Go Back   Rangefinderforum.com > Cameras / Gear / Photography > Rangefinder Forum > Photography General Interest

Photography General Interest Neat Photo stuff NOT particularly about Rangefinders.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

Brownie Cameras 1940-1950?
Old 04-04-2019   #1
dave lackey
Registered User
 
dave lackey's Avatar
 
dave lackey is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Atlanta, Ga
Posts: 8,903
Brownie Cameras 1940-1950?

This question was inevitable. As I am now the official curator of all our vintage family photos, I have been charged with the overwhelming task of organizing and creating Family History Photo Books. Imagine working with photos over 100 years old dating back to the 1890s...

It is a thankless task but I feel an obligation for our future family members. It is also a fascinating experience!

I am finding all kinds of images in different sizes, making me wonder what camera was used. Some are on post cards. Some are very small and some are very close to 2:3 format. I found several of myself dating back to 1950 and I remember a couple of black Brownie cameras.

We were lowly working class families back then and if I find time to re-size an image or two, I will post them because with little money, my parents enjoyed the annual vacation trip to Florida in the 1948 Nash, or the succeeding Chevrolets.

They worked hard, and enjoyed life in spite of World Wars, Depression/Recessions, and family tragedies.

If nothing else, my experience so far with this treasure of old images has grounded me with an appreciation of who they were and nothing can change that. They were/are my family.

I would like to identify which Brownie cameras they might have used, as I would like to purchase one to use myself. They actually performed quite well!
__________________


Dave
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-04-2019   #2
Timmyjoe
Registered User
 
Timmyjoe's Avatar
 
Timmyjoe is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 2,987
My Mom got a Brownie Reflex Synchro for her birthday back in the 1940's and used that for taking pictures of her girlfriends, her boyfriend (eventually my Dad), and our young family thru the 1950's. It used 127 film and made square 4x4 negatives, like the Baby Rollei.



Brownie Reflex Synchro

Best,
-Tim
__________________
http://www.timcarrollphotography.com

New Photo Books
Sturgis Stories
& Scenes From Sturgis
now available
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-04-2019   #3
Mr_Flibble
Registered User
 
Mr_Flibble's Avatar
 
Mr_Flibble is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: The Lowlands
Age: 42
Posts: 4,079
There are so many possibilities for 2x3 (6x9cm) for the time period; So many types of No.2 Box Brownies and Kodak Six-20 Brownies.

And yes. Despite most Brownies having a simple meniscus lens, I've taken very nice images with them. Better than some of the post-WW2 plastic stuff.
__________________
Rick - In Tabulas Argenteas Refero
Loaded with film: Some Kaiser Cassettes
Latest Toys: 2x B&H Eyemo 71-Q, Graflex 7" reflector
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-04-2019   #4
burninfilm
Registered User
 
burninfilm's Avatar
 
burninfilm is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 210
If you could measure the size of the smallest prints, that could help determine the negative size. It was common back then to make contact prints from the negatives, so the resultant prints might tell us what film format was used. This would be helpful information for determining what Brownie models could have made the pictures.

Simple folding/box cameras with one or two-element lenses can definitely produce good results within their limitations. I had a Kodak Vigilant Jr. (620 format) with a simple meniscus lens, and it worked surprisingly well. A good box camera will produce an image with a reasonably sharp center, but pretty much all of them get much softer the closer you get to the corners/edges. The corners tend to get pretty blurry. I personally like the look!
__________________
Using: Argus C3, Kodak Pony 135, Nikon N90s & Nikon D7000


  Reply With Quote

Old 04-04-2019   #5
dave lackey
Registered User
 
dave lackey's Avatar
 
dave lackey is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Atlanta, Ga
Posts: 8,903
Wow! I wish this forum had "Like" button!!!

I will measure the negs and post the results. And maybe an image or two later.

I remember playing with a black box 620!!! So that must have been the one my Dad used!

Stay tuned, I will research some more tonight.

Thanks to all!
__________________


Dave
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-04-2019   #6
dave lackey
Registered User
 
dave lackey's Avatar
 
dave lackey is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Atlanta, Ga
Posts: 8,903
Hmmm... I need some 620 film....:0
__________________


Dave
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-04-2019   #7
burninfilm
Registered User
 
burninfilm's Avatar
 
burninfilm is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave lackey View Post
Hmmm... I need some 620 film....:0
I've always just used 120 film and re-rolled it onto 620 spools. It's a very simple process, especially if you are willing to sacrifice a film roll to get some practice.

However, you will need at least two 620 spools.

There are lots of great websites for researching Kodak Brownies and similar Kodak box cameras. Mischa Koning's "Kodak Classics" website (made up from the old website by Chris Eve) has a good list of them.

Check it out!: https://kodak.3106.net/index.php?p=217
__________________
Using: Argus C3, Kodak Pony 135, Nikon N90s & Nikon D7000


  Reply With Quote

Old 04-04-2019   #8
css9450
Registered User
 
css9450's Avatar
 
css9450 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,917
I have a Hawkeye "Flash" model, which is a long-running model from the 1950s (mine was made in 1958). It has a pleasant, attractive heft to it and feels much more robust than one would think of a simple box camera. Its pretty neat.
__________________
Nikon S2, S3, F, F2, F3, FM2, FA, N90S, D80, D7000, D750, Sony a6000, Canon IIf, Leica CL, Tower type 3, Zorki 4, Vito B, Perkeo II, Rollei 35....
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-04-2019   #9
davidnewtonguitars
Family Snaps
 
davidnewtonguitars's Avatar
 
davidnewtonguitars is offline
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Beaumont, TX
Posts: 1,374
My Mom, who was the family photographer, used a Hawkeye Flash, and WWII-time, a Kodak folder. Wonderful photos of the time.
There are a few Hawkeye 120's to be found, but mostly 620's. I hear you can so some "bakelite modifications" to make 120 spools fit a 620 model. Has anyone here done that?
__________________
Leica M2 / 7artisans 35-f2 / Canon 35-f2 ltm
http://davidnewtonguitars.squarespace.com/
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-04-2019   #10
dave lackey
Registered User
 
dave lackey's Avatar
 
dave lackey is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Atlanta, Ga
Posts: 8,903
Cool!

Now all I need is a few 620 rolls! I have a freezer full of 120 and 220 Ektachrome and TriX.

And a Brownie..,0
__________________


Dave
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-04-2019   #11
oftheherd
Registered User
 
oftheherd's Avatar
 
oftheherd is offline
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 7,905
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidnewtonguitars View Post
My Mom, who was the family photographer, used a Hawkeye Flash, and WWII-time, a Kodak folder. Wonderful photos of the time.
There are a few Hawkeye 120's to be found, but mostly 620's. I hear you can so some "bakelite modifications" to make 120 spools fit a 620 model. Has anyone here done that?
I used some Brownies in late 40's when I am guessing that was all my father would trust me with. I thought I was hot stuff.

I think most people these days prefer to modify a used 120 roll by somehow trimming the outer portion of the 120 rim. I've never done it but google should be a help. Or as already suggested, two 620 rolls and re-spool 120 onto the feed side. I have read of the working. I don't recall how; again google.

Good luck and have fun.
__________________
My Gallery
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-04-2019   #12
mconnealy
Registered User
 
mconnealy's Avatar
 
mconnealy is offline
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 164
I have a post on my blog with illustrations about re-rolling 120 to 620.
It is really very easy, requiring no unusual dexterity and it only takes a few minutes.

__________________
Mike Connealy - Photography & Vintage Film Cameras
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-04-2019   #13
charjohncarter
Registered User
 
charjohncarter's Avatar
 
charjohncarter is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Danville, CA, USA
Posts: 8,735
I had something that looked like a Brownie Starlight using 127 (4x4), but I really had a case of GAS for a Brownie Hawkeye Flash and one with a flash. I never got it until about 10 years ago.

6x6:

AristaEDUultra100 HC-110h by John Carter, on Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-04-2019   #14
dave lackey
Registered User
 
dave lackey's Avatar
 
dave lackey is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Atlanta, Ga
Posts: 8,903
Quote:
Originally Posted by mconnealy View Post
I have a post on my blog with illustrations about re-rolling 120 to 620.
It is really very easy, requiring no unusual dexterity and it only takes a few minutes.

Just got in,

Thanks, Mike!

Bookmarked your link and looking forward reading it and your blog.
__________________


Dave
  Reply With Quote

Old 04-04-2019   #15
Steve M.
Registered User
 
Steve M. is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,382
The time honored tradition for home photo archiving is to pile all the photos into the bottom drawer of a bedroom dresser and forget about them. I'm not kidding. Everyone I've talked to has found treasure troves of stuff that way, and other than a few photos sticking together all the pics were fine. Go figure. My mom kept ours this way for at least 30 years. Many of the film formats from the past didn't survive, so you see prints w/ unusual aspect ratios.

Rerolling 620 to a 120 spool is easy one you get the hang of it, but there are so many 120 cameras out there, box and otherwise, I would just look for one of those. The lenses can make great photos, but the viewfinders are the weak point, along w/ figuring a way to carry them. I wouldn't trust an old camera strap. Because of the downsides, I usually went to one of the fake TLR box cameras like the Kodak, Argolflex or Voigtlander Brillant. Some of these old cameras can take both 120 and 620. There's always nail clippers to take the edge off a plastic 120 spool too.
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 13:14.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All content on this site is Copyright Protected and owned by its respective owner. You may link to content on this site but you may not reproduce any of it in whole or part without written consent from its owner.