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Art Deco Cameras

Kodak Brownie Starflex

Specification

Kodak Brownie Starflex
Kodak Brownie Starflex
Manufacturer: Kodak
Produced: 1957
Classification:Medium Format
Body Type:Solid Body
Construction:Bakelite
Film Type:127
Film Width:46mm
ImageSize:1⅝ x 2⅜ in
No. of Images:8
Lens Type:uncoated meniscus
Focal Length:45mm
Focus Type:variable
Focal Range:4ft - inf.
Aperture Type:Multi hole
Aperture:f/11, f/16
Shutter Type :Guillotine
Shutter Speed:I(1/50sec)
Size(closed) (w x h x d):90 x 98 x 57 mm
Size(Open) (w x h x d):90 x 137 x 57 mm
Weight:199g

Art Deco Credentials

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Limited: Minor and insubstantial

Description

The Brownie Starflex is a twin-lens reflex style box camera from the 1950s. It can be described as a pseudo twin lens reflex camera. It isn't a true TLR because the top lens is just part of the viewfinder and does not aid focussing. It has a moulded plastic body with a large brilliant waist level viewfinder with a hood. It has a wire sports finder that can be unfolded from the base. A tripod mount is not provided.

The aperture control is labelled with the numbers 13(COLOR) and 14(B&W). These are not F values but EV values. It offers a choice of EV13(f/11) or EV14(f/16). The shutter speed is 1/60s. /p>

The film is loaded by moving a lever on the base so that the whole of the film transport system can be removed by lifting the top off the camera. It has an shutter interlocking system that avoids double exposure. When the film is loaded, the red window is used to locate the frame numbers.

Many different Kodak flash holders can be used with this camera as a screw and pin flash connection is provided.

How to Use

See the User Manual here:- Kodak Brownie Starflex manual

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'.

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 2 aperture settings of EV13(f/11) and EV14(f/16) and a shutter speed is 1/50s.

As the shutter speed is only 1/50s, it is advisable to try to hold the camera against a wall or other solid object. For quick snapshots, hold it firmly against your body.

Using ISO 100/125 film - shutter speed 1/50s

Weather ConditionsShadow DetailApertureExposure
Sunny
Snow/Sand
Dark
with sharp edges
EV14+2 Stops
Overexposed
Acceptable
SunnyDistinctEV14+1 Stop
Overexposed
Acceptable
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesEV14Good
OvercastBarely visibleEV13Good
Heavy OvercastNoneEV13-1 Stops
Underexposed
Acceptable
Open Shade
/Sunset
NoneEV13-2 Stops
Underexposed
Not Acceptable