After writing a review recently about my Brownie 127, which I use with 35mm film to get exposed sprocket holes, a few people messaged me to ask how to load it up. It is a very easy process that I will explain below.
The first thing you need to do is to tape over the red clear plastic dot at the back of the camera. This is where you would normally read the frame counter, but of course with 35mm film this would just cause a light leak as the film is not paper backed like 127. I use electrical tape over mine as this is the best for light tightness but doesn’t leave a sticky residue, so if you then want to use 127 film instead it would not have left goop on your camera. I have actually now had to put 2 pieces of tape as one still allowed a small dot of light to get through as you can see in the photo below.
This is a great tip if you have an old Brownie 127 lying around (lots of homes do as they were such a common camera back in the day) and enjoy exposing the sprocket holes in your photos as it uses the entire film to make a picture.
Loading the 35mm film into the Brownie 127 is super easy and I am sure anyone can give it a try. Once you have the back off, or outer case of the camera as is the case with the Brownie, you can see on the right as you look at it that a 35mm film fits neatly (albeit slightly loosely) into the gap where a 127 spool should go. Pull the tab across as you would with any other 35mm camera and thread it onto the original spool. I always find that it will go surprisingly tight and easy, although I have seen some suggestions that you ought to tape this down, I have never needed to.
That is basically it! Slide the bottom back on and you are pretty much ready to shoot. The difficulty is knowing how far you are winding and I was told that one full turn of the dial equates to one frame. I actually think it is more like 1 and a half to 2 turns because with one turn you still get mostly double exposures, overlapping and panoramas. I also find it hard to know how much film I have left, and I have to say for me this is still all guesswork!
Obviously, once you think you have used up the film there is no rewind. So, I stuff mine into a makeshift changing bag (under a duvet or inside a coat). Then you just remove the 35mm canister and turn the film back manually all the way in. This is very easy to do, even when you can’t see it.
There are some great videos on youtube but this is the link to my favorite one – Kodak Brownie 127 Camera Using 35mm Film
You can read my original review at Sprocket-y Goodness with a Kodak Brownie 127