Memory Lane
Brownie Starflash
The Kodak Brownie Starflash was produced from 1957 through 1965 in Black. A red version (1958-60), white and blue versions (1958-62) were also available. There was also a special Coca Cola version form 1959-1960 that was for promotional purposes and not available in retail stores.

The Starflash sold new for around $8.50, boasting about its Kodak Dakon lens. It captured 12 exposures of 15/8" square on 127 film for black & white and color prints plus Ektachrome slide film.

Complete with a built in flash that used M-2 bulbs, the Starflash could capture just about any situation on film. No need to carry around an external flash gun, you could now make those indoor portraits and candid shots with ease.

At christmas time this camera was available in a box that read "Open me first" so you could record the opening of presents and Christmas cheer from the start of the morning.

I have not have ever shot any film through a Starflash, but sure love the compactness and ability to have your flash on hand. Of course in today's world almost all consumer cameras have the flash built in. You certainly can't say that George Eastman was not an innovator, he has pioneered so many camera features that we so often take for granted.

Eastman Bullet Camera
This camera has been in my collection for over fifteen years and I have yet to run across a photographer who has ever seen or heard of it. With its unique screw out lens barrell and flip up viewfinder I would think that it would be very popular among collectors.

It appears as if it is not in the least bit desired, valuable or known of. I would consider this a rare camera but have seen them for sale on eBay which means that at least some of them are still around. I even contacted some of the winning bidders and the sellers and not one of them could tell me much more than what I had already researched and found.

Eastman Bullet Camera Camera: $2.75 Cirica: 1936 - 1942 Film Size: 127

This single shutter speed compact camera would make 3 wide exposures on 127 film. The body is made from Bakelite and the lens screws into position unlike most cameras of that time period that folded into place. A special model was made for the 1939 New York Worlds Fair which had a differnt viewfinder and special markings on the front of the camera.

Although I have shot with several of my vintage cameras, I have not ever ran any film through my Bullet Camera to see just how amazing the images would have been.

Zeiss Ikon Contina II
This camera has been in my collection since 1981. I have shot film in as well with incredibly sharp results. But then what else would you expect from Zeiss optics.

The 45mm f/2.8 Zeiss-Opton lens focuses from 3 feet to infinity and stops down to f/22. A leaf shutter with speeds from 1 second to 1/500th plus bulb. There is also a rangefinder control knob, a film type reminder dial and an accessory shoe along the top. Although it doesn't have quite the nostalgia carrying around an old Leica rangefinder brings, you will still get plenty of comments if you are caught shooting with one of these.

Unlike most 35mm cameras, the film advances from the right side to the left. The frame counter window is on the bottom along with the advance and rewind knobs. Once you fold up the retractable lens and snap the cover shut you can slide this camera in your pocket.

Although it is not very light, I guess in 1952 consumers were nor concerned about how much a camera weighed.

Kodak Plus-X Pan
One of my longtime questions from when I first began pursuing photography has been "why was it called Safety Film"?

From what I can find out, it seems as if film was flammable prior to 1948 when Kodak announced a 35 mm tri-acetate safety base film for the motion picture industry to replace the flammable cellulose nitrate base film.

Plus-X, a fine grain Black & White ISO 125 film, was usually my choice over the super fine grain Panotomic-X and the Super-XX (To be replaced with Tri-X in 1954).

One of the greatest treats for me to add to my collection of photography memorabilia was the addition of these two film canisters. The great thing about this find was the film was still in the canisters. They were color coded to match the film speed color scheme in Kodak's packaging. The brown was Plus-X and the green was for Super-XX.

I would assume that the movie industry had a large influence in Kodak's development of "Safety Film" since there was concern over the archival life of movie films or if exposed to heat or other excess temperatures.

I guess today's films are by default a "Safety Film" and no longer need the disclaimer on the box. Although I am not going to expose these two rolls, I will certainly keep them safe in my collection.

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