Camera Speed Dating – Kodak Brownie Hawkeye

Those that know Meghan and I know that we have what appears to be an on going camera acquisition “problem”. Really all it is, is a desire to try all of the cameras!!!

We have started collecting many vintage cameras now over the past few years, but in an effort to not let our collection get out of hand we decided to only collect cameras that work and can actually be used.

However, not all are winners and some are just easier or more fun to use but you have to shoot with them first to find out! Thus, we decided if we run a roll through every camera we are interested in, not unlike going on a 5 minute date with a bunch of strangers at a singles night, we can quickly see which are worthy of being added to our collection. Camera speed dating!

Here is most recent camera I had the pleasure of a quick date with….The Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash Model 620 format camera.

 

 

A few quick facts about the Brownie Hawkeye…it was built in a pseudo TLR style from bakelite and has a meniscus lens set at f15. These Hawkeye Cameras are quite common- they were manufactured from 1950-1961. Despite this fact, finding one in mint condition is a challenge – likely because they were such a common camera so everyone had them and actually used them!

This ‘date’ was a spontaneous one! It happen to be one of the only sunny afternoons in January and I decided to nip outside on my lunch break with the only camera lying around, a 620 roll film Brownie Hawkeye. I had little faith in the clarity of its lens but that wasn’t the point, the brief SUN was the point. It was a rather easy mod from 120 film to ‘620’. Loading this camera is easy, all you need to do its trim the edge circumference (there is a ridge to guide your scissors) of the 120 roll and because the camera has a springy piece of metal to holds in the roll there is some give.  I must say I did enjoy using it. The shutter button is firm (though I still managed to wiggle the camera, blurring my photo), and it has a bright waist level viewfinder. It seems to be pretty sharp when shooting still subjects, however if the subject is alive there is a high likelihood of  blur resulting from movement.

 

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