The Best Gift a Gal Can Ask For


What is black, grey and square all over? Why, the wonderful Brownie cameras of course! I was lucky to be gifted this one, but I promise if you keep your eyes peeled one of these vintage gems could be yours for as little as ten dollars! With a little work you will have a functioning and ever so stylish MEDIUM FORMAT CAMERA.

People who know me know that I love cameras, especially anything analogue. So, when a family friend offered me a Hawkeye Brownie camera (after hearing me rave about it) I was delighted and couldn’t say no.

The Brownie Camera was the first camera that was used by the general public. Before Kodak released the camera, photos were taken only once or twice a year by pro photographers in rigid studios. The camera was available for the price of $1-5, which, back in the day, was a fairly reasonable price to pay.

My Brownie was released in the 1940’s. It features a grey shutter button as well as a bulb setting for long exposures. The film advance is uncoupled AND this model came with a giant flash. The flash bulbs are tough to come by because they are no longer made. Each bulb can be used once. The camera takes 620 film. The modern equivalent is 120 film.

The best part of receiving this baby was the fact that I got it in the original box with everything inside including the packaging. The set came with: The instruction booklet on how to operate the camera (as well as some framing/photography tips), 2 Photoflash Size “C” Batteries, Close-Up Attachment No. 13.

When you open up the camera it is written quite clearly on the inside that the camera DOES NOT TAKE 120 FILM. This, however, is a lie. If you research what kind of film to use on this camera a lot of sources online will tell you that you have to re roll 120 film on to a 620 spool for the camera to work. This is also false. I have loaded this camera and taken 6 photo’s with it so far and have yet to hit a snag.

I am so excited to see the results!

Keep your eyes peeled for these vintage cameras they could be waiting for you at a local thrift store and garage sale!

written by helenapie on 2011-07-12 #gear #review #classic #beautiful #lomography #film-camera #brownie-hawkeye #user-review #analague-camera


  1. mr-korn
    mr-korn ·

    great find!

  2. franty
    franty ·

    it's hard to find one in good shape, nearly impossible to find one in the box like you have now!

  3. michell
    michell ·

    I have a box-brownie, which also takes 620, and I found that sometimes the roll gets stuck midway if I just use regular 120. I resolved this problem by grinding the ends of the plastic spools with fine-grit sandpaper though!:)

  4. kiteflyin
    kiteflyin ·

    Even though I've only used it once I love my brownie. :)

    @michell I'll have to try that next time...

  5. _wasabi_
    _wasabi_ ·

    Mmmm! Nice!

  6. neufotomacher
    neufotomacher ·

    On mine, which looks the same as this one including the box, can take 120 film, but the take-up spool can't fit a 120 spool, just the original 620 spool. Which is metal. No problem however as the smaller diameter 620 takes all the film from the 120 and then it's a matter of asking for the 620 back or just developing it yourself.

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