April 20, 2009 at 3:25 am #1584
As it happened, several of us were out today trying to have one last go at stuff for this week’s contest. Turns out the dam we visited was virtually a concertina wire farm so I got nothing there…
But on leaving, we decided to go and wander around the old part of Folsom, CA and they were having an antique fair on the main drag.
So, at $15 I couldn’t resist. I bought a Brownie No.2 in apparently perfect working condition.
and it includes the mediocre instruction manual as well.
Has anyone used one of these things? I’ve found a source for 120 film and B&H Photo will process that, but are there any tips/tricks/pitfalls I need to be aware of? I really want to try this thing out just for kicks.April 20, 2009 at 5:34 am #22115staplermofoParticipant
I had the same problem with the dams here.
Then I went home and ate a brownie.April 20, 2009 at 5:36 am #22116
I don’t know about where you live, but I’d go to jail for that.April 20, 2009 at 5:51 am #22117staplermofoParticipant
Jail? Man, Californian are really serious about eating healthy.April 20, 2009 at 6:40 am #22118
Can’t even buy the high school girls a Coke anymore. sheesh.
/but seriously, I want to take this thing through the rounds. Might even consider starting a Farktography-brownie project once I’ve verified that it works.April 20, 2009 at 6:12 pm #22119
Old box cameras are mostly so simple that the shutter etc are probably working unless they’re badly corroded. The finders can be pretty hazy too, but they were never exactly precise to begin with….
One thing to consider about this sort of camera is that they were usually designed for the pretty slow film they had at the time. The shutter speed/aperture might be about 1/30 and F/11 (a decent daylight exposure for ISO 25). If you put, say, 100 speed film in it, you’ll want to shoot in the shade or overcast.April 20, 2009 at 7:22 pm #22120
Yeah, the shutter and the other settings seem to be all good. I even figured out how to set it in ‘bulb’ mode (shutter stays open until I close it). The finders are, as you say pretty hazy, but I haven’t gone and cleaned the dust off it either, so there may be some improvement to be had. I can at least see well enough to center the subject in good lighting…
The film speed was definitely something I was wondering about. I was going to get some 100, but I’ll lean towards the 25, which seems readily available too, or maybe try a roll of both, just for kicks.
Any ideas on tripods? I’m assuming the originals would have been a a wooden thing like a modern tripod with a platform on top… I’m guessing that’s something I’m going to have to scratch-build though.April 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm #22121
I assume you’re looking at the Efke 25 speed? I would check with your lab about it, I’ve heard it comes out with extremely high contrast with most standard developers.
Yeah, you’ll see antique tripods with a platform sometimes. You probably don’t need a tripod unless you’re using bulb, though. With the relatively large mass of the camera plus the lack of a reflex mirror you shouldn’t have a problem handholding it even though the shutter speed is quite low. A 3/8 to 1/4″ reducing bushing is a good cheap way of getting a threaded tripod socket if you want to build a platform.April 21, 2009 at 7:30 pm #22122
That’s good to know. B&H also sells Rollei which I might lean towards then.
I was thinking about the tripod because one of the things I want to try is some old-timey snaps in the studio – so it’s decent lighting but definitely not ‘outdoors’. I was gonna use ISO 100 in there though.
I’ll have to poke around the Home Despot and see what they have in bushings – that’s a good idea, thanks 🙂April 21, 2009 at 7:52 pm #22123
I don’t know about home depot, but any half decent camera store should have a reducing bushing, or they’re like 2$ at B&H: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/503797-REG/General_Brand_NPTRB_3_8_to_1_4_20_Tripod.html
The only thing is you’d probably need a deeper hole than the bushing to accomodate the tripod screw, as they are pretty short.April 22, 2009 at 3:37 am #22124
Ah, misunderstood what you were referring to.
I’m going to have to ponder that, since I’ve got no way of actually attaching the camera to the tripod. I suppose that if I fitted a stud to a board, and attached that to a modern tripod that could work…April 22, 2009 at 4:52 am #22125
That or drill a hole in the camera itself, yeah. Not sure if that one is wood under the leather or something else, though?April 22, 2009 at 6:38 am #22126
The actual case is leather-covered cardboard, with a wood film box. Don’t think I want to do any drilling :/
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