Kodak Box Brownie no. 2, ... in a modern spin.

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by ralf_j., Sep 24, 2006.

  1. A couple of days ago I posted an image of a developed negative from a verichrome film roll found in this unit. Well I wanted to see what this camera can do for me, so I took the front plate apart, cleaned the mirrors, the shutter and the hole body with alcohol, so the super strong smell of the "antique" musk is no longer as strong ;-). I took it out for a spin around New York City. In a city that is choked with digital point & shoots and fancy digital SLR's, I figured I'd add a little breath of "fresh" air with my new-old toy. Here you go:
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  2. 5th Avenue Skyline:
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  3. Old Church, 6th Avenue:
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  4. Madison Square:
     
  5. Met Life Clock Tower:
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  6. New York 'n motion, 6th Avenue Herald Square
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  7. Amazing stuff.
     
  8. Well, this is using the camera to it's intended capabilities! It was designed to make contact prints -- nothing more. Depending on your screen resolution, these are pretty close to contact print size. They're charming, classic shots of New York.

    Of course if you did enlarge them, you could correct the chromatic aberration in a photo editor, and you would still have those gorgeous grainless medium format skies. I get them even with my Vest Pocket Kodak (loaded with Portra 160NC), and it's wonderful! That one has a Kodak Anastigmat, so I can enlarge them.
     
  9. Great pictures captured with an old "foggie"!
     
  10. Of course, the camera was also designed when B&W was the only common film, and possibly even ortho B&W, which takes care of the chromatic aberration problems- turns it into fuzziness, if present.
     
  11. This is my kind of post. What a wonderful way to use a roll of film.
     
  12. paul ron

    paul ron NYC

    OH MAN! I'm going in my garage and cleaning up my old box. Those pics are beautiful. I had no idea that cardboard camera could take such sharp pics.
     
  13. Thank you all for your comments.

    This camera has totally blown me off with its resolving power, of course a 6X9 negative plays its part in it too. Any fragmentation you see and or particles, are a direct result of the super-compression I had to apply to make the photos fit here. If you were to see the original 38mb tiffs at 300 dpi, you'd be amazed even more at the detail you can get from a meniscus lens and a small aperture. One more thing, there was no editing at all, except for cropping in a couple of them. Thank you again.

    I am in the process of building my own box camera, using pine wood painted black from purchased from the scap lot at Home Depot, a simple aluminum door, and a shutter-lens combination salvaged from an ancient kodak autographic which had torn bellows. Will report with samples when done. Regards
     
  14. Very nice, Ralf.
     
  15. Very nice photos. One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that even though this has a
    simple lens, it is of glass, and although not coated, with the small aperture designed in the
    camera this helps the resolution, and the fact that the glass is behind the shutter, set into
    the camera, I think it would be hard to induce lens flare, therefore it has quite a number of
    "good" things about its design. But, a drawback, is that with small aperture, the camera
    has to have a built-in shutter speed that is slow. around 1/30 or so, if I remember my
    box cameras. My family shot everything with a $1 box camera as I was growing up, and I
    fondly remember this style of camera. You held the camera very still while you made the
    shot. These cameras were designed to work with Verichrome Pan or similar film, which
    was a rather low ISO film.
     
  16. Good to know that they don't melt when they're put in contact with alcohol :) I happened across a bunch of similar Brownies at a flea market a while back, and ever since I found out that two of them are 120 format, I've been contemplating doing the same thing. As it is, the viewfinders are so hazy that you can't even tell whether or not you're pointing them at a light source.
     
  17. Astonishing! Well done.
     
  18. how did you clean the lens? i have 2 brownie cameras and the lenses are dirty and need to be cleaned.
     
  19. Remove front plate, set shutter on "B" and clean with lens fluid. Repeat the same claning procedure for the back. It is a meniscus lens so, it only has two surfaces.
     

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