Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Ansco No.2 Folding Buster Brown



I have only put one roll of film through this camera so far, and having bought it a few years ago for $10, it's about time that I showcased it here. Produced by Ansco in Binghamton, N.Y. the camera differs from the typical "Buster Browns" in that the front drops down and the bellows travels along a rail and the lensboard locks into a fixed position. The typical Buster Brown cameras are box-camera style. The tiny reflex viewfinder is missing, but they are hard to use, anyway. I just mount this on a tripod and estimate the field of view and fire away. The shutter actually is in front of the lens, so if you have never seen one, don't think that the lens is missing. The camera dates from between 1918 and 1925 or so.
The camera takes 120 film, making it quite useable. Shutter speeds are T,B, 1/25, 1/50, 1/100th sec. Apertures are from f8 to f64! No doubt that a tripod is required for anything below f/16 @ 1/100 sec, using ISO 100 film. It's a fixed focus camera, meaning that it focuses from about 10 feet to infinity. I am including one shot I took back in May,along the flooded area of Fleming Creek by Parker Mill. I think it was probably at f/64 for 10 to 15 seconds.
Fleming Creek

6 comments:

jimgrey said...

That camera looks really nice, despite the missing viewfinder. How unusual that it goes to f/64! You got a really nice shot out of it there.

Marc Akemann said...

Cool camera and nice shot, Mark. Most excellent that it takes 120 film!

Mike said...

I was inspired to get one of these old Ansco cameras when I found a picture of my grandmother holding one while sitting in a canoe on a Wisconsin mill pond. As you found out yourself, they make pretty good pictures.

Paul (Eponymous Hero on Flickr) said...

Gosh! That is amazing! What a gorgeous shot. I have an Ansco No. 2 Box (not a folder) and I am very happy with it...

KodakBrownies=Win said...

Mark, I don't believe that your camera does indeed stop down to f/64.
Around the time of your camera's production, f stops were labelled with the 'Universal System'. Here are the translations:
4=f/8
8=f/11
16=f/16
32=f/22
64=f/32
128=f/45
Hope that helps with exposure.

Mark said...

Oh, you know, I never thought about that, but it makes sense. Here is a really good page on the aperture systems and how to interpret them:
http://throughavintagelens.com/2010/01/the-u-s-f-stop-system/