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  1. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    This ‘just for fun’ challenge is open to anyone with a pre-1936 Kodak Brownie Box Camera, the aim being to see who can take the nicest looking photo using one of these cheap and simple vintage cameras. The rules are as follows:

    • Entries must have been taken using a genuine, pre-1936, Kodak Brownie Box Cameras (eg a Kodak Brownie Number 2 or earlier). Not sure if your camera qualifies? You should be able to identify the model and its approximate year of manufacture on the following link: http://www.brownie.camera/
    • To register to enter you will need to post a photo of your camera on this thread, together with a few words about how it came into your possession (given by a relative, bought from a car boot sale for 50p, etc.).
    • After registering, you will have until 30th of September 2017 to take a photo with your camera and enter it. Entries can be posted at any time between registering on this thread and the closure of entries on midnight 30th of September 2017 (hopefully this will keep this and the entries thread ticking over during the year).
    • After the closing date a poll will be held for 7 days so people can vote for the three photos they like the best. The one with the most votes wins. Depending on the standard of entry, we may also have a separate poll for the most amusing or disappointing failure too, if people want to enter that.

    Please use this registration thread to ask any questions, a separate ‘entries thread’ will be started once someone lets me know they have a photo to enter, and will be linked here: .................................

    Best of luck everyone! :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
  2. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    Here’s what I’ll be using, on the left we have a British made Brownie Junior No 2 dating from 1931-1932, and on the right a Canadian made Brownie No2 Model F dating from 1924 - 1925. Both these cameras were bought from a junk shop in North Wales around 1980 for around £1.50 each. Once they’ve had a bit of a clean they should be ready to go! :)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
  3. ChrisR

    ChrisR

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    From what I could see reading the post you linked to, pre 1936 are 620 only. If my sister still has hers, it was 120, so I guess I'm out!

    Not sure why the insistence on pre 1936; there were plenty of Box Brownies after that (eg 2A models)...
     
  4. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    No, there are loads of pre-1936 120 models including the No2A (both the ones in my photo take 120), so I think you must be looking at the wrong model? Scroll down on the link and have a look, and let me know if there's still an issue just in case I've linked to the wrong thing!

    The idea of an age limit was because the Brownie name was used on a lot of later models, with significantly better lenses than the early ones. If we all use the basic earlier models with meniscus type lens, then it gives a fairly level playing field, and adds to the challenge of getting a good looking photo! Hope that makes sense. (y)
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
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  5. ChrisR

    ChrisR

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    Sorry it appears I misread that very confusing site!
     
  6. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    No problem, until I found that website I'd no idea they'd made so many different versions, it took me a couple of goes to find and identify the two I've got, and they were in front of me! Fair play to the website owner for cataloguing them though. Anyway, glad you're back in the game! (y)
     
  7. schpleep

    schpleep

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    Lee
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    Box Brownies you say... It'll have to be one of these two then. The Six-20 needs re-spooling to work, but it was my grandad's post-war purchase so I do like to make sure it's still used. The Model 2 was a local antique shop find after I'd gotten the bug from shooting with the Six-20, it needed a clean-up but yes, that one is still good to go too.
    [​IMG]
    20170316_222328549_iOS
     
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  8. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    The Model 2 on the right is eligible (pre-1936), so welcome to the challenge Lee and best of luck. (y)

    Still no sign of the @Andysnap / @Mrs Snap machine yet, or has it gone in for a CLA? ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
  9. Andysnap

    Andysnap POTY (Film) 2015

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    Arrived yesterday and it is a Model 2 in very nice condition. Just need to figure out how to load the flippin' thing.
     
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  10. Asha

    Asha

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    cue roll of blank exposures :ROFLMAO:
     
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  11. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
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  12. Andysnap

    Andysnap POTY (Film) 2015

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    Thanks for that Mr B, i had worked out how to load the film but the info about aperture and shutter speed is useful as is the fact that the front comes off to enable cleaning.(y)
     
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  13. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    No problem, glad it was useful, but don't blame me if you break it! I shall look forward to seeing a photo of a very clean and shiny camera on here shortly! :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
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  14. RaglanSurf

    RaglanSurf Official Forum Idiot 2013 & 2014

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  15. Asha

    Asha

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    The front came off????.........He's broken it!:runaway::runaway: :D

    To think the Box Brownie has one of the most simple designs that a camera could ever have .......There's only Andy who could stuggle with it.:rolleyes::D

    Never mind at least @Mrs Snap is there to guide him:p:D
     
  16. Andysnap

    Andysnap POTY (Film) 2015

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    Andy Grant
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    Well it came off eventually...... after a bit of hammering and the brief but forceful application of a chisel. :facepalm::LOL:
     
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  17. abdoujaparov

    abdoujaparov

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    Assuming I actually get around to getting a second 620 spool, and then get around to respooling a roll of 120, then I'll be using this, which is one of these http://www.brownie.camera/six_20_brownie.htm that my auntie got from a car boot sale.

    IMG_20170318_144222.jpg
     
  18. D_M_J

    D_M_J

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    David
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    Here's mine, No.2 Brownie from 1914-15. No interesting back story to how I got it... antiques stall for about a tenner a few years ago, it's a bit scruffy, leaks light occaisionally on sunny days and might have a lazy shutter... but it still has fun! :)

    [​IMG]box_brownie by David M Jones, on Flickr
     
  19. Nikbud

    Nikbud

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    Paul
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    This is my Brownie 2A model C, bought as an Xmas pressie.
    Converted from 116 film to take 120 film in 6x9 format - not put a film through it yet.......

    [​IMG]brownie-1 by Paul, on Flickr [​IMG]brownie-2 by Paul, on Flickr
    [​IMG]brownie-3 by Paul, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017 at 1:37 PM
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  20. Nomad Z

    Nomad Z

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    Here's my No2, which is indeed a model F...

    Brownie No2 Model F w case + spool.jpg

    The glass was all pretty filthy, so I decided now was a good time to give it its scheduled 80-year CLA. The viewfinders were dramatically improved - every surface was caked in crap. The lens wasn't so bad, but was much harder to clean (especially with the front element behind the shutter). Soft, small paintbrushes were used to first apply spectacle lens cleaner, dabbed dry, and then IPA, blown dry, followed by a gentle buff with a microfibre cloth. Oiling didn't seem so necessary because everything worked fine, but I used a cocktail stick and a small brush to lubricate: the pivot for the shutter lever, the pivot of the shutter itself, the sliding bits at the aperture plate where it passes its locating/detent pin, and the sliding bit at the shutter setting bar. Maybe it feels slightly better. I also wiped a little oil on the shutter spring and the rivet at the centre of the shutter plate because they had what looked like some slight surface rust. The oil was 3-in-1, and I probably used about half of the three drops I put into a little plastic bottle cap. The only adjustment was to slightly nip up the screw retaining the shutter setting bar because it was a smidge loose (took very little force to slacken it with the fingers on the screwdriver blade rather than the handle).

    While I had it opened up, I measured the diameters of the stops and got 7mm, 5.5mm and 3mm. I'm not sure what the focal length is, but if it's 105mm, that would be apertures of f/15, f/19 and f/35. So, about 2/3rds of a stop between large and medium, and about 1 and 2/3rds from medium to small. For the purposes of this exercise, I think I'll call them f/Large, f/Medium and f/Small (or f/L, f/M and f/S). The shutter speed looks pretty close to the 1/50th on my Yashicamat LM, and I'll go with that.

    So, I have a Brownie, a nifty carry bag complete with strap, and a spool of 100asa film. All I need now is some bright sunshine, some subjects, and the elusive dose of talent...

    Edit to add a couple more adjustments and some more cleaning. At the take-up spool, one end of the spring that acts as a clutch on the spool was a bit out of position, so I bent it towards the spool to match the other end. One end of the film advance thingy was bent in a bit, so this was eased out to horizontal with a pair of pliers. I also had another look at the lens and noticed some smudging that I wasn't happy with, so I made a little tool to get better access. The tool consisted of a tiny bit of self-adhesive foam rubber tape (about 3mm square) stuck to the end of the handle of one of the small paintbrushes, with a small bit of microfibre cut from a cloth wrapped over that and held to the brush handle with electricians tape. It took a couple of goes to get this thin enough to fit through the large stop. Cleaning was done with the shutter open and looking through the back while gently wiggling the cleaning tool around to buff off the smudging. I also did the back of the lens with this and found it was much easier to reach in. Looking through from the front with a loupe, it all looks pretty clean and clear now. With that, I think I now have a lean, mean, picture-taking machine. :)

    I also read the instruction manual and get how to use it - basically do everything at f/L, sometimes f/M, and instantaneous, unless it's dull, in which case it's f/S and guess the time exposure. I raided the Acros stash in the freezer and got another three spools, so spool 1 will be used to test it out.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017 at 12:10 AM
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  21. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    Thanks for the registration posts everyone, it's nice to see some tired old relics being brought back from the brink and given a second lease of life (it gives me some hope, if nothing else! :LOL: ). I like that 116 to 120 film gate conversion plate, Paul ( @Nikbud ), it looks neat enough to have been cut by laser! Let us know if it works OK.

    I followed a similar path to @Nomad Z when servicing my Brownie No 2 F camera this weekend; the viewfinder glass and mirrors were pretty grotty and some gentle cleaning revealed that the silvering on the mirrors had deteriorated quite noticeably, with the mirrors taking on a yellowy-golden colour and black areas where the silvering had failed altogether. However, once reassembled, I was surprised that I could still see well enough through the viewfinders to frame a shot reasonably well, so I wonder just how bad these have got to get before they become unserviceable?

    Let's just hope it's a good, old-fashioned, sunny summer and we have plenty of chance to capture some great photos with these vintage classics, so keep those registrations coming in for the Brownie Box Camera Challenge. (y) I'm looking forward to seeing the entries coming in, and some practice shots being posted in the Box Camera Photo Gallery too (more news on that tomorrow!). :)
     
  22. Nomad Z

    Nomad Z

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    The silvering on my mirrors looks to be in very good condition - didn't notice any deterioration, and the images are nice and clear.

    As for what would make them u/s, I guess what it really needs is to be reasonably light tight, and for the hole in the front to be openable in such a way as to effect an exposure. There are ways to work around just about everything else. Light leaks can be fixed with tape. If the film transport is broken, you could do one frame at a time using printing paper, but need Time to be working or improvise a shutter. Same for other things needing long exposures (missing lens replaced with a pinhole, jammed on f/S, etc). The viewfinders are handy but aren't strictly necessary, so they could fail - could tape bits of bent wire on to make a viewing frame if you really wanted a finder. The stop plate could jam at either f/L or f/M and it would be fine if Instantaneous was still working, and you could probably get away with the larger stops and Time if you taped a reasonably dense filter over the lens, or played with film speeds to get sensible exposures. Aye, almost unstoppable as long as it's still a light tight box with a hole at one end.

    I like the photo gallery idea - I was thinking of something similar, but for contact sheets (no hiding the duffers), so could post them in there.
     
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  23. mothdust

    mothdust

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    I found my Brownie, but I think it's a bit too new for this challenge - it's a Brownie Flash B:
    [​IMG]
    To be honest, it's unlikely I'm going to buy another one, but I might put a roll through this one at some point, just not for the challenge!
     
  24. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    Yes, the Brownie Flash B is definitely post 1936: http://www.brownie.camera/brownie_flash_b_camera.htm The good news is that if you do decide to put a roll of film through it you'll be able to post the results on the Box Camera Photo Gallery thread, which started tonight. (y) https://www.talkphotography.co.uk/threads/the-box-camera-photo-gallery.649939/

    Mind you, with a September 30th closing date, you've got plenty of time left to take part in the Brownie Box Camera Challenge as well, if a cheap pre-36 Brownie should cross your path and tempt you. :)

    The Box Camera Photo Gallery is there for any photos taken using a box camera, regardless of make or model year. It's a non-competitive thread (like the 'show us yer film shots then!' thread) and should hopefully run alongside and complement the Box Brownie Challenge, providing a comparison between the different makes of box camera over the years and the quality of images they can still produce.

    The Box Camera Photo Gallery is also open to photos taken with pre-36 Kodak Brownies, so the ideal place to post the results of any practice runs or 'also ran' shots taken by those entering the Brownie Box Camera Challenge. :)
     
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  25. mothdust

    mothdust

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    Nice! I got mine from a good friend - her father passed away and she found it in his house. Knowing my obsession with old cameras, she saved it for me :)
     

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