Brownie Starmite Test Roll, 2007


I was recently cataloguing my camera collection, figuring out which ones I like to use in various situations and which ones hadn’t even been tested yet. (For the record, I currently own 16 film cameras and two digitals.) Some of them I was unsure of, so I scanned my blog for reference — and, oddly enough, there was one camera that I had mentioned acquiring and finishing a test roll with, but never posted any photos from.

Long story short, I managed to unearth the test prints from the disaster that is the area beside my desk, and am now posting a test roll two years tardy.

Stand of Trees Tunnel of Spring

I’m guessing that one reason I didn’t post the photos right away was that they were nothing special. The camera does work, though, and it has some of the softening of focus at the edges that I think adds character to these older cameras.

One interesting thing about this camera is that it takes 127 film, which is currently manufactured by only two companies in the world. I do have another camera that uses 127 film; perhaps not surprisingly, it’s another Brownie. However, my Brownie Bullet takes wide pictures, while this one takes square ones.

Alcohol Prohibited Gazebo

I will admit to tweaking the levels and saturation of these photos before posting. The photos actually came back with a note titled OLD OR DAMAGED FILM: “The pictures enclosed are off color because the film used was old or affected by heat or humidity, or left in the camera too long after exposure. X-ray’s [sic], chemicals, moth balls, or finger nail polish vapors can damage film during storage.” Which I found interesting, since I used my newly-purchased Efke film, as I recall. —No, wait, I take that back. Upon looking at the negatives, they’re labeled MACO UCN 200. I must have purchased some MACO film from eBay and not be remembering correctly (it was over two years ago, after all).

Poles and Wires Twin Tree Sunburst

The image on the left, the telephone poles, was a standard photo I used to take with all the cameras I tested around Arrowhead Park. I’m not sure why, besides the fact that it was an easy composition to recreate. It’s not like it told me much about how the camera functioned — that was told more in the photos I took in the shade of the trees versus the sunshiny spots.

All told, the Starmite isn’t a bad little camera. Still, the 127 film is expensive to buy and to get developed. I’m not positive it’s worth keeping around… but I’m such a packrat, I’ll probably keep it on display (on a shelf in the basement with all the other cameras) until I feel the need to offload it.