Brownie Movie Cameras

The Brownie 8 mm. Movie Camera was introduced by the Eastman Kodak Company of Rochester, U.S.A. and first imported into Britain in 1955. In the following year British production of the same model began at the Harrow factory of Kodak Limited.

The first series was fitted with a single ƒ 2.7 lens and open frame finder. In 1957 a model II was introduced with “Sundial” type exposure calculator incorporated in the front panel. In 1958 a new lens with maximum aperture of ƒ 1.9 was fitted, and the open frame finder was superseded by an optical finder with plastic front and rear elements. A more powerful spring motor, providing a continuous run of 9 ft. of film (40 seconds of screen time) at one winding, was also fitted at this time.
There are two current American single-lens models. One is fitted with an ƒ2.3 lens and is otherwise similar to the British ƒ1.9 model, the other has an ƒ1.9 lens and a restyled trim and front panel. The controls on the latter model are the same as on other single-lens models.

The Turret ƒ1.9 model was also introduced in 1958. Basically similar to the single lens model, it incorporates wide-angle and telephoto converter lenses in a movable turret on the front panel in place of the exposure calculator.
All turret and ƒ 1.9 single lens models have been fitted with an anti-clock springing device from early 1959.

Brownie 8 mm. cine cameras are designed to provide home movies at a modest outlay with a minimum of technicalities.
Brownie movie cameras use the most economical cine film available, the 8 mm. gauge and their main feature is simplicity of operation. The clockwork mechanism runs at a governed speed of 16 frames per second. The shutter gives an effective exposure of 1/35 sec.
The basic lens fitted to current models is an Ektanon of 13 mm. focal length with a maximum aperture of ƒ 2.7, ƒ 2.3 or ƒ 1.9. It requires no focusing, and objects beyond 8 ft. or 10 ft. from the camera, depending on the model, are in sharp focus at all times. As the lens aperture is closed (conditions permitting) you can come in still closer to the subject. Wide-angle and telephoto converter lenses are available for the Model II, and are incorporated in the Turret model.
After loading, the operating instructions can be summed up in ten words: wind the motor; set the lens; press the exposure lever.

Brownie Movie Camera model II (f/1.9 in Britain and f/2.3 in U.S.A.). The improved f 1.9 American model has a restyled front panel and trim but the controls are identical.

In 1961, a new model, the Brownie 8 Movie Camera ƒ2.7, was introduced in Britain. It embodies several modifications on the Model II. The body is of plastic instead of metal, with a moulded channel inside the film chamber to indicate the threading path. The film gate hinges open for cleaning. The cover has a locking knob in place of a latch and incorporates an automatically-resetting footage indicator. A crank replaces the winding key and an automatic cut-out stops the motor before it slows at the end of a run. A non-collapsible viewfinder is built into the camera body. The exposure lever is replaced by a broad bar, but without a running lock, while lens aperture is set on a large, easily-read “Sundial”-type exposure guide

Brownie Movie Guide by G. R. Sharp

This is a Camera Guide. It deals with one make of camera, but it is not boosting it.
The Camera Guide is a Focal Press publication. It is not sponsored or censored by manufacturers, or dependent on them in any way. The Camera Guide is as scrupulous in fully describing the camera and advising on its use as the very best type of manufacturer’s booklet of directions. It is, however, more critical than they could be. No Camera Guide will attempt to camouflage the limitations of a camera or make efforts to sell an endless chain of accessories. It is straightforward, practical and devoted to the questions of how to take the best photographs with a particular camera, rather than to the praise of that camera itself.

Every Camera Guide is compiled by an author who has had long experience in handling the camera in question. It represents at the same time the gist of all available literature collected by the Focal Press Circle of Photographers and filtered through their considered judgment. Both authors and publishers have one aim only: to be fair to every camera and candid with the reader.
© Focal Press Ltd 1961