James's Camera Collection: Kodak Brownie Reflex (Synchro Model)

Kodak Brownie Reflex (Synchro Model) USA Company History Owner's Manual Twin Lens Reflex cameras Box-Camera.com
Kodak Brownie Reflex (Synchro)
Camera type: Twin-Lens Reflex (TLR)
Film type: Roll film size 127 (4x4cm)
Approx. dates of manufacture: 1941 - 1952
Approx. original price: $6
Approx. street value: perhaps $6 (with the box)

I'm always tempted to describe these Brownies as being awful, but they're Brownies—they weren't meant to be great; they were meant to be cheap.

Kodak, of course, believed that if people were looking at something, they'd buy a cheap version of it; so when twin-lens-reflex cameras became popular in the 40s and 50s, Kodak had their Brownie version of it; the Reflex.

Not truly a twin lens, if you take the word "twin" seriously, but the idea was there. It has a big, bright waist-level finder sitting on top of that crappy little taking lens. Really it's just a flattened box camera with a folding hood.

The "synchro" model was one of Kodak's ways of extending the life of an already developed product (in fairness, everyone did it). When on-camera flash became practicable in the late 30s, Kodak added synch contact to its shutters, a little plug somewhere (in this case it's located in the front of the camera below the taking lens) and a couple of mounting holes to screw on a holder. Viola—a flash camera.

It's still a glorified box camera, though.

©opyright by James Ollinger. All Rights Reserved.
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