Brownie No. 2 Refresh? Yes and why not?

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by ralf_j., Jul 28, 2021.

  1. Most of these box cameras or other mass produced cameras are in terrible shape when found these days.

    As a pleasant surprise to myself, most of these can be resurrected more often than not. It is only a myth that these are riveted shut "light tight" boxes with cheap meniscus type lenses.

    Careful examination of of seams and screws will yield pleasant result most of the time.

    The Brownie No. 2 is one such beast old lady. Disassembly in full display below.

    pnet brownie no.jpg
    James Bryant and Rick_van_Nooij like this.
  2. The mirrors in the brilliant finders are usually in bad shape after 80 years.
  3. Very nice. You can get mirrored plastic sheets which are easy to cut to size. I tried to use some for a TLR mirror but it wasn't optically good enough. Should be fine for a small viewfinder though.

    LINK --- --- --- TLR Mirror Replacement - A Suggestion
  4. I actually have 2 Agfa 44s, I believe is the model . My GF/Wife had one from her Grandmother and learning my interest she showed it to me. A few weeks into our relationship. I fired the single speed shutter a few times and then the third or 4th time the spring broke. OOOhhh my GF was seriously pissed about that.

    I eventually (many years later) bought one for little money, and used it too . My idea was to swap out the shutter board and tell her I fixed it. As you mentioned Rick, most of what I read said "never good... won't be light tight ..riveted etc .. and my inner "goblin" decided to keep both as they are. I speculated I could fummel with a guitar string and make and replace the shutter . but it seems forming these as springs is not very easy.
    I've seen you resurrect some very fine MF cameras so please be sure to show the way to healing. Can you show me up close the shutter spring removed and how it is properly attached to the actuator and pivots?
    I found this online ( see attachment ) as a guideline but the attaching of the spring parts are not visible because they are well...attached. I suppose they are simple compressed circle/ring springs. My luck is I will break the spring if I remove it from the working example. Seeing your disassembly revives my original plan of simply swapping out the shutter board complete with intact shutter. Side Note : Grandmother's example has the badge from the photoshop that is still in business albeit as a optics reseller binocs glasses etc. Ziem Optik

    James Bryant likes this.
  5. Hi folks, good to see you here.

    @ Rick - I have mirrors cut to size from a gentleman on eBay who sells tlr mirrors so that should address that issue.
    @chuck, this one you have posted here may be a little more involving and require your will whether you want to proceed as the outcome can go either way: shutter plate is held with 4 nails from what I see; I have messed with this before prying nails out and reinserting them but obviously the camera had no sentimental value to me. Your choice, my friend :).
    James Bryant and Rick_van_Nooij like this.
  6. As you said... tough road to hack.. I did get inspired yesterday and tried anew at making a spring with a bit of guitar string. Again my patience was tried, but I was rewarded with a semi-functioning shutter. The shutter release works in both directions ie picture one; press down (release stays down ) picture two: flip up.
    On my repair there's not enough resistance to complete the rotation so it is quasi on "B" But I did manage to get the spring mounted.

    Conclusion : my spring is essentially too big ie too long. I will try again. I will make it shorter. I will make the ends first by wrapping around a screw or nail to get the rounded shape. the "spring" bend will be the final bend and I may also use a rounded object to form it better.

    ralf_j. and James Bryant like this.
  7. much appreciated
    ralf_j. likes this.
  8. Buy some cheap round nose wire bending pliers and you'll be amazed at how nice your springs look. They come in several sizes.
    chuck_foreman|1 likes this.
  9. @chuck - good attempt - What Conrad says sounds intriguing. Good to see you JDM hope you are doing well :).

    My Brownie came together without any notable hic-ups and it is ready to shoot - had to re-glue the mirrors as in boneheaded attempt i placed them on the frame of the camera instead of having them glued on the wooden block that supports the shutter and aperture mechanism. I have loaded it up with HP5 and will see if we can get some interesting exposures out of it.

    Brownie together internal.jpeg Brownie top leather.jpeg Brownie Front Open Shutter.jpeg Brownie Lens Sparkle.jpeg Brownie back with Film.jpeg
    James Bryant likes this.

Share This Page