Kodak Folding Brownie No. 3 Model A Reborn

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by chauncey_walden, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. My wife needed some old cameras for a display so I went digging in the back of the closet. One of the ones I pulled out was this Kodak, a 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 roll film (124) camera made between April 1905 and May of 1907. It has an f/11 achromatic meniscus lens in an FPK automatic shutter with T,B,I. Oddly enough, the I setting gives about 1/3 stop less than 1/60 second, much faster than one might imagine for the film of the time. Of course, I had to play with it a little before relegating it to display. The back, which is hinged at the bottom, is held in place by two sliding clamps at the top. Pressure on the film is provided by two full width rails. It just looked right for a sheet of 4x5 film, and, sure enough, one fit perfectly. I went into the darkroom and grabbed a sheet of FP4+ and loaded it into the camera. I walked out on the porch and took a shot. I set the focus at infinity and the f/stop at f/16 1/2. The sighting mirror is in good shape but either it, or the front standard was slightly misaligned as I aimed to cut off the house on the left. I developed it in Rodinal 1:50 for the box time (which was about 15% too long.) Next time I'll load HP5+ and stop the old meniscus on down to about f/32 and see how that looks. The old leather bellows are still good at over 100 years. I wish Kodak had maintained this quality on their cameras of the 1940s and 50s. Anyway, here is a pic of the camera and the shot from it. I think the shot will need to be in a second reply but we'll see.
  2. And here is the shot.
  3. fld


    Wow! I have to try that with a 122 roll film model.
  4. For those who are not familiar with these old cameras, this information might be helpful to you when using them.
    On most of the old Brownies, the stops are marked in U. S. Uniform System markings and are not f-stops. They convert as follows 4=f8,8=f11,16=f16,32=f22,64=f32,128=f45. Most of the Brownies had a standard shutter speed of 1/45 sec. Some were marked with an F for fast and were 1/50 sec and some were marked with an S for slow and were 1/40 sec. They also work quite well with ortho film and with photopaper, both of which can be cut in individual sheets and loaded or striped and rolled on the spools.
  5. Yes, both these cameras are marked in Uniform System (nothing to do with U.S.) and the only thing you have to remember is that US 16 is f/16 and work in normal increments from there.
  6. Chauncey, nice photo and it's good to see you try out the old girl. You might start to like it and have to find another old camera for your wife's display. It's always amazing to see the fine photos that came out of these old cameras.
  7. Wonderful image, nice looking camera. The russian leather bellows made of glove leather hold up beautifully on these old cameras. Kodak amd others went to imitation leather bellows which ended up cracking and leaking from pin holes from the late 20's on. The corners took a real beating.
    I'm curious why I see three dollar signs in the image, left, middle and right sides in the horizontal mid section of the image. I've seen watermarks or imprints to indicate copyrights if that's what they signify.
  8. The Uniform System was established by Britain’s Royal Photographic Society in 1881, and was one of the first attempts to establish a standard for lens apertures. It only caught on in the United States, where Eastman Kodak used it extensively on roll film cameras. Although nothing to do with the U.S. it was really only used here to any extent.
  9. The dollar signs were my fault by not entering my purchase information into my trial Vuescan before I scanned;-)
  10. Great photo and great camera. Have a 124 and 130 box. Like them very much. Use the older cameras as much as the newer ones.
  11. Nice work Cliff. I just noticed the wood lens board standard. Cool.
  12. HEY, That should read "Nice Job Chauncey" It is his beautiful camera, photograph, and post!
  13. Hi,
    When you put out the small hood from the front you will get even fast f-stop, f/6.8. Try make a photo with it and you might fall in love with this meniscus lens becouse of the dreamy blur. Find the image with highlights or midtones.
  14. I have had one of these cameras for about 5 years and had only taken one photo with it, with a sheet of4x5. That was the same month I purchased the camera. I loved the way the photo looked and have always planned on messing around with the camera a bit more. The photo is of my then girlfriend and now wife before a Halloween party. She is a bit soft, and I always assumed its because she had to sit still for 14 seconds while glaring at me. This was easy for her, because she was annoyed with me for some forgotten reason. You can’t really see it from the scan, but the further into the background you go, the sharper it is. I just noticed this when I started messing around with the camera this week. I have wanted to shoot roll film in it, but didn't want to pay $37 for a single roll from B&H (think it was B&H). So I started working on using 120 or 220 film. Anyway, I reversed the film pressure plates so they were closer together and cut an old wooden spool with metal ends and clued dowels into each piece. I can slip a roll of 120 or 220 in between. I just count the number of turns to get to the first picture and then count turns to get to the next. However, it is more complicated. As you get more film on the take up side the number of turns needed to get to the next shot lessens. Who knew? Kind of have that worked out now. I shot two rolls, but only one shot was in focus. This puzzled me, so I set up a test and took a shot of a marker at 5 or 6 distances. None were in focus. I noticed a screw on the front standard that adjusted it away from or towards the film plane. What to do? I taped a piece of cleared 4x5 film into the back of the camera and used it as a ground glass with a loupe and dark cloth and adjusted the front standard without shooting film. I then did another test with film and all distances were in focus….at least turn of the century focus. Not sure what project I will use the camera for. I still can only shoot one roll, because when you take it out of the camera the edges are exposed to light so until I figure something else out, I can only remove the film for development in the darkroom. This has been fun.

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