The Kodak Brownie Target Six-16 is virtually the same as the Kodak Brownie Target Six-20 that I’ve reviewed in the past. They even use the same manual. The only difference is the size of the film it uses. As I mentioned in my article about the six-20, Kodak started making their own film to go with their own cameras. They took the 116 film and changed it to 616 film, making the spool slightly smaller. It was introduced in 1932, and discontinued in 1984.
The Brownie Target Six-16 was developed after the Target Brownie Six-16 from 1946-1951. Kodaks design department was either genius or extremely sneaky. They played with names that were familiar and reliable to the consumers and made them their own. I picture the real life Mad Men coming up with all of these tactics.
The Kodak Brownie Target Six-16 has a fixed lens, so you have to be at least 8ft away from your subject, unless you have a close up attachment. Just like the Target Six-20, it also has a time switch and a slide at the top to switch between an aperture of f/11 and f/16.
616 film creates negatives of 2.5 by 4.25 inches. Picture that next to the well known 35mm negative of only .95 by 1.42 inches.
120 film is roughly the same width as 616 so it can be used in this six-16 box camera. The issue though, is that it is slightly shorter so you would either have to re-spool it or find a way to fit a 120 spool into the wider slot made for the 616 film. That’s where the Camerahack FAK616 adapter kit comes in. The adapter kit is made in Italy by a company called Camerahack, but I purchased mine from Film Photography Project.
According to the the website: This adapter features a stainless steel flange that perfectly reproduce the same hole that’s in the original 616 spool flange.
I have had my Kodak Brownie Target Six-16 for a long time. So long that I can’t remember when or where I got it from. I have mentioned before that I started out collecting vintage cameras when I was a teenager purely for decoration. So when I got this box camera, I didn’t mind that the mirrors were loose and jingling around inside. Now that I am actually a film shooter, and now that I found this adapter kit, the photographer in me had to fix this camera and shoot with it.
At first, I was deterred because in order to get to the insides of this camera, the faceplate has to be removed. Strangely, this one doesn’t have regular screws holding it on. It has tiny pins. From what I have seen, there are two variations to this camera. Black lettering on the bottom of the faceplate (like mine), and white lettering at the bottom. The ones with the black lettering seem to have these pins and the ones with the white have screws. I have no idea why that is. I couldn’t find any info. I’m thinking it has something to do with when they were made and what was available at that time. That is only a guess. If you have any idea, let me know in the comments.
Anyway, so these pins were all that was stopping me from fixing this camera and shooting with it. I asked around online and researched, but could not find anything on how to remove these pins. I almost gave up. What was throwing me off was the assumption that the pins had to be pulled out. I didn’t want to wreck them. It never occurred to me that maybe they were screwed in. So I decided to take some tiny keychain pliers I happen to own and see if I could turn them. Guess what, they’re screws. It’s the little things isn’t it?
So I took the faceplate off, cleaned the loose mirrors and glued them back on. I used a pencil eraser to start the pins back in place before screwing them in tight using the pliers. See the video below to get a better idea of what I did.
Now that I fixed it up, all that was left was installing the adapter. This was easy enough. I followed the instructions and loaded it up with some Lomography Redscale film I had in the fridge. I know this is a strange option to use to test out a vintage camera, but it was all I had at the time and it turned out to be a happy surprise.
The main challenge when using this film in this camera is knowing how far to advance your shots. The instructions advise you to wind on starting at frame 3; then every 2.5 frames after that. It also says you may have to use some trial and error. I went a little bit past the 2.5 and I am glad I did because otherwise there was no room in between for the negatives to be cut. In the end you get 6 panoramic shots.
The first shot I took of my cat inside was just a test shot. It didn’t come out good because of the lighting, and I wasn’t more than 8ft away from her.
These next shots I took around town, I actually liked. As you can see, greens are rendered an orange/red color that makes me think of liquid Tylenol or cool-aid, and the blues are rendered yellow. I actually thought it added a sort of vibe to the pictures. Especially, the cemetary.
Anyway, this isn’t a review for Lomography Redscale film, but as for the camera and the adapter, I enjoyed using it. The only issue I had with the adapter was when I would wind on to the next frame, sometimes the adapters felt like they were loose and falling off of the knob. It wasn’t a major issue, but it was happening enough that I wanted to mention it.
I find it very interesting that there was a box camera that existed soley for panoramic shots back then. I say this because most of the advertising and consumer products at that time were aimed at the average family and the snapshot. This seemed to be for the advanced amateur. This is the first that I know of, but that is one of the joys of learning film photography and shooting with vintage cameras. There are so many of them out there, and there is so much to learn.
For more pictures taken with this camera, check out my video below.
I hope you will continue learning with me by subscribing to my YouTube and to this blog. I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Until next time, Stay Motivated and Keep Shooting.