Alistair Maclean's Web Site
Kodak Brownie 127

50's Snapper

This was my first camera. General spec's are below. How often is it that you hate to be seen with something your parents used when they were 'younger'? (Like, heck they were ever younger!) I found this is a drawer somewhere. It had a chip missing from the top part but appropriate sticky tape made sure it was never a problem.

It was a portly little Bakelite box, Bakelite being an early plastic. It was an dark brown almost black colour, had a viewfinder dead center at the top, with an eye piece narrower than the diameter of a pencil. There was a cream coloured rewind knob to the left, a wind on knob to the right and a single button between the winding knob and the eye piece on the right. The camera had two halves; the top halve contained all the controls, view finder and shutter mechanism. The lower half was just a box that sealed the film in a light safe place, its only feature a locking clasp on the base, like a butterfly nut. Oh! and a little orange window in the center back. The chip that was sealed by the tape was in the rim of the upper part of the camera.

127 roll film is odd stuff, particularly to a 35mm user. It comes as spool of what seems to be paper (orange from Kodak). If you are so stupid as to unroll it, you find that a couple of feet into the roll numbers appear on one side, and a strip of film is secured by a tiny piece of tape to the other. A spool is loaded into the camera by separating the two halves (turning the clasp on the base) then attaching the spool to the rewind spindle that sticks out of the top half. Pull the leader paper from the spool (its got a triangular shaped end) and put the triangular tab into the slot in the pickup reel. turn the wind-on knob a few times to make sure everything is secure, then re-fix the two halves together. Use the wind-on again, till the number 1 appears in the little orange window in the back.

To take a shot. Point. Press. Wind on till the next number appears in the yellow window. Repeat twelve times. Develop film.

The images were blurry. The film was of medium speed, so the 1/60th of a second shutter speed was adequate for most daylight situations.

It was a piece of nostalgia. I took a number of rolls of photos with it, but never developed a great attachment to it. The shutter never failed, even though I abused it mercilessly - trying to get 1/500th out of it! I suppose one day it will be a collectors item. Oh well, I at least used it before it was collectable.

Type 127 format roll film camera
Lens mount N/A
Standard Lens They called this a lens
Shutter Mechanical, single speed (approx. 1/60th) but could be varied with bravado
Meter N/A

© Copyright A. Maclean 2001 -
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