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Art Deco Cameras

Kodak Six-20 Bull's Eye Brownie


Kodak Six-20 Bull's Eye Brownie
Kodak Six-20 Bull's Eye Brownie
Manufacturer: Kodak
Produced: 1938 - 1941
Classification:Medium Format
Body Type:Box
Film Type:620
Film Width:62mm
ImageSize:2¼ x 3¼ in
No. of Images:8
Lens Type:uncoated meniscus
Focal Length:90mm
Focus Type:Fixed
Focal Range:8ft - inf.
Aperture Type:Fixed
Shutter Type :Everset
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

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Significant: Pronounced and self evident

I consider this camera to warrant 4 stars for the following attributes:


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 ConditionsShadow DetailApertureExposure
with sharp edges
f/15+2 Stops
SunnyDistinctf/15+1 Stops
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesf/15Good
OvercastBarely visiblef/15-1 Stop
Heavy OvercastNonef/15-2 Stop
Not Acceptable
Open Shade
Nonef/15-3 Stop
Not Acceptable