Kodak Box Brownie III


This camera may look like it is from yesterday, and it is, but it is still a perfect Lomographic camera due to its simplicity!

image from here

Me – I’m Han and I’m a car-boot Sale Addict… I guess this is how anything camera related starts for me! After picking up an copious amount of box cameras over the few weeks I’d been searching for any camera at all ( I’ve not been fussy in my purchases) I’d picked up and put down many a Box Brownie for one reason or another… that was until I picked up MY Kodak Brownie Flash III. In almost pristine condition with it’s stripy facia, and “two happy eyes” I was sold. Well worth a “go” I thought!

I was overly impressed at the quality of the viewfinders compared to others that were distinctively aged and damaged and of cloudy nature. Mine was crisp, although it took a bit of adjusting to figure out exactly where over the viewfinder worked best for me! This ageing and deterioration I guess is going to happen over time as the original Box brownie was made by Kodak back in 1900 – so I guess we can say happy 109th birthday Brownie!!

My model is a Box Brownie Flash III sadly without a flash, but it does have the fittings for one! Introduced into production n 1957, and sadly discontinued just 3 years later it takes a 2 ¼” x 3 ¼” picture and was usually manufactured in the UK. Research tells me it has a F/14 Kodet with Close-up Lens. The camera appears extremely basic, and almost primitive. But with it’s yellow cloud filter, shutter lock, cable release and tripod mount this camera surprisingly packs a punch!

With a lovely label inside stating a Kodak film number that I’d never heard of (620).. I decided that fitting a 120 roll wouldn’t be the end of the world and I set out in a nice crisp October day with the brownie in tow to see how the shots would come out! With it’s simplistic mechanisms and a single blade shutter sound that echoes around inside the camera it almost felt unreal. I was certain my shots wouldn’t work.. but as I neared shot 8 on the film (I was expecting to get 12 – but you only get 8 shots per 120 roll it seems!!) i quite proudly wrapped the film tightly and sent it off for developing and scanning!

So a few days later the roll returned and I must say I’m impressed.. I guess the next step for me is double exposures with it…

The next step for you is to have a go I think a Lomographer would love this camera purely for it’s simplicity. Yielding results is about the photographer not the camera in our digital world. I’d say they are well worth a bash, and everyone should have at least one box camera in their collection – you may be surprised like me!!!

written by hanspan on 2009-02-23 #gear #review #box #brownie #kodak


  1. stouf
    stouf ·

    Yeah, it's a nice surprise ! I'm sure you're gonna enjoy this new baby of yours !!!
    Cool review !

  2. mattcharnock
    mattcharnock ·

    The car boot queen strikes again! nice camera! nice review - nice pics!

  3. dirklancer
    dirklancer ·

    Nice review Han! I picked up one of these myself recently. I haven't used it yet, but I have 2 40 year old rolls of 620 to run through it! I'm just waiting for the right day :D

  4. eyecon
    eyecon ·

    Hey Han, nice review and a nice cam.....I think I saw it days ago in a picture of William Eggleston, where a girl is laying in the grass, holding on of these cams.....

  5. eyecon
    eyecon ·

    That´s the shot I´m talking about....

  6. hanspan
    hanspan ·

    Sorry guys - this is not the pic i submitted with the camera review.. my camera looks like this


    Sorry for the confusion guys. mines the kodak Brownie Flash III

  7. hanspan
    hanspan ·

    Thanks LSI for amending the pic!! There are millions of brownies!!!!!

    thankyouuuuu xxx

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