Hi, my name is Martí Blesa, I’m a film photographer based in Girona, a small town near Barcelona (Spain). I love shooting film, mainly weird and very old cameras and study the differences and evolution of cameras, technology and formats as well as differences in emulsions. The formats I shoot the most are 35mm, 120 and a bit of 4×5, but I have started shooting 127 (and loving it), it’s a pity it’s too expensive to shoot it more often.

Kodak Brownie 127 - Martí Blesa
Kodak Brownie 127 – Martí Blesa

My two cents about the camera: it has a meniscus lens that it’s approximately a 64mm f/14 and one single speed of 1/50. This model was manufactured during the 50s, the lens is made of plastic and gives some amazing distortion. It’s quite sharp in the center, but then around it, the distortion goes a bit “psychedelic”, the barrel distortion is also quite noticeable.

I bought two rolls of Rera Pan 400, 127 format, as I had some old Kodaks I wanted to try. I never had shot 127 and I was intrigued. I shot those two rolls in my hometown as well as in Berlin during a trip I did to help out in and analogue workshop a friend was giving there.

127 film is like 120 but smaller, it also has a backing paper. With the camera I used, a Kodak Brownie 127 I get 8 4×6 photos per roll. I chose Rera Pan 400 basically as it was the only 127 film easily available, now some companies respool 120 film on 127 so you can choose more but it’s quite expensive.

I like the contrast of this film, this together with the distortion of the lens gives some dreamy-like images that I find fascinating. I developed with HC110, dilution B for 6 minutes. Its grain is really pleasant to me. I do love this film, in fact, I’ve already loaded the same camera with one roll and I’ll try some other old 127 camera by Kodak from my collection, one more “professional” to see the results with a good/proper lens.

Considering that you cannot choose anything (speed or aperture) in this camera, I managed to get all 8 shots in each roll with good exposure, the latitude of this film is great, considering that most of the cameras using 127 film are basic point and shoots. There are professional ones such as the Baby Rolleiflex but I don’t have that one… yet!

~ Martí

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Wonderful!
    Look out for a Kodak Brownie Cresta from the same era and you can do something similar but with 120 film. The first and second versions had a close-up lens and yellow filter on a slide.

  2. My first camera was a Baby Brownie 127; it was a hand-me-down from a cousin in 1955. The deal with my mother is that I paid for film and developing at the corner drugstore. I still count pennies with each shutter release at age 72.
    My photos did not have as much distortion, but the Baby Brownie is not as wide in the body as your Brownie 127. I will have to check, but I would think that your Brownie 127 may be made of the same Bakelite (p) as the Baby Browning. They both have the same hints of Art Deco styling.
    Marti, live it up with old cameras. My prize is the Kodak 120 folder with the 1907 patent date that uses 120 film that is, of course, still available. I make pictures of old houses using that camera, but the houses must be at least as old as the camera.Would you like me to let you know when I eventually put it up for sale on eBay?

  3. first camera I shot with was my mother’s 127…wait, someone already said that 😀 I still have the negatives from our trip to England in 1982 and they are much sharper (see my web page) – any blur is due to the hyper-active child behind the 1/50 of a second shutter.

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