Vintage and Classic Cameras
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Kodak, Brownie Six-20 Camera, Model F. 620 Roll film box camera, c1954

The Brownie Six-20 Model F was a derivative of the Model E, identical in all but colour (see the Model D for a bit about that series) produced by the English wing of Kodak, Kodak Ltd. London. The camera body is formed from a single piece of sheet steel, stamped then folded into a box, and spot welded along its base. Slid Into this is a pressed steel tray to form the film chamber and shutter bay held in place with adhesive, both to hold it in place and make a light tight seal. The entire shutter and supplementary lens assembly is of multiple pressed steel components riveted together then inserted into the front bay. Few fixings requiring threads are used, most of the components being held in place by simple fold over tabs. The back and front are pressed steel components, the back being hinged and the front a press fit onto indentations, allowing removal for cleaning. F (and E) models have a close up supplementary lenses that can be drawn into use with a tab and a similarly deployed yellow filter, shutter lock and cable release socket for timed exposures. This F model was all about the finish and painted gloss brown externally and matt brown inside the film chamber, although the removable film carrier is matt black as usual. The metal fittings are electro plated faux gold and the body wrapped in a light tan and lightly textured vinyl. A simple carry handle is fitted between two decorative rivets in the top. This model has a supplementary "portrait" lens which allows a tolerably sharp image down to 5 feet to be taken, enough for head and shoulder portraits. Shutter speed and aperture were fixed and optimized for bright daylight outside, using the films of the era - about 100ASA. The variations in exposure would be compensated for during the printing process. The Model F was pretty much the swan song for the old C ,D and E tooling, the F model stopping in 1957, although the tooling lived on into the basic black painted Brownie Flash II in Australia until 1963 and the Brownie Flash III in the UK until 1960. From a collectors perspective, it's quite hard to find a nice Model F, the electro plated metal parts don't hold up well and damp is not good for them. This tidy example was rescued in November 2019 and whilst the plating isn't perfect it's a decent enough example, helpfully it was dated inside 5/12/56 by someone in the factory. Asking prices can be absurdly inflated, don't be tempted, they are common enough and this one was secured for £12, with the original carton and instructions. It's survival may have been caused by a fault with the shutter, the second rotating cover was badly adjusted and dragged on the over centre taking shutter, causing it to hesitate. This has been fixed now, but it looks as though the camera spend many years unused in a drawer.

620 film too was nearing the end, the film spools couldn't be injection moulded in plastic as they were too thin, so was outlived by its earlier form, 120, still with us in 2019. Kodak stopped making cameras for 620 roll film by 1966, but even so the film lingered on until 1995.

Box Brownie Model D

Body No. No serial
Shutter, Fixed at "instant" Approx. 1/50sec, or B "Bulb".
Lens, approx. 94mm f/16
Condition, 5F

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