|Kodak, Brownie Special Six-16, roll film camera, c1938|
The Kodak Brownie Special Six-16 is an all metal box camera, made in US and decidedly chunky into the bargain. It has a slightly curved film plane to offset some of the difficulties of edge to edge resolution. The lens is fixed aperture and fixed focus, but does have the added refinement of a close up lens that can be swung into place behind the lens which allows focus down to 6ft. The camera's character is largely defined by it's overall shape and the pressed steel lens mount. Exposure control is left to the latitude of the film - its ability to produce a printable result over a wide range. As Kodak said themselves, "You press the button, we do the rest". Unusually for a box camera, it also comes with a shutter lock and a leg which swings down to serve as a rest to keep the camera level when placed on a surface for long exposures. Construction is of steel sheet, two pressed ends form the top and bottom whilst the sides, front and back are forrmed from a single folded sheet. Even the wind on wheel is a pressed component. The long rectangular tube that holds the viewfinder optics also doubles up as the handle mount. This method made for a very efficient and cheaply produced camera. Access to the film is via a rotating lock on the base, which allows the top to separate, the bottom remaining attached. An endearing feature is the way the entire shutter mechanism can be lifted out to clean the back of the lens. The finish consists of a fairly thin coat of back paint over the exposed metal parts (which wears quite easily), with faux leather covering the rest, with a handful of nickel plated bright parts. Well that just about sums it up, but it has its own cute appeal which is how it found itself brought to England from its life long home in San Francisco. Nothing to do except clean it and make some film to go in it.
|Body No. Not numbered
Shutter, Simple rotary blade type, T and Instant
Lens, Single element moulded lens.
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