Today I wanted to profile my two newest cameras that I just added to my collection in October, the Argoflex Seventy-Five and the Baby Brownie Special. I picked up the Argoflex Seventy-Five for $20 at a flea market along with it’s original leather case and strap and the Baby Brownie Special at a church bazaar for $20 as well. The Seventy-Five is a Bakelite camera put out by Argus made between 1949 to 1964 and like many cameras from around that perioid it is a fake TLR camera and used 620 medium format film. It has a bright viewfinder that is great for look through and to do viewfinder photography. On top of that I loved the simple design of the front of the camera even though I have a very similiar designed Kodak camera. The main reason I bought it was because I do not own any Argus camereas and I thought with the case included it was a steal. My second camera, is by far one of the cutest cameras I’ve even seen – it’s just so tiny. The Baby Brownie by Kodak is a Bakelite camera that was produced from 1938 to 1954. It shoots in medium format on 127 film and includes absoleyly no settings, it’s as point and click as you can go. It’s size and lightness felt unique from all the other cameras from around that time so I couldn’t resist. I am so intrigued to see how it shoots, because if it’s any good – it’ll fit in my travel bags so well. On that note I will mention both cameras use film that is not produced anymore however you can use other types of film in them and simply resize or use original spools (tutorial here for 127 film conversion).
Brownie Fiesta Camera
The Brownie Fiesta is a 127 film camera made in the 1960s by the Eastman Kodak Company all over the world. It’s a plastic fixed focus camera of f/11 and the shutter speed of 1/40second. There are a few variations of this camera either as a later model or due from the country manufacturing it. I have the original model made between 1962 and 1965 with the plastic silver face plate, viewfinder and hand strap but without flash capability. I chose this version because of unique shape and the shiny front texture. It’s also the smallest vintage camera I have currently in my collection, fitting in the palm of my hand and made with super lightweight plastic. There are so many different Kodak Brownies but this one has a lot of charm, I haven’t had the chance to use it yet but hope to soon.
The Metro-Flex camera is a Bakelite pseudo reflex camera made in the 1940s by the Metropolitan Industries Company. This American camera uses 127 film and creates half frame exposures. There isn’t much information about this camera available nowadays except that it has a close resemblance to the Clix-O-Flex (made by the same company) and that there are only three styles of the camera available. I chose to get the version with the textured Bakelite because I just love the uniqueness of it over the other two styles which were very typical of camera during that time. This camera has absolutely no setting options except bulb mode (which they call TIME) and it is also capable of double exposures. I love that it’s a half frame camera as well however it’s hard to tell because I have only used 35 film inside mine. The 127 film is no longer being made but using 127 film spools the camera can work with 35 film or cut down 120 film. I am curious to know what the images would look like on the original film type, if you want to see my photographs taken with this camera click here!
These giant prints were taken with the Kodak Brownie Target Six-20 which is considered a type of box camera and has been kicking around my house for a little less than a year. I picked this guy up at an antique store in Quebec City while on vacation with Victor last summer. He actually bought it for me as a present and I am so happy to have it. It takes 620 film which means I had to convert 120 film to be able to use the camera. I followed a few different tutorials on how to make 120 film become as small as 620. It didn’t look that difficult but I found half way through my roll that my film got stuck and I had to start using pliers to move the frames…and then at some point the pliers stopped working and I had to open up the camera and expose half the roll and manually roll it up to save the film that was already exposed because the film advance would not work. So I learned my lesson to just re-roll 120 film onto a 620 spool and leave the converting behind me. lol (at least converting 120 rolls with nail clippers to be the size of 620 that is). All the shots I got are from a trip to Jacques Cartier Bridge which you may see a lot of this summer as we’ve went a few times already and it’s a really fun walk from our house. I hope to pick up another type of box camera soon as they are lovely and now that I know this guy is in working condition I’ll happy take him out again and this time get a few more shots then this!