Worthing Pier taking on Kodak No. 2 Folding Autographic Brownie

Vintage Camera #032

Kodak No. 2 Folding Autographic Brownie

I’ve had this model of Folding Brownie camera for many years; I’ve posted about it previously and I’ve used it previously, it didn’t go well. Recently though, I bought one on eBay that seemed to be in much better condition in the hope that I might get some better results.

When first introduced in 1900, Brownie cameras and the films were priced to finally make photography accessible to the masses. As a result, millions of the various models of Brownie cameras were made over the years. There’s more about that in the original post, but the key point here is that they’re readily available now for small money, despite being a century old. If you’re going to start a camera collection, get cameras you can actually use. Don’t just get them to sit on the shelf to just look at.

I gave this camera a quick check after it arrived and it seemed to be in much better condition. The autographic stylus is even still present and it came in its original box, too. As a guide, I paid less than £15 (GBP) including postage for this camera.

In use

I ordered some more Ilford HP5+ black and white films, the same film that I used for most of my Photography A Level all those years ago. Films in hand, off I went to the beach to see what I could achieve.

When it’s the first film in a camera with no metering or feedback and you don’t even know if the timings on the shutter settings still correspond, it’s important to strike a balance between taking what you think might be a good picture with not making so much effort that you’ll be sorely disappointed if you discover there’s nothing on the negatives when they’ve been developed. Once you’ve shot one roll of film through a new camera, make sure you get the results back before you put more film through it. You can learn from the first results and make adjustments with composition, timing, settings etc as necessary.


When I got the first set of results developed, I discovered the camera had several light leaks. On checking the bellows in more detail, I did see some tiny holes along some of the corners. This affected some frames more than others. My guess is because I was carrying the camera around between shots without folding it away and closing it up. For any future films, I’ll make sure to not keep the bellows extended for any longer than necessary.

Digitising the negatives

I may write some tips separately about digitising negatives as this has been quite a learning curve in its own right. I’ve done plenty of experimenting and there are several ways to do it on the cheap. In the meantime, though, there is tons of advice on Google. For this film, I discovered a product called pixl-latr and with some practice, think it could achieve some good results. No affiliation or sponsorship, it’s just a handy tool to use.

You’ll see the swirls of the light leaks towards the bottom right of each image. Other artefacts in the images are likely to do with my scanning method rather than from the camera itself.

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