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Art Deco Cameras

Kodak Brownie 127

Specification

Kodak Brownie 127
Kodak Brownie 127
Manufacturer: Kodak UK
Produced: 1952 - 1959
Classification:Medium Format
Body Type:Solid Body
Film Type:127
Film Width:46mm
ImageSize:1⅝ x 2½ in
Lens Type: uncoated meniscus
Focal Length:65mm
Focus Type:Fixed
Focal Range:5ft - inf.
Aperture Type:Fixed
Aperture:f/14
Shutter Type :Rotary
Shutter Speeds:T, I*(1/30sec)
Size (w x h x d):78 x 66 x 72 mm
Weight:220g
* Measured on this camera

Art Deco Credentials

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Noteworthy: Worth giving special attention

I consider this camera to warrant 3 stars for the following attributes:

Description

The Brownie 127 has a molded smooth Bakelite plastic body with broad horizontal steps. It's 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 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 Bakelite has become very 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 ConditionsShadow DetailApertureExposure
Sunny
Snow/Sand
Dark
with sharp edges
f/14+3 Stops
Overexposed
Acceptable
SunnyDistinctf/14+2 Stops
Overexposed
Acceptable
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesf/14+1 Stop
Overexposed
Acceptable
OvercastBarely visiblef/14Good
Heavy OvercastNonef/14-1 Stop
Underexposed
Acceptable
Open Shade
/Sunset
Nonef/14-2 Stops
Underexposed
Not Acceptable