Kodak No.2 Folding Pocket Brownie. Model B

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by rick_van_nooij, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. A week ago I ran a roll of Kodak Tmax 100 through my freshly restored Folding Pocket Brownie.

    It's a Model B introduced in 1907 and produced until 1915. Mine was probably constructed somewhere between 1909 and 1913. Between that time camera's were supplied with the Automatic Brownie shutter and red leather bellows. It still has the early hinge setup for the fold down bed. After 1913 all the bellows were made from black leather.
    Focus settings are limited to 30, 6 and 2.5 meters (also indicated in feet).
    The shutter also has 3 settings, Instant (1/25th), Bulb and Time.
    Apertures use the early Kodak Numbering, 1 , 2 and 3. Which should approximately be f/11, f/16 and f/22.
    The lens is a simple meniscus.
    When I received the camera it was dirty. The leather was dry. The shutter was sticking open. Some oxidation on the metal parts.
    Luckily it all cleaned up pretty easy. Brass was polished, all the steel parts and the chrome rails were polished.
    The leather got a few coats of conditioner. This turned the 'pink' bellows into a nice dark bordeau color.
    The shutter was cleaned and lubricated. The lens was cleaned.

    Leaving me with this:
    The leather carrying strap was still soaking in conditioner at this point.
    Negatives were scanned at 2400dpi with TMAX 400 presets in Vuescan. Then they were resized, sharpened and had their levels and curves corrected in CS2.

    1. Dalia
    2. Pond (with light leak)
    4. Atlantik Wall Museum, Domain Raversijde - Belgium
    5. 2cm Oerlikon anti-aircraft gun
    6. In the village of Walraversijde, Historical Museum
    Again, I'm pleasantly surprised by the sharpness of these early Kodak meniscus lenses.
    The camera itself isn't particularly ergonomic. And if you were to carry it, as the name suggests, in your "pocket", you are going to need mighty big pockets.

    The light seal between the back and the film compartment is minimal. The edges of the film show traces of light leaking in, but the frames themselves (with exception of frame 2) are relatively clear.

    All that said, the No.2 Folding Pocket Brownie is another fun camera that'll get to come out and play more often.
  2. I recognize your camera.
  3. Lovely. I would not have expected how crisp the images are.
    Maybe I'll have to figure out some way of running film through my Kodak No. 3 Folding Brownie, Model A.
    It's similar to yours in some ways.
  4. What light leak??? I thought that was a cloud drifting in. Real nice pics and good job on the restorations.
  5. Good result, Rick, well done! The sharpness is surprising but maybe down to the advantages of a simple lens.
  6. Thanks for the responses all,

    Gene, your sample seems to have a slightly different viewfinder, but the results are definitely similar. I should replace the mirror in mine.

    JDM, have you thought about using cutting down some screw anchors and insert those in some 120 spools to make them fit in your No.3? You'd still have to guess the number of turns to advance the film though.
    Rob, yes, the shape of the leak makes it look like fog. Artfully convinient ;)
  7. SCL


    Rick - the sharpness and contrast of the AA gun are amazing with your camera. Nice job.
  8. The light leak probably is related to using 400 speed film in a camera designed for about 25 speed film. But, perhaps there's some place you can add some foam to control it. Also, check if any cracks in the leather line up with joints in the wood body that aren't light tight. (My No. 1 Kodak Panoram had a light leak due to a chip in the original wood lining up with a crack in the leather that developed as the leather shrank over it's 110 year life.)
  9. Rick, what a nice series from a real old-timer. I, too, am pleasantly surprised by the quality of such a simple lens though I'm sure having a big neg helps. The light-leaked pond shot is kinda cool, like a forest mist or surface vapor (ghosts?). I'm curious why they called these "pocket" cameras? Thanks for this interesting post.
  10. Aren't they a great looking camera, and quite amazing quality images as well. Louis, they had seriously large pockets back in the day!
    Gene, great to re-visit "Teddy's" camera!
  11. Rick, very nice results (surprisingly sharp!) from a good looking camera. I've wanted one of these for awhile, so now it's time to get serious and get one!
  12. Very cool camera and very nice results. At one time I was eying one of those, but I lost the bid. Oh well there is always next time. Thanks for the post.
  13. Like the others have said; very impressed with the sharpness. The red bellows are attractive. I have a similar vintage, different model. My format is 116 I think .. is yours 120? I did rig mine for 120 once and got reasonable results
  14. Yep, 120 format film, as it's a "No.2" camera.

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