Secondhand Love Affair: My Two 127 Film Cameras

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My Kodak Brownie Reflex Synchro and My Kodak Vest Pocket Autographic both take 127 film. They are old and wonderful! Read on to know more about them.

I love all my more recent cameras but somehow there is something really cool about owning a camera that was released before you were even born.

About 4 or 5 years ago a very very good friend of mine gave me a small heavy brown leather case. He said “this belonged to my late aunt and because I know you like these vintage objects I’d like you to have it”

When I opened the case it had a lovely vintage folding camera in it. I was thrilled! However some very small screws had fallen out causing the folding area to become detached from the front lens plate. My friend told me he had taken it to a photography shop to repair it and they had told him they could repair it but there really was no use in doing so as the film the camera needed was no longer available. The camera took 127 film, it was a Kodak Vest Pocket Autographic that was manufactured by Kodak between 1915 and 1926. Because I couldn’t use it I just kept it safely on a drawer and ended up forgetting about it.

Then last year I read about Twin Lens Reflex cameras (yep, I didn’t even new TLR’s existed until last year!). I thought they were so so beautiful and I really wanted one as I wanted to try Through The Viewfinder Photography because I had seen some really stunning results. Therefore, when I found an old cheap mouldy Kodak Browie Reflex Synchro I bought it right away. It was still in the box which as a graphic designer was a big plus as I got to own lovely packaging design from the 50’s/60’s (the camera was manufactured between 1952 and 1960).

And here is the camera:

As it turns out the Through The Viewfinder photography didn’t work out as I expected: I tried and tried but I just couldn’t get good results. I thought maybe it was because the only digital camera I have is a point and shoot but then I read you could do good TTV photos with point and shoot cameras. Sadly, It didn’t really work for me but I loved the camera so much that I still wanted to use it so I decided to order some 127 film from ebay. The only afordable 127 film rolls I could find were a B&W Kodak film expired since 1980 and a Color Negative Kodak film expired since 1989. As soon as I got them I kept them safely in the fridge:

Then I remembered that lovely folding camera that was given to me so many years ago. Hadn’t I stored it and forgotten about it because here was now way of getting my hands on 127 film? Well now I did have 127 film! I took the camera out of the drawer It had been kept in and my boyfriend got some tiny screws and fixed the folding part for me:

I have already tried the B&W film on my Kodak Brownie Reflex Synchro and although I was worried about the flm having been expired for over 30 years all the photos did come out, check them out:

Credits: carlota_nonnumquam

Next up I’m going to try the color negative on the Kodak Vest Pocket Autographic and now that I know 127 film is being manufactured again I want to buy some fresh film and shoot more and more 127 film!

When I have people over at my house I always show them both cameras and proudly say “They are from the 20’s and the 50’s! Isn’t that fascinating?” I really love vintage stuff.

What about you? What are the oldest cameras you have? Write about them in the comments!

written by carlota_nonnumquam on 2012-04-02 in #lifestyle #kodak-vest-pocket-autographic #requested #tlr #folding #brownie #127-film #kodak-brownie-reflex-synchro

2 Comments

  1. detroitlomo
    detroitlomo ·

    The oldest camera i have is a Kodak Pocket Folding Camera from 1906, it takes 120 film, and other than some tears in the bellows that need repairs it is perfect!, The second oldest i have is a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash, and thats from the 50s. You have 2 great 127 cameras!

  2. ropi
    ropi ·

    Do you know if it's possible to adapt them to use 120 film??

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