On 1/27, 7/12, and 12/7 each year it’s 127 Day, and photographers are encouraged to shoot a roll in their 127 cameras. J.M. Golding collects images from these days and shares them on his Web site.

The last time I was in Chicago I stepped into Central Camera, and they had fresh 127 film hand cut and spooled by Film For Classics. I bought a single roll of Kodak Ektar just for the next 127 Day, which was July 12 (or 12/7 in European date notation).

Kodak Brownie Starmatic

I used my Kodak Brownie Starmatic, as always. The Brownie Star line of 127 cameras were all simple machines, but the Starmatic added a selenium light meter. The meter fed a simple mechanical system that adjusted the aperture. Wide open is only f/8, the limit of its plastic Kodar lens, and the shutter fires at only one speed, but at least the Starmatic let you set film speed. This was pretty heady stuff for the world’s leading line of inexpensive cameras!

My Starmatic continues to work well even though it’s about 60 years old. I got twelve fine exposures from the roll, which I shot in the shopping centers near my home. Here are the most interesting of them.

Old Navy
Taco Bell
Take 5 Car Wash
Tire Discounters

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12 responses to “Photos from the last 127 Day”

  1. Andy Umbo Avatar
    Andy Umbo

    Pretty nice results for a plastic lens! Ran across old 127 negs while going through some old family photos, and I still think it’s one of the great “lost” formats.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      This little Brownie does surprisingly good work.

  2. -N- Avatar

    I have an old 127 I think, somewhere. Maybe I should dig it out. These are really nice!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      If you do, you can buy 127 film at B&H. A couple companies still make it, and there’s the hand-cut/spooled stuff that I bought.


  3. Suzassippi Avatar

    Well that was fun!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Dave Powell Avatar

    HI Jim,

    The Starmatic has always intrigued me… mostly due to its cool plastic design. But you certainly pull some nice results through that lens! It inspires me to see what my Beacon II can do.



    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’m really surprised by this lens. I’ve owned other 127 Brownie Star cameras and they don’t do work anywhere near this good! They must have lesser lenses – which is saying something, because the f/8 Kodar is itself a low-end lens.

      1. Gary Avatar

        Hi Jim:
        I wonder if your Starmatic has the same lens as my Starmeter, which also produces some very nice results. According to the booklet that came with my camera, it’s a 3-element, 44mm f/8 lens (plastic, of course). If find that if I stay away from f/8 I get sharp photos — many examples of which are on my site.

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          Both cameras have the f/8 Kodar, so if yours is three elements, so is mine!

  5. J P Avatar

    Now I’m hungry!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Power of suggestion.

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