Graflex.org Forum Index Graflex.org
Get help with your Graflex questions here
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Brownie Flash 6-20 fun
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Graflex.org Forum Index -> Non-Graflex Cameras
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
troublemaker



Joined: 24 Nov 2003
Posts: 715
Location: So Cal

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, so maybe I am taking this too far, but I have here my mother's old Brownie Flash 6-20 and I had pondered taking some photos with it. I have an aquaintance that does fine art prints with a Holga, and sells them, but being more of a historian, I figure why not run a couple rolls through this littel tapered box. THe lens is really dirty, but once i get an idea, well, I got one in better shape that even had the original instructions off ebay for 5.oo, ordered some t-max in 620 from B&H and need only now to decide what to use as my subject. If anyone has had any success with these old things, I am wondering what speed the lens might be. I also picked up a flash unit for it, 2.oo, and think I might do some odd protraits or something down on the waterfront just after sunset? They have the "B" setting, so I seriously doubt the littel thing would move on my Berlebach tripod!
Anyway, just having some fun,
steve
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
glennfromwy



Joined: 29 Nov 2001
Posts: 903
Location: S.W. Wyoming

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, I have one of those odd looking little cameras sitting on my book case. Every time I walk by it, I wonder why I don't put some film in it and go have some fun. I have a Calumet shutter tester and will test the speed on it and let you know tomorrow.

_________________
Glenn

"Wyoming - Where everybody is somebody else's weirdo"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
t.r.sanford



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 812
Location: East Coast (Long Island)

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might assume that the lens works at f:16 and the shutter at 1/30 second, for starters. These cameras were designed for use with "Verichrome Pan" at EI 125, so "T-Max 100" ought to work well on a sunny day. You may be pleasantly surprised by the quality of the pictures -- no internal lens reflections, thus nice contrast and tonal scale. Very good work has been done with the old Zeiss "Box Tengors" and the like, which weren't a lot more sophisticated!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
TimKean



Joined: 15 Dec 2003
Posts: 24
Location: Missouri

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use Brownie Hawkeyes and Duaflexes all of the time. As Mr. Sanford said, the specs are f/16 at 1/30 sec. I use the T-Max 100 respooled onto 620 spools, and can pretty confidently say I never get an unprintable negative. If you use the flash, be sure to still use the "Instant" setting for the shutter. The "Bulb" setting was for timed exposures. Sometimes a vintage point and shoot is a nice change. Have fun with it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
glennfromwy



Joined: 29 Nov 2001
Posts: 903
Location: S.W. Wyoming

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just can't help but disagree with something today. It's my nature, I suppose. When this camera was introduced ('39/'40 ), Verichrome was an ortho film. My faded memory tells me it was about 50 Weston. It was somewhere around '54 when it was changed to the panchromatic film we all knew and loved. That's when Kodak re-named it Verichrome Pan.
Now, that that's off my very small mind, I think you all are pretty close on shutter speed and apperture for this camera. The only thing I might add (don't hit me) is that 1/30 was not a speed that was generally used at that time. Probably 1/25. I can't get a speed reading with my tester due to the way the camera is built. Also, don't forget to put the close focus diopter in the proper position. This from someone with experience. Usually bad. Have fun and let us know the outcome, eh?

Edit: My curiosity got the best of me so I went and looked this up; Verichrome = ASA 200. Recommend exposure at ASA 50 (daylight) 25 ( tungsten). This info from Kodak in 1945. Use your 400 film. You can adjust exposure downward with filters. K-2 = 1 stop. G = 1 2/3 stop. Just hold in front of the lens if needed.
_________________
Glenn

"Where everybody is somebody else's weirdo"

[ This Message was edited by: glennfromwy on 2004-02-04 16:21 ]
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
t.r.sanford



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 812
Location: East Coast (Long Island)

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Verichrome Pan" (late and lamented) had absolutely amazing exposure latitude, and I'd guess you could expose it anywhere across a three or four stop range (say, EI 50 to 400, or 25 to 200) and get a printable negative.

This was the property that made it so useful in box cameras, which had few or no exposure controls. The last box cameras, like the 127 "Star" series from Kodak and their larger 620 stablemates, had two stops, one for color (typically "Kodacolor" at 64 ASA, sometimes "Ektachrome" at 50) and the other for black & white ("Verichrome," presumably at 125 or 160). I never owned one (I had a 620 Ansco "Panda" with no controls), but I saw some extremely good photos, color and B&W, taken with "Star" cameras.

(The "Starflex" was a dandy camera in many respects, and any of the "Star" series was capable of blowing away an "Instamatic" when it came to picture quality.)

I doubt that the shutter timing would please a modern experimenter! I don't know that the difference between the (nominal) 1/25 second of my childhood and the (nominal) "linear" 1/30 sec. of today would be noticeable on any conceivable sensitized material. I'd bet a modest sum that the actual speed varied from camera to camera (and season to season) from about 1/20 to 1/40 second.

I still think that a 125-speed film would be most in keeping with the logic of the design.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1427
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the absence of Verichrome Pan, which I too held in high regard (and also Panatomic-X, the ultimate in 35mm for enlargements), may I suggest the chromogenic b/w films such as Ilford XP2 Super or Kodak TC400N? Their wide exposure latitude might be just the ticket for fixed shutter/aperture cameras such as the Brownie 620. I've rated them at 400, 200, and 100, with best results obtained at 100. Both films are available in 120 roll film and develop in C-41 chemistry (same as color negative film) at your local photo lab. Another possibility is Plus-X (ASA 125), for home development in standard b/w chemistry such as D76. Perhaps not as wide exposure latitude, but still a great film!

[ This Message was edited by: Henry on 2004-02-04 21:30 ]
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
troublemaker



Joined: 24 Nov 2003
Posts: 715
Location: So Cal

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, here's what i am going to do...
Since the Tmax-100 is already on the way, I will run a couple test rolls with that. I use ISO 100 for almost everything between 1/30@f-16 to 1/8 @f-22 or 32. SO, I should expect good results in daylight with or without handheld filtering, which i do with my Graphics. (setting up a fixed mount for a graduated filter is going to be a project for the summer)
Anyway, I will be doing this over the next couple weeks when time allows, so I will post the results on a new thread once i develop a couple rolls and perhaps print something, the final test. The comments on lens quality suggest I will not get a Holga like image but something far superior. I don't know, so at this point curiosity is now more than i can possibly live with.
I keep thinking about the way the film transports in the back of the camera and woindering how that and the fixed lens will produce the image. HEY, what size is this lens? I am thinking it is not very wide but somewhere between 110 and 150, this based solely on the optical viewfinder's narrow image.
Thanks for the cool info. I will check my light meter and take some notes and cross check at standard development with 76.
give me a couple weeks to follow up.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
t.r.sanford



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 812
Location: East Coast (Long Island)

PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2004 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not familiar with the particular camera you mentioned, but would speculate that the lens is pretty close in focal length to the diagonal of the frame. The finder probably would not show the full field, because there was no provision for parallax correction, and the medium format meant that the finder had to be pretty far away from the taking lens. Cutting off the top of people's heads was the common fault in taking pictures with box cameras.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
troublemaker



Joined: 24 Nov 2003
Posts: 715
Location: So Cal

PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being a student of European history, I am quite familiar with cutting off people's heads! Nothing like a little terror in correcting paralax error... ok sorry, but i see what you mean about the paralax. I was thinking to do an old car or something with an old Harley down at the local biker hang out, Walker's Cafe.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
t.r.sanford



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 812
Location: East Coast (Long Island)

PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be sure; as the Red Queen might have said, "Off with the top of his head!"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
troublemaker



Joined: 24 Nov 2003
Posts: 715
Location: So Cal

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, I have some results with Mom's old Brownie "Flash Six-20" (couldn't wait for the better camera to arrive)
I found the above statements regarding speed and f-stop to be true.
As daylight would have it, my digital meter gave me f-16 @ 1/30 ISO 100. So like how easy can it get, point and shoot? The film exposed nicely and confirmed 1/30 @ f-16. As a reference I shot a couple exposures on my Century and the reslults are the same, good contraast and density etc...
As for the image, it is too good, not what I wanted at all, and this is the lens with dirt and who knows what all on the inside of the lens, and rust throughout (Mom should not have left it in the damp basement area). I found also the comment about the view finder to be correct, it is really just a pointer, point it at the center of your composition and cross fingers. The lens took an image very close to what the 103mm Graftar I was testing made, but much softer around the edges, and of course, not as sharp. However, the image is contrasty, and cropped to 6x7 horizontal, there is potential for further experimentation with backlighting and some darkroom manipulations like toning and watercoloring or who knows what. I will definitely be doing something with it too add to my portfolio, which has ben getting some attention.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
t.r.sanford



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 812
Location: East Coast (Long Island)

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In an earlier message, you mentioned the "Holga" as a camera that produced the kind of images you are looking for. You appear to have determined that the "Brownie" is too well and honestly made to compete in the "Holga" arena!

You might consider applying a very small quantity of petroleum jelly to the lens with a cotton swab, or securing a piece of well-crumpled and subsequently smoothed cellophane over the lens with a couple of pieces of tape. We used to use cigarette-pack overwrap for this, as a quick-and-dirty portrait diffusion attachment.

You also might consider experimenting with simple lenses mounted on your "Graphic." Forty years ago, somebody took a magnifying glass out of its rim-and-handle assembly, affixed it to a short cardboard tube, and took color photos with it on a "Hasselblad." The photos were published, and were very pleasing. With the right subject, the unsharpness and uncorrected chromatic aberration impart a sort of atmospheric, fantasy quality to the print -- not something you'd want to do all the time, but a useful technique to have in the toolbox.

(I've never seen a "Holga" up close, but comments I've read about them suggest that imperfect light-trapping contributes to their ineffable charm; it's not just the lousy lens.)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
glennfromwy



Joined: 29 Nov 2001
Posts: 903
Location: S.W. Wyoming

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Holga is just a plastic piece of crap from China. They leak light. They fall apart at the worst possible moment. They are awful cameras. However, people get some pretty amazing images from them. I have one but I don't have the guts to use it yet. I wonder how many rolls of film it takes to get some of those images. I do have a Brownie Flash 620, in very nice shape. You all have worked up my curiosity so maybe I'll run a roll through it. By the way, I have a whole brick of Verichrome Pan in the freezer. Eat your hearts out, boys 'n girls ---

_________________
Glenn

"Wyoming - Where everybody is somebody else's weirdo"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
t.r.sanford



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 812
Location: East Coast (Long Island)

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...that it is a piece of crap, I already knew, but am glad to learn where it comes from. The name tells us nothing, but is vaguely suggestive of the former Soviet Union.

Somebody gave me a "Diana" about 20 years ago. This also is a piece of crap; and the shutter does not work -- it clicks, but the sector doesn't move. It takes 127 film (another endearing characteristic). From time to time, I think about looking for an old early anastigmat working at f:12.5 or f:18, hoking up some kind of shutter (I can do no worse than the manufacturer did), and amazing myself with the thing. Does anyone know whether Zeiss, B&L or the English or French Zeiss licensees made a "Protar" of 60 or 70mm. focal length? Shortest ones I've seen have been about 114mm.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Graflex.org Forum Index -> Non-Graflex Cameras All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group