Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Kodak Brownie 8mm Turret

I had to look this one up to find out when it was put on the market, which was 1955. This camera was purchased around that time and used frequently until about 1968.

It took a spool of twenty-five feet of 16mm movie film. The film was run through the camera twice, each time exposing the film on one side and then the other. The film was then processed, split in half and spliced together making a fifty foot roll of exposed film.

This camera exposed film at 18 frames per second. A fifty foot spool of film produced a movie about three minutes long.

This shows the camera with the viewfinder folded down for travel. This camera did not come with lens caps. On the side there is a card. There were different cards for the different types of film and each roll came with one. It went into the receptacle on the side. The card has a chart for setting the f-stops for different lighting conditions.

This shows the viewfinder folded up for taking pictures. The forward part of the finder has rectangles in yellow red and green. These correspond to coloured lines and numbers on each of the three lenses that can be used. At the back there is a sliding piece that moves up and down depending on the distance from the camera to the subject. The operator sights through the hole in the back and what is seen in the appropriate rectangle will be close to what one sees on the screen, when the film has been exposed, processed and is ready to be projected.

There is a key on this side of the camera. It folds open allowing the camera's clockwork mechanism to be wound up so that the film can be taken.

The rear element of the viewfinder can be seen better here. Right now the distance is set to infinity. Raising it up allows closer distances.

This shows the front element of the viewfinder. The coloured rectangles correspond to colours on the lenses.

This shows the three lenses on the turret. The one on the right is the one that is in position for filming. It is the yellow lens and to take pictures with it the yellow rectangle is used.


You can see the colours on the lenses in this and the previous picture. There is a dial between the red and green lenses on the left. That is used to set the aperture to the desired f-stop. the lenses are fixed focus. That makes the camera easier to operate but limits its creativity.
The vertical knurled metal piece in the centre under the lenses is the camera's shutter release button. Pressing and holding it will run the camera and expose the film for about thirty seconds, which is about all the time available when the camera is fully wound. The procedure is to wind the camera after every shot. On the right can be seen an opening with a metal back showing an 'E.' The 'E' indicates that either the camera has no film or if it does there is no film left to be exposed. In operation this indicates how much of the twenty-five foot spool there is remaining.

When a new spool of film is put in the camera it is placed on the upper rear spindle, and the lower spool is used as to take up the film. When the first twenty-five feet are exposed, the spools are flipped over and put on the opposite spindles, for a second run through, after which the film was mailed to Kodak for processing, which took a week or two.

Another view of the camera with it's side removed to allow access for loading and unloading film.

This and the next two pictures show the lenses in their different positions. This lens uses the yellow rectangle.


This lens uses the red rectangle.

This lens uses the green rectangle.

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