Kodak Hawkeye: A Magic Little Box


A tiny little 127 film box camera from the 30s, Kodak Hawkeye can still take nice photographs today with its glass lens. Using one is like stepping back in time, a great experience.

As I usually do, I will start by saying how I acquired the camera. Whilst visiting my grandmother, I had my FED 4 with me. She took interest in it and in my film photography. Then, she remembered that she still had the camera she used as a child! We spent about 20 minutes looking for it until we found the box it came with!

She got the camera for free back when she was 12 (1938) by collecting tokens and sending them off, which explains the small postage box it was in. It still had her address on! The camera itself was in amazing condition and worked like new.

The four Hawkeye box cameras are all virtually identical — being so primitive as to lack even a viewfinder. Framing is attempted by the use of the pull out wire loop. They can however be differentiated in two ways. The ace models have texturing on their front face, while the “deluxe” models have lugs for a strap. Clearly, we’re operating at the low end of the market here.

Obviously, just seeing this camera was amazing, but I then promised my grandma I would use it. When I told her I could get some film, she was very happy.

So I hit the Internet looking for 127 film. I came across expired color films, but I was looking for black and white. To my surprise, there’s a company still producing rolls of 127 film, EFKE, so I picked up one roll. The film came and I loaded the camera, which is just like loading a 120 camera.

I went on a walk with my girlfriend and took the tiny Kodak Hawkeye with me. Shooting was very, very simple as you can’t adjust a thing. Simply slide the small metal thing across and the shutter fires, and then wind the film on whilst looking through the rear window, and stop when the next number appears through the window.

Here are photos from the entire roll:

When I scanned in my film, I was surprised, as I was expecting light leaks and very blurry images. But they are actually quite nice. You may have noticed that two didn’t come out but they were very overexposed.

Though there are no controls, I have a few tips. I found out how to keep the shutter open for as long as you want, you slowly slide it open and wait for the click, and then leave it and then slide again to close. Also, if you do two exposures of exactly the same thing then the exposure will increase.

Overall, it’s a great little camera and one that gives images with a unique feel. Plus, I really love the aspect ratio of 127 film. Using the camera is a joy and I will definitely be buying more film and shooting with it again hopefully.

Thanks for reading! Keep shooting!

written by brandkow93 on 2012-06-06 in #reviews #127-film #efke #hawkeye #monochrome #iso-100 #camera-review #lomography #kodak #user-review


  1. jawatembak
    jawatembak ·

    that was cool!

  2. alex34
    alex34 ·

    So nice to use these old things rather than just have them gather dust. Did your grandmother proud I would say.

  3. brandkow93
    brandkow93 ·

    @alex34 yeah im gonna get some more film and shoot with it again very soon.

  4. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    Such a fantastic find! I like your results.

More Interesting Articles

  • Petzval LomoAmigo: Singapore's Stephen Chin

    written by edwinchau on 2014-12-22 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval LomoAmigo: Singapore's Stephen Chin

    Stephen Chin’s expertise covers architectural, commercial, food, wedding and portrait photography. The duly licensed photographer from Singapore has been shooting for a decade yet continuously strives to up the ante through the continuous discovery and mastery of new techniques. He took a step back and experimented with the new Petzval lens recently, and came up with such striking results.

  • Vintage Gallery: Coats

    written by kenaz on 2015-09-24 in #world #lifestyle
    Vintage Gallery: Coats

    Trench, chesterfield, covert, raglan. The coat has a vocabulary of its own. And like words we use today, these styles still look current though their roots may go as far back as the mid 19th century. As if by lending these vintage snaps color and unruly hair we can easily mistake the coats to be from today.

  • Shooting Squares with the LC-A 120

    written by pripri2000 on 2015-04-22 in #gear #news
    Shooting Squares with the LC-A 120

    Capture the world and all its contours in vibrant, wide-angled photographs any time, any where! The LC-A 120 is an adventure of its own with lots of exciting functions to experiment with, like seamless long exposures or full ISO control. It's also super-fast and ultra-compact - perfect for your everyday. If you're worried about the Medium Format film, don't be! You are free to use any 120 Film you want and there are plenty to choose from. In fact, that's what makes this camera so versatile! Scroll through this gallery for a little taste of the glorious shots this nifty invention is capable of.

  • Shop News

    the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

     the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

    Let your loved one pick the gift of their dreams. Lomography Online Shop Gift Certificates are the perfect present for every analogue devotee on your gift list

  • Behind the Picture: Portrait Parle Class, France (c. 1910-1915)

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-08-19 in #world #lifestyle
    Behind the Picture: Portrait Parle Class, France (c. 1910-1915)

    Without a truly established means of identifying criminals, one can only imagine the difficulties that law enforcers prior to the late 19th century had faced. True, the invention of photography had been of great help in documenting rogues photographically, but then police had yet to figure out a way to organize so that retrieving photos and pertinent information would take less time.

  • The Wonderful Adventures of the Petzval Lens

    written by pripri2000 on 2015-04-23 in #people #news
    The Wonderful Adventures of the Petzval Lens

    As all you lomographers will know, since its re-inception we have been following the tracks of the Petzval Lens. Indeed, this bokeh-genius has been traveling far and wide, falling into the hands of many a photographer the world over. We decided to put together this little catalog of talented artists and their most enticing photographs, shot using the Petzval lens, so we can show you what wonders and mischief we have brought upon us. Come take a look at the outcome of the Petzval’s transnational journey.

  • Registering Moments With the Lomo'Instant

    written by bgaluppo on 2015-05-02 in #gear #lifestyle
    Registering Moments With the Lomo'Instant

    Some people say instant photos bring about a feeling of nostalgia. Although I often use the Lomo'Instant Camera with different crazy accessories such as the Splitzer and color gels, I have to agree there is something about it — dreamy vignettes maybe? — that always makes me want to go back in time and experience it all over again. In the name of analogue photography and good old memories, we passed by some classic spots in Vienna and took one shot after the other. Take a closer look at our gallery.

  • Shop News

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Done shooting and want your films to be processed? We can process your colour and black & white 35mm, 120 or 110 films! Development, prints and scans are also included. (Service availability depends on your markets)

  • Kyoto in a Heartbeat

    written by kenaz on 2015-07-30 in #gear #lifestyle
    Kyoto in a Heartbeat

    Like a cluster of cherry blossoms, the temples in Kyoto can stop visitors in their tracks. These people assume the pose of a statue, a camera dangling from their neck and hands. On a first visit especially, the impulse to photograph every angle is constant. The Kinkaku-ji Temple and the torii-lined Fushimi Inari-Taisha are always packed; one would think the tourists would hurry along. But really, many are busy taking snatches of Kyoto with them.

  • 7 Charming Half-Frame Cameras

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-10-07 in #gear #reviews
    7 Charming Half-Frame Cameras

    All photographers must have at least one half-frame camera in their arsenals, if we say so ourselves. Here's a list to kick start your quest for the perfect one.

  • A Salute to the Masters: Matera in Black and White (A Tribute to Pepi Merisio)

    written by sirio174 on 2015-10-07 in #world #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: Matera in Black and White (A Tribute to Pepi Merisio)

    Some months ago the wonderful city of Matera, chosen as the European Capital of Culture 2019, hosted an exhibit featuring the works of an important Italian social photographer: Pepi Merisio, who had also donated all photos shown to the local public library. To pay homage to this great artist, I have selected a series of photos that I took in this place last summer. Take a look!

  • Shop News

    Give your space a facelift with your own analogue print

    Give your space a facelift with your own analogue print

    Really want to bring your film photos to life? We’re now offering totally analogue fine art prints in a host of large sizes and formats! Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • Emmka is our LomoHome of the Day!

    written by lomography on 2015-10-07 in #world #news
    Emmka is our LomoHome of the Day!

    From everyone here in Lomography, congratulations to emmka for winning Home of the Day!

  • Beauty as Seen by Anna Fischer

    written by antoniocastello on 2015-10-07 in #people #lifestyle #lomoamigos
    Beauty as Seen by Anna Fischer

    Anna Fischer calls herself a beauty documentary photographer. Her backstage photos of last year's New York Fashion Week revealed the glitz and glamour of such high fashion events. Her personal work, however, is more intimate, as seen is this series of photos taken with the new Petzvl 58 Bokeh Control Art Lens.

  • NASA uploads 8,400 photos of moon expeditions

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-10-06 in #world #news
    NASA uploads 8,400 photos of moon expeditions

    The Apollo Project has collated photos from various missions. Now on view: LRO shots of the lunar surface and Hasselblad captures from inside the space vehicle.