People take pictures of each other, only I can't.
November 15, 2005 2:59 PM   Subscribe

Got a Kodak Brownie, looks good. Cleaned out the gunk on the lens (looked like battery corrosion wtf?), tried to slap some 120mm film in there. For some reason, it's too damned tight, and I'm afraid of ripping the film when I advance it. Anyone had this problem?

For shits and giggles, I've jury-rigged a roll of 35mm in there, but the case won't close (obvs). I've taped it up, but it's a bit wobbly. Anyone have any experience with this? I know that the film will be shot all the way past the holes, but anything else I should look out for?
posted by klangklangston to Media & Arts (11 answers total)
not sure but it might take 126 or 127 film and not 120 mm. I'll try to look up my notes.
posted by eatcake at 3:18 PM on November 15, 2005

Does it actually say it takes 120? It might take 620. You can spool 120 film onto 620 spindles if you need to.
posted by bkeaggy at 3:18 PM on November 15, 2005

if it's a "brownie 127" it uses 127 film (says 127 on front of camera).
posted by andrew cooke at 3:29 PM on November 15, 2005

Obvious follow-up question: Does the film advance crank smoothly without any film in it? (Or could the corrosion be affecting the film advance mechanism as well?)

Corollary: If the film advance lever throws smoothly when filmless, it could be that the sprocket that holds the film itself is corroded/clogged, so that the film won't turn smoothly even when pulled by a smoothly-turning film advance lever...
posted by misterbrandt at 3:39 PM on November 15, 2005

You can use 120 film in some Brownies. There are two ways to accomplish this: reroll the 120 film onto 620 spindles, as bkeaggy suggested, or cut down the plastic on the ends of the 120 spools (see method #2) to make it fit.

I collect Brownies and have used the cut-spool method successfully.
posted by bedhead at 3:39 PM on November 15, 2005

Actually, you can use 120 film on some brownies without modification. It's just that you need a 620 take up spool. Put the 120 film in the top and wind it on to the 620 spool as you take photos. Just make certain that you save the spool when you get the film processed. They're much more difficult to find than 620 cameras themselves.

My Hawkeye Flash works just fine in this fashion.
posted by aladfar at 4:08 PM on November 15, 2005

Oh, and if it's a 127 based brownie you can get film from J&C Photography. The black and white film is only produced by a single company based in the Czech Republic, but J&C offers very reasonable prices.
posted by aladfar at 4:15 PM on November 15, 2005

It's just that you need a 620 take up spool.

Right - one of my Brownies came to me with a partially exposed roll of 620 film in it, and I just asked the lab to save the spool for me when they developed it. Now I use that as the take-up spool in one of my cameras. I still cut down the 120 spools for other cameras if I don't have the 620 spool handy, though. (I have way too many cameras.)

You can also find 127 size film at Freestyle.
posted by bedhead at 5:33 PM on November 15, 2005

Little more info: It's a Hawkeye model, so it apparently takes 620. I have a takeup spool, but no resevior spool, so I'll be trying the trim-down method.

Any advice for the actual photos? Anything weird about the Brownie I need to know? I'm really looking forward to using the viewfinder, as I think it will be fun to not look at the subject while I shoot. (Besides, I get those camera squints from regular viewfinders).

I usually shoot a Holgas (modded or virgin) and develop my own film. I also have the flash for the Brownie, but the lamps seem to be an odd size. Any hope for finding them?
posted by klangklangston at 8:43 PM on November 15, 2005

I found a few of the lamps on eBay. You might also be able to find them via local camera shows - there's one near me that has dealers from miles around coming to sell their random stuff.

If you're used to Holgas and developing 120 film, you should be fine with the Brownie. I shot with Holgas before I got my first Brownie, and found the results kind of similar - the lenses aren't amazing on my older box cameras, but they take good photos with a nice, kind of dreamy quality that I like. That's why I shoot with vintage cameras, Holgas, and Lensbabies - many times, I enjoy a slightly softer, more "artsy" image, and I get that with the Brownie.

Here's a page on Hawkeyes with relevant links. Enjoy!
posted by bedhead at 12:23 AM on November 16, 2005

Haven't seen this posted yet. In addition to cutting the spools or respooling, you can use a spacer as detailed in Using 120 Film in a Six-20 Brownie Junior without respooling. Haven't done this myself, but I think I've read where others (besides Brandon Shahan) have done this with decent results.
posted by mumeishi at 8:21 AM on November 16, 2005

« Older Mysteries of and Organism   |   Share The Rock! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.