Kodak Brownie 2A and Verichrome PAN

Below are some photos I took with an almost 100 year old camera: the Kodak Brownie 2A model B, made from 1920 to 1924. I also put together a Web page that describes the camera in more detail here.

The film I used was Kodak Verichrome PAN in 116 format, some of the freshest I was able to find on eBay... though for a film format discontinued in 1984, this doesn't mean much. This particular roll expired 40 years ago in March of 1977. The price sticker tells me it was once sold by "O Ellig Pharmacy" in Coraopolis, PA for 0.80$.

Old film like this typically needs some extra exposure above what its original speed rating of ISO 125 suggests. So I left the Brownie at its max aperture (about f/11) and used the fixed shutter speed of 1/50s. Based on the "Sunny 16" rule, that means about 2 stops of overexposure for subjects in bright sunlight. This worked out rather well, even for the scenes in the shade.

I developed the film in an antique "FR Special model 2" development tank that can be adjusted for the 116 film format (which is 70 mm wide and thus too large for regular 120 format development reels). The developer I happened to have at hand was Kodak XTOL, and so I used that undiluted at 68°F/20°C for 6 minutes. Next time I'll try HC-110 which supposedly helps with reducing some of the base fog that shows up with old film.

In the future I will also need to put some gaffer tape over the orange film counter window on the back of the camera. The photos show some light leaks on top that were apparently caused by light making it through that window onto the film. In the 1920's this camera would have been used with slow-speed orthochromatic film (i.e. not sensitive to red light), and the orange window would have been a good enough light barrier.