Kodak Brownie Bullet
|Produced||:||1957 - 1964|
|Body Type||:||Solid Body|
|ImageSize||:||1⅝ x 2½ in|
|Lens Type||:||Plastic meniscus|
|Focal Range||:||5ft - inf.|
|Size (w x h x d)||:||100 x 80 x 75 mm|
|* Measured on this camera|
Art Deco Credentials
Acceptable: Modest and restricted
I consider this camera to warrant 2 stars for the following attributes:
- Designed during the main Art Deco period
- Designed by Arthur Hunt Crapsey, Jr
- Bakelite body with horizontal lines surrounding camera
- White advance knob and shutter release button
- Line pattern on shutter release
- Gold coloured face and body locks
- Curvilinear shape
The Brownie Bullet is a promotional exact copy of the Brownie Holiday camera. It is a tiny Bakelite medium format film box camera made by Kodak in Rochester, NY, USA. It was not a normal retail item, but used for promotional purposes by third-party companies. The camera was used to encourage customers to take advantage of their goods or services. For instance, people would collect food labels to get a free camera. The third-party company benefits by increasing the sale of their product, the customer gets a free camera, and Kodak gains a new customer that will buy their film and process it!
It has a moulded black plastic body with white, cream, or grayish controls. It has a plastic lens and viewfinder. The shutter is operated by a white plastic push button on the top. The film winder is also in white plastic. The body has two halves which are held together by a sliding latch on either side. The front part has the shutter, lens and film transport. The back is just a box carrying half of the viewfinder and red window. It has a curved film plane. There are no tripod mounts.
For those wishing buy one of these cameras to take pictures, please be aware that the Bakelite has become very brittle and many specimens of this camera have broken seals. So look carefully at the seals before purchasing.
How to Use
Find the manual for this camera here:- Brownie Bullet Manual
This camera takes 127 film which is still available from select outlets - search for 'Rera Pan 100-127' which is a black & white film. For those photographers in the UK, try Nick & Trick photographic services. If you want to use a particular type of film which is not available commercially, then you can cut your own 127 film from any 120 film. See my page on 'How to cut 127 film from 120 film'.
If you don't want to bother with an exposure meter, follow the guide shown. It is based on the 'Sunny 16' rule. Film is so forgiving and will produce acceptable results even when overexposed by 2 or 3 stops or underexposed by 1 stop.
Remember that the exposure guide in the camera user manual may not be helpful as it is based on the use of old film with a low ISO value.
The table assumes that the sun is at least 30 degrees above the horizon - that's 10am - 5pm on a summer's day in the UK.
This camera has an aperture of f/11 and a shutter speed is 1/30s.
As the shutter speed is only 1/30s, it is advisable to try to hold the camera against a wall or other solid object. For quick snapshots, hold it firmly against your face.
Using ISO 100/125 film - shutter speed 1/30s
|Weather Conditions||Shadow Detail||Aperture||Exposure|
with sharp edges
|Slight Overcast||Soft around edges||f/16||+1 Stop|
|Heavy Overcast||None||f/16||-1 Stop|