idea of how much parallax you will be dealing with, or whether or not the viewfinder is misaligned.
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Old 03-28-2017   #63
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I know what you wrote tunalegs, and it's decent enough advice, but as I'd be getting another gevabox if this one doesn't work or whatever, and as the cost is practically 0, I decided to get a 32.5mm-37mm step-up ring, a 37mm kood sky 1b filter and a 37mm lens metal lens hood.

I'm sure I made a mistake in choosing a 32.5mm-37mm ste-up ring. I received the filter today and I held it up to the front of the lens and there ain't as much difference between the diameter of the lens barrel and the filter thread as I'd thought there would be.

I measured the width of the lens barrel from one edge to the other and it comes to 31mm/32mm and decided on the 32.5mm-37mm step ring. About 3 days before receiving the ring I'd realised I should've worked out the inner size of the step-ring to fit over the outside of the lens barrel.

.

Anyway, I'm also going to be getting a little spirit level before taking any pics with it. This'll help show if the mirrors in the finders are level.

I will be experimenting with the focus zones with the first film or two as you suggest. I was wondering if it's safe to assume that the 1st zone of "5-10" would actually be focused at 7 1/2 feet and the 2nd zone of "13-20" would actually be focused at 16 1/2 feet?

Hmmm. Having just written that then remembering what you wrote in an earlier post about the zones being a little larger than written to avoid mistakes in estimating the distance, would zone 1 be focused at 9 feet and zone 2 at 18 feet?

You also said it would be focused at 50 feet for zone 3 of "23-inf".

I know you said not to bother with a rangefinder as the DOF would be wide enough even at f8, but to roughly paraphrase what was mentioned in another thread, we get sharper images when we focus a lens than when relying DOF, I've been considering 'putting in' several focus points on the front of the lens barrel just see what happens.

I know you (and I presume a few other members), will say that this faffing about is getting away from the simplicity of box cameras and I agree, but I want to know exactly what I can get out of a box camera.
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Old 05-18-2018   #64
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Just in case any other member is interested in box cameras that have more than one speed and more than one aperture, I recently bought a Ferrania Elioflex. While this is actually a 'pseudo tlr' I still take the view that's a box camera.

It has four apertures (f8, f11, f16 and f22) that can be set anywhere between, four shutter speeds (1/200, 1/100, 1/50 and 1/25 plus 'B'), it can be focused anywhere between 7 feet and infinity, with the last marked distance being 50 feet. The lens is an f8 85mm "Officine galileo 'Monog' " lens. I presume it's just a meniscus lens but I don't know as I've not found a description. The lens does look, and has been described as coated.

It's quite easy to put the film into the 'full film' section but harder to put the empty reel into it's section as it's not got the 'swing -out' section that the former has.

It has a loud anti-double exposure prevention system which may make you think the camera is broken, it isn't.

As far as box cameras go it's quite a 'posh' one, although the Elioflex 2 is even 'posher' as it has an anastigmat lens. I think I've read somewhere that the E2 can do multi-exposures.
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Old 06-12-2018   #65
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A bit more info about Ferrania Elioflex cameras:

If you want to buy filters for it, then get 34mm push on ones.

You'll see two vertical lines that are close together, which happen to be the 'flange' bit which you adjust inward so the filter stays on the lens.

The body on these is quite deep and slips past the knurled bit on the lens barrel, which makes the filter quite difficult to remove.

You'll see two horizontal 'long' lines and a bit with a gap above the middle of them.
This type fits onto the knurled bit on the lens barrel and the filter doesn't go past it, so it's easier to remove. My UV filter fits perfectly.
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Old 06-12-2018   #66
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I found this picture of a Ferrania Elioflex camera below. It is a really cool looking camera!

https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...xAB2AQ9QEILTAA
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Old 06-12-2018   #67
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It looks like a TLR to me and that's what the instructions say too...


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Old 06-13-2018   #68
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David, yes it is a pseudo tlr, but I also take the view that it's still a box camera, although some may think I'm stretching the definition a little.

Steve, yes, its cool-ness is one of the reasons I got it. I wish it could do multi-exposures though. I think I've read that the Elioflex 2 can do tghem.
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Old 06-13-2018   #69
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Everyone here has probably always wanted a Tom Thumb Automatic Camera Radio, you just never knew that you did. Now you know about it, so here's hoping someone buys one before I shell out the coins for it. It's also in the time honored pseudo TLR-box camera category, and the only downside (other than it takes 127 film, and this example costs $349.00), is the powerful 67.5V battery it requires, which is said to cost $50. I guess they were counting on hooking up some aux speakers to it with that sort of voltage. Pulling out my pencil and paper, I figured out that you could always use forty five AAA batteries or the same amount of 1.5V button batteries (the latter would be a better fit) if your corner Dollar Tree is fresh out of 67.5 volt batteries like mine was. I was going to discuss this problem with the manager, but I don't think the Dollar Tree has a manager. Just one frazzled woman at the register with a long line of customers with kids and stuff.

The best part is that the camera has vacuum tubes (like Robbie the Robot). Even Leica cameras don't have vacuum tubes.

http://radioattic.com/item.htm?radio=1150570
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Old 06-13-2018   #70
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I think that's the 3rd radio-camera I've heard of now.

But I don't think the others had tubes so they couldn't do the glow. I presume if you look carefully you can see a glow when its' working.

Nor did they have a battery that would kill you if you did the "tongue on both terminals" thing.
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A No.2 Brownie
Old 06-13-2018   #71
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A No.2 Brownie

Here's my Kodak No.2 Brownie model D, made arround 1914-1915, and in perfect working order in it's simplicity.



https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/26569286118


Inside view https://flic.kr/p/23yz5VY
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Old 06-14-2018   #72
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Nice camera carbo73. I imagine someone's cleaned the thing since 1914/15. What's it made of, apart form the brass fitting? Looks like metal and leather to me.

Is the 'mask' just a mask to protect the film from the stray light coming through the red window, or does it seem to be a sort of 'pressure plate'?
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Old 06-14-2018   #73
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Nice camera carbo73. I imagine someone's cleaned the thing since 1914/15. What's it made of, apart form the brass fitting? Looks like metal and leather to me.

Is the 'mask' just a mask to protect the film from the stray light coming through the red window, or does it seem to be a sort of 'pressure plate'?
Yes, probably someone took care of it, as it is really nice condition. It's mainly made of cardboard and wood. I've bought (but haven't received) her little sister, a No.0 which probably has the same materials. And for the mask I presume that it's some sort of light protection, because the "pressure plate" are two tiny metallic parts in tha folding back plate. Anyway this "mask" was discarded in newer models, like the F, so must have been of little use.
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Old 06-14-2018   #74
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Thanks for the info carbo73.

Cardboard and wood. lol. Things made out of metal these days barely last five minutes.

My* Gevabox is metal, but at least it was made at a time when no-one thought of "designed obsolescence" or "designed product life" as a mercenary way of forcing us to buy more stuff.



*Edit: Changed 'By' to 'My'.
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Old 10-03-2018   #75
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Another Brownie I have. This one is a Kodak No.2 Brownie model F, made in 1931 in the UK.










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Old 10-03-2018   #76
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@carbo: What are the two vertical metal strips for?
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Old 10-03-2018   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seany65 View Post
@carbo: What are the two vertical metal strips for?
In the frontal, opened view, I presume...
The central one is the aperture selector, in fact three consecutive holes. The one to the right is the selector for the long exposure mode (T). In fact the shutter is in T mode for the picture, so that you can see the lens.
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Old 10-03-2018   #78
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Roy Rogers box camera...I have one :-).

https://goo.gl/images/h3ZtZM
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Old 10-03-2018   #79
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Timely to have this thread pop up again. I'd not used my boxes in a while, but just finished cleaning out my Ensign All Distance box... it was very tricky to get to the inside surface of the lens and get it back together again. Testing it soon.

Also just received an Ensign 2 1/4B Box Form camera, which I need to clean up, but so far I am impressed by its quality. Definitely a step above what Kodak and Ansco were making in that era.
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Old 10-04-2018   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carbo73 View Post
In the frontal, opened view, I presume...
The central one is the aperture selector, in fact three consecutive holes. The one to the right is the selector for the long exposure mode (T). In fact the shutter is in T mode for the picture, so that you can see the lens.
Thanks carbo73.

Do I take it that to use the aperture selector, you have to pull it up and move it to one side or the other?

As rolfe has brought up the subject of cowboys, I think this isn't too far off-topic:

Anyone know what Hopalong Cassidy's horse was called?
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