There's a saying, "a face only a mother could love." That's how I feel about your Brilliant, at least in how it looks. Fortunately, you can't tell a book by its cover, to borrow another saying; these images are fine.
Well it's not a Leica, but that would be a poor comparison. The early medium format cameras -- particularly the tlr models -- tended to retain characteristics of a 19th Century design esthetic formed by functional considerations and materials choices that included combinations of steel, brass, glass, wood and leather. The first model Brilliant was intended to appeal to cost-conscious buyers at the mid-point of the Depression, and the simplicity of the features and controls reflect that objective. There were more sophisticated models offered almost simultaneously which had rim-set Compur shutters and fast Skopar lenses that look pretty similar to the Rollei and other high-end tlr cameras of the time. A more useful comparison, though, is to look at the brilliant viewfinder tlr cameras from other makers which came on the market much later, mostly post-WWII. Most of those cameras from Kodak, Ansco, and others were fixed focus and lacked tripod and cable release sockets. Voigtlander switched from steel to bakelite cases like the rest beginning in 1937, but the later economy models still retained considerably more functionality than the competition, as well as superior multi-element lenses. I like the look of the oldest Brilliant, but I'll concede that it is probably an acquired taste.
Interesting shots in both Brilliant posts.My father had a Brilliant about the time I was born. I believe some old family shots hanging around may have come from that camera.Your model looks really ancient but in good shape.
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