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Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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16 Nov 2020 8:53AM   Views : 431 Unique : 301


A week or so ago, I posted a blog about closeups, and life-size reproduction. I illustrated it with a couple of shots of the front of a Kodak Brownie No. 2 Folding Autographic camera, which Iíve owned for at least 20 years, but had never tried to use. I also used it to illustrate the blog on 30 October, with a variety of detailed shots.

In my mind, it took an outdated film size, and the leather bellows had started to leak light before I bought it. Looking again after those two pieces, I realised that it takes 120 film, which is still readily available. So I had to try itÖ


As I explained in the October piece, thereís a little hatch on the back of the camera that originally allowed the user to write notes between the frames. I gave this a go, but without any result. Modern backing paper is reasonably resistant to light, even without a little red window, and abrading it with a stylus doesnít make it leak.

AnywayÖ I loaded up with a venerable roll of Ilford film, and strolled round the garden, trying the autographic feature once. Then I left the camera open and just sitting around the house for several days before exposing the last frame, to see how badly the bellows leaked light.


And they didnít. The only obvious marks on the film were just after the last frame Ė where the autographic hatch was. Over days, the backing paper let light through, but I should stress that this was modern 400 ISO film, possibly 20 times more light-sensitive than the films around when the camera was sold.

One last interesting point: the spool in the camera wasnít the standard plastic 120 reel that Iím used to: it was a fabricated metal spindle, not used for quite a few years Ė unsurprising, given the length of time Iíve had the camera unused.


Thereís zone focussing, and by loosening the screw on the focus scale itís possible to adjust focus, if you ever need to. Iím not sure why youíd want to, because this relic of 100 years ago seems to give decently-sharp pictures, despite its age.

Itís not up with the latest in ergonomics, but for a camera designed in 1915, itís not at all bad. Think about it: would you even contemplate driving a car of the same age?


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dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
16 Nov 2020 10:56AM
For more shots of the camera, it's worth looking back at THIS blog post.
chase Avatar
chase Plus
18 2.5k 682 England
16 Nov 2020 2:21PM
That's a lovely camera John, I can feel a still life coming on Wink and no, I wouldn't take this to bits !
JuBarney Avatar
JuBarney Plus
12 36 7 United Kingdom
16 Nov 2020 8:05PM
Really interesting and an amazingly sharp last shot.
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
16 Nov 2020 9:50PM
Getting it open is a bit of a trial...

But yes, it's borrowable. If lockdown ends before Christmas, a New Year's lend is very much on the cards!
chase Avatar
chase Plus
18 2.5k 682 England
16 Nov 2020 9:54PM
Smile Smile Smile
pablophotographer Avatar
pablophotographer 12 2.2k 450
17 Nov 2020 2:20AM
Great news dudler! Good resukt too. I think you can assign it shooting landscapes and outdoors architecture, but ignore moto gp racing including the paddock girls (heard being ousted from the sport)
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
17 Nov 2020 11:18AM
One or two of my models have been grid girls for various motor sports. I'm glad they'll be able to concentrate on being photographed without distracting cars and bikes!

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