View Full Version : 116 film - Kodak Brownie

07-30-2006, 06:41 PM
Several years ago I purchased several old box cameras for a few dollars each. Among them was a Kodak No 2A Brownie, probably about circa 1920. It takes 116 roll film (approx. 2.5 in x 4.25 in.). The reels holding the film are both wider and bigger in diameter than 120. I spooled a roll of 120 onto a 116 reel and loaded the camera yesterday. I have attached a couple ot the photos with detailed crops below to show quality of images possible. I was very impressed with the results, this thing makes a great panoramic camera. Light, easy to use, diaphram is choice of three hole sizes, no focus, if you have daylight, its works... Amazing, the lens doesn't look very good, but reached in and cleaned it with a Q-tip.Did use tripod and pulled shutter very gently, Tmax 100 (figured given age, slow film outside).

Question, does anyone have an easy design for 120 film adapter for 116 film? I have a couple of ideas, but why reinvent the wheel or spool as the case might be... Thanks John Attached files http://f295.f295.org/uploads/kodak2arrcars1adj_8787.jpg (http://f295.f295.org/uploads/kodak2arrcars1adj_8787.jpg) http://f295.f295.org/uploads/kodak2arrcars1crop_6686.jpg (http://f295.f295.org/uploads/kodak2arrcars1crop_6686.jpg) http://f295.f295.org/uploads/kodak2arrcars3adj_4149.jpg (http://f295.f295.org/uploads/kodak2arrcars3adj_4149.jpg) http://f295.f295.org/uploads/kodak2arrcars3cropadj_7496.jpg (http://f295.f295.org/uploads/kodak2arrcars3cropadj_7496.jpg)

Jim Jones
07-30-2006, 09:08 PM
It's not so difficult to get similar cameras for 120 film, so I advise against expending much effort in adapting an ordinary 116 camera to 120 film unless it's for the challange. An aside: some of the basic Kodaks, at least among the folding models, had an achromat meniscus lens which theoretically should offer somewhat better performance.

07-31-2006, 09:20 AM
Look around here:

I'll find a direct link - you could get lost for days in this site.

There is a section on postcard cameras with lots of crude wasy to put 120 in larger folders...glue and coins, pieces of wood, etc.

Also look up Steve Smiths's Polaroid-to-120 conversion here on f295.

07-31-2006, 11:45 AM
You could check out my blog entry for the old box cameras.
I have converted several. Including one to shoot 2-1/8" round pictures.

07-31-2006, 01:01 PM
A practical adaptation of info from some links above:


08-01-2006, 12:42 AM
The supply side adaptation is potentially very simple -- a nickel and a penny on each side, IIRC, is just about right. For the takeup (or for both), you can make an adapter from a wood disk the correct diameter and thickness to center the 120 spool; one side needs a slot and hole to fit the 616 drive key and spindles, the other needs a key to fit the 120 spool. Some folks never do bother to adapt the takeup side, and just wind the film onto the 616 spool and then unload in a darkroom or changing bag.

For a permanent adaptation, you might also want to put blackened brass strips inside the film gate to mask the image off the edge markings, though that isn't a real necessity, and you'll likely be ahead covering the outer 1/3 of the red window, on the inside, with black tape (to prevent light going past the film edge -- you'll still be able to read the framing numbers).

08-01-2006, 05:40 AM
Thank you all for your input...

I have taken literally pieces of all suggestions and think I have an interesting solution which I will document (if it works well).

Plus I have visited some interesting sites... Murray, found entry I think your were referring to and much more, greyhoundman - enjoyed your blog, derevaun - learned a couple of things from that link, Jim - I will look at a couple folding cameras I have with new interest and ImageMaker - thank you for your always insightful input and I had for safety covered the entire window, but will play with that.

08-20-2006, 01:57 PM
Here is a suggestion, if you have not done the conversion yet. I collect and use these type of cameras, so been there done that.

Use your 116 spool as you empty spool, for the side with the regular 120 film go to a harware store and purchase a wall cable holder (see pic), they are made of plastic and all you have to do is remove the nail and cut the plastic pieces in half and file them down to fit your camera.

The nice thing about this pieces is that on the top end they already have a hole in which to insert the film holder and the other side fits fine on the film reel.

They are removable so they can be use over and over

The are also very cheap.

Attached files http://f295.f295.org/uploads/nail_7772.jpg (http://f295.f295.org/uploads/nail_7772.jpg)

08-20-2006, 05:27 PM
Cool off-label use of hardware.

I have a whole box of those...um, somewhere, I used 1 or 2 of and never needed again.