Six-20 Brownie D

 

Kodak SIX-20 brownie D

This must be the simplest camera that I have.  It is a box camera from Kodak made between 1953 and 1957 in London.  It was also made in the USA.  It comes with two controls besides the shutter release.  First control is a choice between “I” (instantaneous) and “B” (bulb).  I would guess that Instantaneous is about 1/30 seconds – bulb is for as long as you hold the shutter release in.  The second control is a close up lens which allows focussing between three feet and six feet.

Side view showing both control options

The camera has two viewfinders, both ‘brilliant’ finders, one on the top for portraits and one on the side for landscapes.  Given that the close-up lens allows focussing up to six feet, it is fair to assume that normal focussing range is six feet to infinity.

This camera takes 620 film which is no longer available.  However, it is the same as 120 film but on a different spool – so if I wanted to use this camera, I could re-spool some 120 film onto one of my 620 spools.  I shall not be bothering.

To load the film, the back is opened, the winder knob pulled out, and the insides of the camera come away in one piece.   The film is wound onto the inset and the inset replaced into the camera and the back closed.  Now the film needs to be wound on until the number “1” appears in the red window.  Negative size is 6 x 9 cm so this camera will take eight photographs on one roll of film.

I can date this camera to within five years by the plastic winder knob and plastic shutter release.  These were introduced on the Six-20 Brownie D in 1953 and production ceased in 1957.  Kodak also offer flash contacts on the Six-20 Brownie D but these are not present on my specimen.  I can refine the date a bit by the fact that the catch for the back was also changed – from a more-or-less rectangular shape to a triangular shape.  My specimen still has the rectangular catch so will date from nearer to 1953 than to 1957.

As tiis is such a simple camera, there is not really any thing I can add other than to say that the camera still works well – the shutter mechanism (which is very simple) is as free as the day it was made.  For sixty years old that is more than I can say for myself.

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