Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash


If GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) is a problem of yours as it is mine, then you must spend a lot of time on the lomography store website or ebay just looking and lusting after cameras. This beautiful, medium format, box camera caught my eye on ebay. It looked so cute and interesting and was selling for just $10. I couldn’t help myself and the rest as they say is history.

Photo credit: http://www.morper.net/cameras/

Manufactured during 1950-1960, this art-deco bakelite box camera is built to stand the test of time. Here are some of its specs:

  • Lens: Fixed focus, 5 feet to infinity
  • Shutter: Instantaneous (approximated to be 1/30) and "L’ (Long Exposure) settings
  • View Finder: Waist-level
  • Film: 620 film

How to load 120 film into the camera:

This camera actually comes with a caveat that it does not take 120 film. However, there is a way to load the camera with 120 film.

This camera has two film spool holders. The upper film spool holder can accommodate the 120 film spool while the lower one cannot. Use the 620 film spool that comes with the camera in the bottom holder. Once done with the roll, you can use a changing bag to move the film from one spool to the other. It’s better to move the film to the correct spool immediately to avoid mistakenly bringing it to the lab.

“L” Long Exposure Setting

For low light conditions, place the camera on a firm, solid support and lift the time slide found in the left side of the camera as shown above.

Take landscape pictures

Bring this camera along to exotic locations! It’s a bit bulky but still light compared to other vintage medium format cameras. You definitely won’t be disappointed with the results.

Take portraits

I love taking portraits of my friends. Plus it’s always fun to see a friend’s reaction upon seeing this camera for the first time.

Experiment with Lomo techniques

One of my favorite lomo techniques is taking multiple exposures. Since the winding of this camera is done manually, you can compose some pretty cool images. This is coincidentally listed as a “fumble” in the manual.

Another experiment I’d like to try is to load the camera with 35mm film. Still haven’t gotten around to doing that though.

Using the flash

While my camera package came complete with the flash bulbs, I still haven’t had the opportunity to test or use them. A flash bulb can only be used once so I’m procrastinating on using any of mine.

No doubt this is one beautiful, simple-to-use camera that can take some pretty gorgeous pictures. It’s a fun conversation starter as well. If you find yourself on ebay or any vintage camera store and see this camera or any of its relatives, don’t hesitate to get one for yourself. The results will surprise you!

For more information and the link to the manual you can go to: http://www.brownie-camera.com/27.shtml

written by tikayiyay on 2011-02-04 #gear #review #vintage #box-camera #lomography #kodak-brownie #user-review


  1. gvelasco
    gvelasco ·

    Cool camera. Someone needs to make an electronic flash bulb replacement.

  2. life_on_mars
    life_on_mars ·

    beautiful nature shots

  3. emdewe
    emdewe ·

    love the first landscape one with the boat!!!

  4. nerpman
    nerpman ·

    I have one of these from my Grandfather! A few weeks ago I shot a roll of film with it, after fully taking it apart and cleaning the lens and viewfinder. The sharpness and clarity were definitely surprising for a 50+ year old camera. I used to think 620 cameras were useless, but happened to come across how to respool 120 film onto a 620 spool. If anyone else happens to come upon one, it's worth using!

  5. itsdebraanne
    itsdebraanne ·

    i too suffer from GAS. big fat stinkin GAS. hahaa.
    btw, is it hard to re-spool 120film? wouldn't that reverse my film when i load it into a camera? it sounds complicated and confusing..

  6. johnpaul215
    johnpaul215 ·

    I stumbled on to some people that have been using these with 35mm film via a pretty simple modification. www.flickr.com/photos/bagofarms/3553227648
    I've gotten some great shots this way.

  7. pushkar
    pushkar ·

    beautiful camera

  8. user575
    user575 ·

    big sufferer of GAS.

  9. chilledgreen
    chilledgreen ·

    I really like this article. Just ran across one of these today and couldnt help getting it so thanks for the pointers :)

  10. bunit
    bunit ·

    Awesome article and amazing pictures! I love the first multiple exposure with the waterfall! If it weren't for the 620 format I'd be running to get one myself.

  11. jeepeng
    jeepeng ·

    I love Gear Acquisition Syndrome

  12. cb1
    cb1 ·

    I just got one of these from Ebay - Camera, Flash, 10 flash bulbs and the flash cover - all of $10.00. I love it!!!

  13. pazuij
    pazuij ·

    My father bought this camera in 1953 on leave in Japan during the Korean war. It was for many years our family camera in the Netherlands. Somehow it got lost when I moved to another house. I found an other one and now I take pictures with it. On YouTube is explained how easily 120 film van be modified to 620 film. I’m a real brownie fan, so I collect also the 127 film camera’s. Happy schooting with your hawkeye! Greetings, Ton (pazuij)

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