Here we have the Brownie 127 - certainly the most common 127 in the UK. Three models were produced. Model 1 introduced in 1952 is shown here on the left, Model 2 (1959)on the right. The model 2 was discontinued in 1963. However the brand identity was so strong that two years later the model 3 (1965-69) shown below was introduced. Despite sharing the name, this was a complete redesign, with little in common with the original classics.
The most obvious difference between the 1 and the 2 is the molding - horizonal on the version 1, but vertical and much finer on the model 2. Personally I much prefer the styling of the original. A more subtle change is the viewfinder - the model 2 has a much larger viewfinder, which is definiatly an advantage. The printing on the front plate was changed at various times, which can date them more precisly. Model 2 bears the famous logo "with Dakon lens" and origninal sold for 1 pound, 4 shillings and 6 pence.
Both take 8 6x4 pictures on a roll, which is a really nice size for landscape work. However the lens isn't really sharp enough to capture fine details. It seems to be sharper at intermediate distances, which would make it ideal for group portraits - or in the context of the camera's original market: family holiday snaps.
Here's the manual for the model 2. You can find more manuals in the Brownie Manuals group on Yahoo.
While the styling of the model 3 is something of a step backwards, it does feature a flash connector (of a seemingly unique design), and has double exposure prevention. The most signifigant change however is that the camera how takes 12 pictures (4x4) per roll rather than 8.
Kodak even made a couple of filters for these camera's. If you want to try using filters, the model 1 uses a 23.5mm push fit filter holder. The model 2 takesa 28.5mm, though I found it to be a tight fit when I tried it.
These camera's were all made in the UK where millions where sold, and a relativly small number were exported to the US as the Starlet - not to be confused with the US built Starlet, which is completly different. However the rarest of all Brownie's is the white 127 which was sold in Jersy as a promotion for tourists - its estimated that 5000 were made, and while a regular 127 is worth perhaps 2 pounds, white 127's can easily sell for over 200.
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