Week Twenty Nine

May 22, 2017

Week 29 – The Kodak Box Brownie No2

Why another Box Camera I hear you ask? Yes I know we only did one 2 weeks ago. Jason Avery on twitter had come up with a bit of fun #boxcamweek and it sounded fun. I had really enjoyed the Coronet cardboard jobby so why not have a go at another. Russell let me rummage through his box of boxes, all a bit rough and ready but I pulled a rusty mucky Kodak Brownie number 2 out that needed a spruce. I took it home. I scrubbed away the rusty edges with the back pad of a dry sponge, glued the curly leatherette covering back down then polished all the exterior with balsam wax. I gave all the glass bits a going over with white vinegar, the fixed lens came up well but the bright viewers were not great. Inside got a good clean too, the rust removal on rollers with a careful lube.

Camera now looking grand with an aged look we can go through a couple of differences with the Coronet. The Kodak body is mean to be aluminium but the rust says not! Shutter is faster at 1/50th and a slide out plate with holes stamped in for aperture options of F11-16-22, which is about it really.

Roll one – the usual FP4 was loaded and I did a few test light evaluations, the loss of a stop of light with the faster shutter made it hard to get a shot in with any filter for effect even at f11 so I decided to have a crack at multiple exposures across the whole roll. In fact all were x3 accept the sundial which was x4! The one of the street scene looking at the pub a meagre x2. To be honest I wasn't overly confident with my math re exposures so a very tense time through developing, I need not have worried as they were pretty damned good! I hadn't done too badly with composure either considering the viewing glass, the tripod was a must!

Roll 2 – HP5 for a change of pace. At asa 400 it gave me a couple of stops of light to play with so set about a day of single exposures. I just wanted a day of taking photographs so jumped on the foot ferry to neighbouring Cornwall and Mount Edgcumbe Country Park and just had fun. I thought I had it all in hand. A great historical place set in lovely woodland, open parkland and right on the Tamar River bank. I am going to pick out one picture in particular – The Folly tower looking over Plymouth Sound with the city in the background. I have taken this view in my digital time and really wanted it on film. I was lucky in that stormy skies added some drama and I could just about justify the light orange filter. Here is a fun fact. The folly was built from the stones of a couple of ruined churches of Plymouth in 1747 by Baron Richard Edgcumbe. It was built complete then the story goes he ordered it to be distressed by using gunpowder. They over did it a tad and dropped it completely so had to rebuild it again! Anyway back to the roll, I knew I had on a few frames accepted slight under exposure so wasn't surprised with a few dark ones after developing so a little post tweaking has been done. I am confident I could print them so I won't be beating myself up. The folly shot is as though and I am very proud of it indeed.

Summing up? Nothing but joy, good honest images with a look of their own, not razor sharp but who cares! I am now looking for a nice box of my own. I had to work the exposures a little but that is the fun part…loved it!

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