Flash bulb for a Brownie Twin 20

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by Quadna71, Feb 28, 2021.

  1. My mother is clearing out her house a little in preparation to sell and came across her camera from when she was a kid. “Hey, would you like my old camera?” What? Of course I would! So now it is going in a box this weekend and she will mail it off to me once she receives her 2nd vaccine. I don’t see a bulb anywhere in the pictures she sent me so I’d like to start looking now. Any idea how to determine which one it takes? I think it is a “flash mate” and I can’t seem to locate the correct bulb at B&H. But it should take the same 620 film as the last camera her husband sent me a few months back too (his old Jiffy Kodak Series II).

    Thanks for any leads you have for me.

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  2. Here’s the camera her husband sent me a couple months ago - his Jiffy Series II. I cleaned it up best as I could and am hoping to get film for both of them soon and test them out.

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  4. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

  5. From the manual, it can use M-2, 5, or 25 flashbulbs.

    I was trying to tell from the picture. The M-2 (and M-3) have a smaller base which goes into the center.
    The 5 and 25 have a larger base, which pushes in the part that holds the M-2. It also mentions M-5,
    which I never heard of, but seems to have the base of M-2, but larger light output. It doesn't
    mention M-3.

    Also, it seems to use two AA sized batteries. There used to be special photoflash carbon-zinc cells
    which supply the higher current needed. Alkaline and NiCd cells can supply that current, so either of
    those should be fine. I believe also NiMH. Check that the contacts are clean, as leaky batteries
    might have corroded them.

    Some 620 cameras can use a 120 spool (and film) for the source, but still need a 620 take-up spool.
    Others only an actual 620 source spool. I can't tell from the pictures.

    It isn't hard to find VP620 on eBay, and usually works fine. A little overexposure might help.
  6. The Jiffy series II comes in 616 and 620 versions, and I can't tell from the picture which one it is.
    As above, VP620 isn't hard to find, and some will take a 120 source spool.

    Some people respool 120 onto a 620 spool. It is a little tricky, as it is only taped on one end.
    When you spool back, you have to get it started right, or there is a lump when it gets to where
    it is taped, and doesn't match up. (You can retape to fix this.)

    VP616 is harder to find. VP116 is easier, maybe easier than VP620, and can be respooled
    onto 616 spools. But then you will need one of those.

    In both cases, try to find film less that 50 years old, and still in sealed foil package.

    (There is now on eBay some V620 and V616, which is the predecessor to Verichrome Pan,
    keeps less well, and is older. There is also a roll of VP616 out of the foil packet and with
    the seal tape broken.)

    And yes 50 years is a long time, but it usually works well. VP is one of the better films
    in its aging properties.
  7. In my personal experience with a first model Kodak Jiffy 620, you do need to have two 620 reels. 120 reels slip and jam. There are a few 620 models, I hear, in which 120 can be used directly.

    In the meantime, try on some Gene M. We haven't heard from him for a long time, but at least some of his sites/posts on reanimating old 'Brownies' and the film in them remain at

    LINK Found Films
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
  8. I previously tried 120 spools in a Brownie Hawkeye and found that they work.
    But then some say that they are not all the same. I think I once had a Jiffy 616,
    which might still be somewhere in my parents' house. I got it from my grandfather
    when I was young, but never had 616 film for it. That was not long after I got an
    Autographic 1A jr. using 116 film, and actually put film in at the time, and a few
    times since.

    I used to have a Kodak tank with apron, the only time I ever used one,
    that would do 116 film. (When I was about 10, and when I was in high
    school and found a roll of VP116 on sale.)

    More recently, I have a plastic reel 116 tank, and finally a Nikor 116 tank.
    (Might have been never used before I got it.) I have enough rolls
    of VP116 to last for a while. I even have some 70mm VPS if I get in
    the mood to try spooling up that.

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