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Art Deco Cameras

Kodak Six-20 Portrait Brownie


Kodak Six-20 Portrait Brownie
Kodak Six-20 Portrait Brownie
Manufacturer: Kodak
Produced: 1936 - 1940
Classification:Medium Format
Body Type:Box
Film Type:620
Film Width:62mm
Image Size:2¼ x 3¼ in
No. of Images:8
Lens Type:Meniscus
Focus Type:Fixed + Portrait Lens
Focal Length:95mm
Focus Range:6ft to inf. 4-6ft with Portrait lens
Aperture Type :Fixed
Aperture :f/11
Shutter Type:Rotary
Shutter Speeds:B,I*(1/45 sec)
Size (w x h x d):84 x 105 x 105 mm
* Measured on this camera

Art Deco Credentials

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Noteworthy: Worth giving special attention


The Kodak Six-20 Portrait Brownie is a box-type camera from the mid 1930s. The Art Deco front bezel meets a matching side bezel for the shutter lever and other controls. The body is metal and covered in leatherette. The leatherette is used for the film door hinge. It has two reflecting brilliant finders. It has a portrait lens covering 4-6 feet which is activated by pulling a tab. It has a genuine leather handle. There is no tripod mount. It is also almost identical to the Kodak Brownie Senior camera.

How to Use

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.

Don't forget to ask for your 620 spool back when getting the film developed.

The shutter speed for this particular camera was measured at 1/40s for the downward movement of the shutter lever and 1/50s for the upward movement. The average was 1/45s. At this speed it is advisable to use a tripod to get clear shake free images. However, holding it against a wall or other solid object would work as well. For quick snapshots, hold it firmly against your body.

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.

The tables assume that the sun is at least 30 degrees above the horizon - that's 10am - 5pm on a summers day (May - August) in the UK.

Remember that the exposure guide in the manual may not be helpful as it is based on the use of old film with a low ISO value.

Using ISO 100/125 film - shutter speed 1/45s

Weather ConditionsShadow DetailApertureExposure
with sharp edges
f/11+3 Stops
SunnyDistinctf/11+2 Stops
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesf/11+1 Stop
OvercastBarely visiblef/11Good
Heavy OvercastNonef/11-1 Stop
Open Shade
Nonef/11-2 Stops
Not Acceptable