Kodak Six-20 Bull's Eye Brownie
|Produced||:||1938 - 1941|
|ImageSize||:||2¼ x 3¼ in|
|Lens Type||:||uncoated meniscus|
|Focal Range||:||8ft - inf.|
|Shutter Speeds||:||T, I*(1/50sec)|
|Size (w x h x d)||:||125 x 100 x 120 mm|
|* Measured on this camera|
Art Deco Credentials
Significant: Pronounced and self evident
I consider this camera to warrant 4 stars for the following attributes:
- Designed during the main Art Deco period
- Walter Dorwin Teague styled
- Trapizoidal shape
- Wrap around ribbing on the Bakelite body
- Ribbing on Bakelite viewfinder
- Chrome highlights
- Bulbous lens mount
- Decorative braided strap
- Concentric circles of stand nub.
The Kodak Six-20 Bull's Eye Brownie is a box camera made of Bakelite. It's ribbed features are reminiscent of the Baby Brownie that was designed by Walter Dorwin Teague. It is wedge shaped and has a curved film plane. The curved film plane reduces vignetting and barrel distortion normally associated with a simple meniscus lens. It also makes it more compact. The rounded corners give the camera a streamline moderne look. There is also a stand nub to hold the camera level for vertical shots.
The shutter lever is located under a simple meniscus lens. A lever above the lens switches between Instant mode(I) and Bulb/Timed mode(T). It has a fixed focus f/15 lens having a minimum focus distance of eight feet. The rather primitive optical direct vision viewfinder is only good for approximating composition. A chromed circular metal knob is used to advance the film after each exposure and frame registration is via a red window.
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.
How to Use
See the User Manual here:- Kodak Six-20 Bull's Eye Brownie manual
This camera takes 620 film which is still available from selected photographic outlets. Although the actual film is the same as 120 film, the spools are different. The 620 spools are slightly shorter and have a smaller diameter. Do not use 120 film in this camera because it will jam and may snap. It is possible to cut down a spool of 120 film to fit or to re-spool some 120 film onto 620 spools in a darkroom or changing bag.
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/15 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 face.
Using ISO 100/125 film - shutter speed 1/50s
|Weather Conditions||Shadow Detail||Aperture||Exposure|
with sharp edges
|Slight Overcast||Soft around edges||f/15||Good|
|Overcast||Barely visible||f/15||-1 Stop|
|Heavy Overcast||None||f/15||-2 Stop|