My First Experience with a Kodak Brownie n.2


Some days ago, I bought a vintage box camera, a Kodak Brownie n. 2, manufactured between 1928-1935 as a camera for children. It's very simple to use, like a more recent Kodak Instamatic or an Holga. This is my first impression about this camera. For the film, I used a Lomography Earl Grey 120 film roll.

The Kodak Brownie is one of the most popular “toy camera” of the history of the photography. Its first model is from 1900, and it became very popular in few years. Very simple to use, sold for only $1, and it was intended to be a camera for every people, especially children. The Kodak slogan was the famous: “You push the button, we do the rest!”

My Kodak Brownie n. 2 (model F)

This camera has a simple shutter made of a rotating disk with an hole, moved by a spring triggered by a lever (like in a Holga camera). The shutter speed is about 1/50, and the camera has a little lever on the top. Pulling it up, the camera works in B pose. As with a Holga or Diana, you can make multiple exposures! The camera is built like a tank, and its simple shutter, easy to clean, seem to never stop to work!

Photos from gmpphoto and Memographer

The lens is a fixed focus (at infinity), its focal length is 105mm, apertures are approx. F16 (maybe F18), F22, F32 and the format of the photos is the classical 6×9cm. This camera uses 120 film! I bought it with a very old (at least 50 years old) film inside, a Kodak Verichrome Pan that was never used!

I wrapped the film without using it, reserving it for a special occasion, and then I removed the roll to clean the interior surface of the lens, which had small signs of dust, easily removed. This camera has two viewfinders. The first one, on the top, is for a vertical composition, while the second, on the lateral side, is for an horizontal composition. The viewfinders are bright, however they are very small and you need few minutes to learn how to compose the image that you view inside a very small window. You can see a small little world into a little rectangular piece of glass!

Credits: sirio174

I tested the camera walking in Milan with a lomo-friend, who carried with her a wonderful Lubitel 166B. The first two photos were taken in Piazza Affari (Businnes Square). Here you can find the sculpture called LOVE (2011) by the Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, a 36-foot white marble sculpture representing a middle finger of an hand without the other fingers.

Credits: sirio174

As you can see, the sharpness is awesome for a more than 80 years old camera! The lens is a single element, made of pure and uncoated glass. After so many years, it is still bright and without signs of use!

Credits: sirio174

Here another details of the Stock Exchange Palace in Milan. The Earl Grey film has a wonderful grey tones rendition, it is a perfect combination with this camera!

Credits: sirio174

The last series of photos was taken inside the courtyard of Brera Academy in Milan; some are a little underexposed, because when I took these images I didn’t know the exact shutter speed and the apertures of the diaphragm.

It is a pleasure to use this camera!

written by sirio174 on 2013-04-04 in #reviews #vintage #earl-grey #120mm #vintage-vamera #brownie #kodak-brownie #lomography-earl-grey #kodak-brownie-n-2 #toy-camera #kodak


  1. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    Wow. I am happy for you and a bit jealous too. Nice images!

  2. segata
    segata ·

    My brother inherited one of these from my late grandfather, sadly he won't share it or let me return it to full working order :(

  3. sirio174
    sirio174 ·

    @neanderthalis this is a easy to find camera, a cheap model (it costs approx. 20 Euro, or 25 USD)

  4. lokified
    lokified ·

    Wow! That's so great that you can get such great photos out of it/ I've passed over a few Brownies in my camera shop. Maybe they're worth a look!

More Interesting Articles

  • Testing a Roll of Found Film

    written by billseye on 2015-07-20 in #gear #lifestyle
    Testing a Roll of Found Film

    In one of my vintage hunts, I bought a camera for $2. It came with an unexposed roll of film. After using up the last frames, I discovered that this old camera has Lomographic qualities.

  • Lomography Fisheye No.2: Seven Years of Wonder

    written by adi_totp on 2014-09-15 in #reviews
    Lomography Fisheye No.2: Seven Years of Wonder

    Exactly seven years ago, I bought this camera from Indonesia's local Lomography community. I remember having some savings in my bank account and just spending it all on this camera. At that time, I browsed the microsite for the Lomography Fisheye No.2 and immediately fell in love with it! Coincidentally, my friend who introduced me to Lomography just bought this same camera for his birthday. My life has changed ever since I had the Fisheye, my first lomographic camera.

  • Fresh from My Darkroom: The First Game of the New Rugby Season

    written by sirio174 on 2014-10-15 in #lifestyle
    Fresh from My Darkroom: The First Game of the New Rugby Season

    Last Sunday, the local rugby team Rugby Como played the first match of the 2014-1025 season. Rugby is my favorite sport to photograph, and for some years I've been documenting almost every home match of this young team. This time I used a 1959 Zorki 5 camera with a vintage 1958 Industar-50 lens loaded with a timeless film, the Ilford HP5+ developed in a century-old developer, the mythical Rodinal. Take a look after the jump!

  • Shop News

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • The New Petzval Lens: For Portraits with Swirly Bokeh

    written by wesco on 2014-11-27 in #reviews
    The New Petzval Lens: For Portraits with Swirly Bokeh

    My brother purchased the new Petzal lens by Lomography and Zenit through the Kickstarter campaign. Last spring, I was able to borrow it for a few weeks. Read on to find out my first impressions of this portrait lens!

  • Reviving An Old Polaroid 1000 Camera

    written by Wessel de Haas on 2015-02-13 in #gear #reviews
    Reviving An Old Polaroid 1000 Camera

    Some time ago, my parents-in-law gave me an old Polaroid camera that they used during my wife's childhood. After some investigation, I found out that Polaroid had stopped making instant film. But the factory in Enschedé, the Netherlands had been taken over by The Impossible Project, so I bought a package of fresh film and gave it a try!

  • A Salute to the Masters: R.I.P. (A Tribute to George Krause)

    written by sirio174 on 2015-06-20 in #world #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: R.I.P. (A Tribute to George Krause)

    This article is dedicated to the multifaceted American photographer George Krause and to his series depicting funeral monuments realized between 1962 and 1963. I was able to know about this series thanks to an important essay on photography written by former Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Director of Photography, John Szarkowski. For this tribute, I loaded my trusty Praktica camera with a roll of Ilford film and took a series of photos in the Monumental Cemetery in my city, Como. Take a look!

  • Shop News

    the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

     the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

    Let your loved one pick the gift of their dreams. Lomography Online Shop Gift Certificates are the perfect present for every analogue devotee on your gift list

  • A Salute to the Masters: Barkers (A Tribute to Jack Delano)

    written by sirio174 on 2015-05-02 in #world #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: Barkers (A Tribute to Jack Delano)

    This is tribute to the Farm Security Administration photographer, Jack Delano, and his photographic series dedicated to barkers. For this article, I chose a series of photos I took this year at the traditional Easter Fair in my city, Como, using a classic rangefinder camera loaded with a roll of black and white film.

  • My Pinhole F Cardboard Camera Inspired By the Diana F+ Camera

    written by raypg on 2014-09-05 in #lifestyle
    My Pinhole F Cardboard Camera Inspired By the Diana F+ Camera

    I love the different styles of cameras that Lomography has, but I also like to create my own cardboard cameras that use pinholes to be able to take pictures using traditional film. This time I created the Pinhole F, a camera inspired by the Diana F+ and shoots 12 pinhole photos using 120 film.

  • A Political Rally in Como

    written by sirio174 on 2014-08-18 in #lifestyle
    A Political Rally in Como

    In the week preceding the elections for the European Parliament, several political rallies were held in Como. As with all other public events in my city I documented one of these rallies, this time using a Russian film camera Zorki 6 loaded with a black and white film roll. Take a look!

  • Shop News

    The Lomography Experimental Lens Kit opens up a new, creative photographic domain!

    The Lomography Experimental Lens Kit opens up a new, creative photographic domain!

    Satisfy your hunger for creative snap-shooting with this lens package made especially for Micro 4/3 digital cameras! Don't miss the 20% discount!

  • Spinner 360: Pull the Cord and Let the Magic Happen!

    written by adi_totp on 2014-09-09 in #reviews
    Spinner 360: Pull the Cord and Let the Magic Happen!

    The story between the Spinner 360 and I goes way back to the year 2010, when Lomography decided to send me a beta model of the Spinner 360 to test. It was a complete surprise! I thought, "What the hell is that?" as I first took this camera out of the package. Then, when my little brother grabbed it from me and pulled the cord, it buzzed and turned 360°! We all had the same expression: "Whoa..."

  • Lomography Diana Tips + Tricks

    written by joellep on 2014-09-27 in #gear #tipster
    Lomography Diana Tips + Tricks

    I have been using the Diana extensively for the past two years. It was actually the camera that got my into film photography (something that I am so grateful for). So I have compiled a list of Diana tips for y’all…

  • Falling In Love With The LC-A 120

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-04-06 in #gear #reviews
    Falling In Love With The LC-A 120

    There are quite a few perks that come with working for a film photography company, and the best perk of all is testing out the latest cameras. I can remember buying my LC-A back in 2009 and being really inspired to shoot film again. When the LC-A 120 came along, I couldn't wait to try it out around London. Join me as I test out this super medium format beauty.