Classic Camera Revival – Episode 2 – Box Camera Madness


Many people like to ‘think outside the box’ but here we are thinking inside the box and we’re looking at Box Cameras this episode! Box cameras trace themselves back all the way to the original Kodak Camera in the late 19th century, this 100 shot pre-loaded camera would be sold, then once you’ve taken your 100 photos returning it to Rochester, and then returned with another 100 shots loaded and the 100 shots printed for your enjoyment! While we don’t have anything quite so old this time around, there are some great cameras on the table for the episode!

The Cameras
The Following cameras were discussed on the episode:

Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash – This 1950 Bakelite 620 camera is great today for some very soft, dreamy ‘fifties’ look in your images. Below are some examples from Ottawa, the national capital of Canada on Ilford Pan F+! For extra fun flip the single element lens for even stranger results! There’s a great video on YouTube that walks you through flipping the lens.


Kodak Hawkeye Flash Test - Ottawa, ON

Kodak Hawkeye Flash Test - Ottawa, ON

Kodak Hawkeye Flash Test - Ottawa, ON

Agfa-Ansco ShurShot – This spiffy little cardboard and leatherette camera is the oldest camera on the podcast, and has a great single element lens and can produce sharp images. Even has separate viewfinders for landscape and portrait orientation.

Agfa Shurshot B-2 Box Camera

Like A Storybook

Frozen Log Benches

Box Powerlines

Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Bullseye – another 1950 Bakelite 620 camera that’s a bit more advanced that the Brownie Hawkeye Flash, with fully adjustable focus! The lens provides that great dreamy 50s look to boot!

Kodak Brownie Bullseye - What I used For RIAD07122012 - Camera #2

Old Park Bench

Incomplete Bench - 620 Day

Powerlines - 620 Day

Now many cameras we mentioned this episode use 620 film which you cannot get new, or can you? It’s no secret that 620 film is just 120 film on a different spool and that for many years people have been having to roll 120 film onto 620 spools that they scavenged from non-working cameras. But our friends over at the Film Photography Project has managed to get brand new 620 spools made using mold-injected plastic. You can get these new reels just on their own as a single, or a pack of four if you do your own respooling or need a take up spool. Or buy fresh film rolled by hand by Michael Raso onto 620 spools! These spools were fully tested by Chuck Baker over at the Brownie Camera page and gets an A+ from him!

The Darkroom
On the last episode we discussed the equipment needed to get home film developing going. So keeping in that theme, we bring out what you need to get traditional Black & White printing at home.

  • A light-tight space, or a space that can be made light-tight (even if only during certain hours of the day
  • Safe Light – so you can see where you’re going in the darkroom
  • Electricity and water source – doesn’t need to be running water
  • Enlarger – the big piece you need, but you can get them on the cheap or even free these days!
  • Trays – at least three, for developing the prints in
  • Measuring Cups – To measure out the chemistry
  • Tongs – again at least three for safely moving the paper between the trays
  • Chemistry – developer, stop, and fix. You can also have Hypoclear and Toner
  • Drying Rack – for the prints dry
  • Paper – Silver/Traditional Paper, Ilford MGIV is a good one to start with
  • Paper Safe – a light tight-box to keep the paper out of the light when not being used

Any space can be turned into the Darkroom, this one was formerly a storage closet that Alex and James MacFarlane converted into a decent sized darkroom in which two people can easily work.

Looking for a place to get all this equipment, check out Burlington Camera, Downtown Camera, or Film Plus if you’re in the GTA region of Ontario, if you’re on the West Coast (British Columbia) check out Beau Photo Supply. Special thanks to Stephen Ryde for letting us know about Beau Photo and for the awesome note! Additionally you can order online at the Film Photography Project or Freestyle Photographic.

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