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Brownie Flash 6-20 fun
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Dan Fromm

Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 2023
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


On 2004-02-08 16:51, t.r.sanford wrote:
...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.
The shortest Protar V is 60 mm. Expensive, too, alas.

You'd do better to get a Super Sharptar and put a Fuzzar filter in front of it. That way you could have fun and still use a Graphic.


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

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No question; but that would be a different kind of fun (and I'd go about it by taking one of many small meniscus lenses I have lying around, and trying to figure out Wollaston's position for a stop, to about f:16. This would give me a fair approximation of a lower-end 19th-Century "landscape" lens, and probably would perform nearly as well as the "Brownie Flash Six-Twenty." Plus, of course, if I use it on a "Speed Graphic," I don't need to kludge up a shutter).

But there's something about the "Diana." It is nicely finished, formed of heavy plastic. I can't speak to the light trapping, but I'm confident that I could improve the seals if necessary. Mounting a halfway decent lens on it would produce a conversation piece ("...what the heck is that??") This is pleasant to think about; fortunately, I have wasted no time actually trying to do it!
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Micah in NC

Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 94
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2004 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


All this talk of Brownies makes me hungry...

(couldn't resist).

Seriously, though, I was given a Brownie of a different sort, a Flash Hawkeye, complete in all its bakelite glory with matching flashgun. My mother bought it for me for $1 at the local flea market a few years back.

It had been buried among my "better" cameras for many moons since then, wrapped in a plastic shopping bag to keep out dust. Well, last week I got around to really cleaning it up. I took off the front cover and clean both the taking and the viewing lenses and the finder and buttoned it all back up.

Now, reading your posts, I'm going to have to put a roll of film in it soon!

As an added plus, the Brownie Hawkeye Flash model (and reg. Hawkeye, too, I think) can take 120 film in the supply chamber with no modification. You only need a 620 spool for take-up side, and you're in business. (Don't forget to keep that 620 spool after processing!!!)

Maybe the Flash Six-20 can do that, too? Not sure, since I ain't got one! However, y'all Flash Six-20 users have that built-in close-up lens, whereas on my Hawkeye, I have to use the Kodak Portrait lens No. 13, but they are fairly common on "ePay." A Kodak Cloud Filter was made for it, too, for B&W films; it's a Wratten K2 yellow filter, I believe.

I also am looking forward to using my $7 Kodak Twin-20, which has both eye-level and waist finders and flash sync. Also, it has indexed film advance, double exposure prevention, and three-zone focus. Alas, I fear the lens is plastic...

--Micah in NC

[ This Message was edited by: Micah in NC on 2004-02-20 12:50 ]
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Joined: 24 Nov 2003
Posts: 715
Location: So Cal

PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plastic may not be as bad as you think. Ask those who are selling Holga stuff as art work with a littel solarizing and a splash of tinting, walla, about a $500 or more print depending on where one's name sits in the art world. Unfortunately mine doesn't exist there yet.
I say try the plastic lens with an eye on the imperfect image of the aforementioned vintage style Fuzzars...
Hey, if you go to a party in Northern Cal, and there is a bag of brownies or cookies on the picnic table with a red cross sticker on it, either don;t eat them or try a half and wait 3 hours before having that second bite !
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Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1556
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2004 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote new meaning to the phrase "Brownie Flash"....
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