Kodak Brownie 127
|Produced||:||1952 - 1959|
|Body Type||:||Solid Body|
|ImageSize||:||1⅝ x 2½ in|
|Lens Type||:||Uncoated meniscus|
|Focal Range||:||5ft - inf.|
|Shutter Speeds||:||T, I*(1/30sec)|
|Size (w x h x d)||:||78 x 66 x 72 mm|
|* Measured on this camera|
Art Deco Credentials
Noteworthy: Worth giving special attention
I consider this camera to warrant 3 stars for the following attributes:
- Designed after the main Art Deco period
- Bakelite body
- Broad horizontal steps surrounding camera body
- Optical finder with stepped pattern on either side
- Steamlined Curvilinear shape
- Film winder and shutter release in white plastic
- Chrome film compartment lock
The Brownie 127 has a molded smooth Bakelite body with broad horizontal steps. Its design is Streamline Moderne which started in America. Streamline Moderne gave emphasis to curving forms, smooth & polished surfaces and long horizontal lines. Its optical direct vision finder is flanked by steps reminiscent of the structures of the Maya civilization.
Between May 1953 and September 1954, 263,000 were exported to America. From 1956 the plain face plate was replaced with a cross-hatched design and the body had vertical ribbing.
The shutter is operated by a white urea formaldehyde plastic push button on top of the body. The film winder is also in white plastic. The body has two halves which are held together by twisting a knob on the bottom of the camera. The bottom part has the shutter, lens, aperture and red window. The top part has the film transport mechanism. It has a curved film plane. This is truly a snapshot camera with no 'Time' function.
For those wishing buy one of these cameras to take pictures, please be aware that the plastic is thin and quite brittle and many specimens of this camera have broken seals. So look carefully at the seals before purchasing.
How to Use
This camera takes 127 film which is still available from select outlets - search for 'Rera Pan 100-127' which is a black & white film. For those photographers in the UK, try Nick & Trick photographic services. If you want to use a particular type of film which is not available commercially, then you can cut your own 127 film from any 120 film. See my page on 'How to cut 127 film from 120 film'.
The manual for this camera is found here:- Brownie 127 Manual
If you don't want to bother with an exposure meter, follow the guide shown. It is based on the 'Sunny 16' rule. Film is so forgiving and will produce acceptable results even when overexposed by 2 or 3 stops or underexposed by 1 stop.
Remember that the exposure guide in the camera user manual may not be helpful as it is based on the use of old film with a low ISO value.
The table assumes that the sun is at least 30 degrees above the horizon - that's 10am - 5pm on a summer's day in the UK.
This camera has an aperture of f/14 and a shutter speed is 1/30s.
As the shutter speed is only 1/30s, it is advisable to try to hold the camera against a wall or other solid object. For quick snapshots, hold it firmly against your face.
Using ISO 100/125 film - shutter speed 1/30s
|Weather Conditions||Shadow Detail||Aperture||Exposure|
with sharp edges
|Slight Overcast||Soft around edges||f/14||+1 Stop|
|Heavy Overcast||None||f/14||-1 Stop|