A Batch of Brownies
Growing up my Grandma Richert always had her trusty Kodak Brownie Hawkeye and
used it till the early 80's. All us kids would wait in line to help her roll her
film and lick the label. As the rest of the family was using more modern 35's
grandma would not part with her "Hawkeye". Some where my father has all her
pictures and I get a few when I visit. I was traveling the world with the Navy
when grandma passed and the camera went it's own way. When I started collecting
cameras I bought a few of these but never got around to using them till I read a
post on Classic
Cameras (pre-1970) Forum
||I just tested the shutter and found it to be 1/30 to 1/45 not sure what
the f/stop, but looks like f/16.
|The camera takes 620 film. This one will take 120 film but must use a
620 spool on the take up side.
The definitive Kodak Brownie camera
I browed this from another site
The Kodak Brownie
Hawkeye is probably the "classic" box camera of the 1950s.
Manufactured from 1949 through 1961, the Brownie Hawkeye featured
a molded Bakelite body, brilliant viewfinder, a rotary shutter and
a Meniscus single element lens that was in focus from 5 feet to
infinity. The lens aperture is actually about f/22 and the single
shutter speed is between 1/30 and 1/60 of a second, depending on
the camera. With today's wide latitude films, you can easily shoot
modern films rated between ISO 100 and 400 in a Brownie Hawkeye.
There is a provision for bulb exposure, but that seems a bit odd
considering there is no tripod mount on the Brownie Hawkeye.
The original Brownie Hawkeye retailed for $5.50 and the Flash
model sold for $7.00. Accessories included a choice of two flash
guns, a leatherette ever-ready case, a Kodak # 13 close up lens
attachment, and a # 13 black & white high contrast filter.
Today these cameras are available in abundance dirt-cheap
on eBay and at flea markets and yard sales. Many vintage camera
collectors/users avoid box cameras that take 620 film because of
the unavailability of the now-discontinued film format. Believe it
or not, the unavailability of 620 film is not an impediment to
anyone who wants to use a Brownie Hawkeye, as there are several
ways around the problem.
First of all, you can still buy "620" film, (but at a pretty
high price$8.00 to $12.00 for a 12-exposure roll) from online
Film For Classics. They carry a
variety of fresh black and white and color film on 620 spools.
If you are a little resourceful, you can use readily available
120 film in your Brownie Hawkeye. 120 film is the exact same size
as 620 film, including the spacing of the exposure numbers on the
backing paper, but the 120 spool is a bit larger than the 620
spool. The larger diameter of the 120 spool prohibits it from
easily fitting in many old cameras that were built for 620 film
only. Solutions to the spool size problem include trimming the
plastic ends of a 120 spool to fit in the smaller film
compartments on 620 cameras, or re-spooling the 120 film onto a
The good news is that neither trimming a 120 spool or
respooling film onto a 620 spool is necessary when loading the
Brownie Hawkeye as a 120 spool of film easily fits into the top
(source) compartment of the camera. The 120 spool will not,
however fit in the lower (take-up) film compartment and thus, you
must use a 620 spool for take-up of your exposed film. If you send
your film to a commercial lab for processing you have two options.
You can bring the exposed film on the 620 spool to the lab and
request that they return the 620 spool (and hope they comply), or
you can respool the exposed film onto a 120 spool before taking it
to the lab. I prefer the latter method, as there is no risk of
loosing one of my rare 620 spools.
Respooling film from a 620 spool to a 120 spool is remarkably
simple. It does require either a darkroom or a light-proof
changing bag, and the empty 120 spool. Working in the total
darkness, first wind the exposed film completely off of the 620
spool. It will coil around itself as you remove it from the spool,
so its easy to minimize touching the actual film surface. Once the
film is completely off of the 620 spool, begin winding it onto the
120 spool starting with the end that came off of the 620 spool
In my experience, the only tricky part occurs when you get to
the spot where the actual film begins as you wind it onto the 120
spool. The paper backing on 120 film is longer than the film that
is attached to it. When you begin winding the exposed film onto
the 120 spool you will only be winding the paper backing. Once you
get to where the film starts, you have to be careful that it wraps
onto the spool as it is not attached on that end to the backing
paper. The film will have the tendency to separate from the paper
backing and curl alongside the spool unless you are careful to
start it onto the spool.
For excellent directions on respooling 120 film, complete with
illustrations, go to Glenn E. Stewarts page on
Respooling 120 Film onto 620 Spools
. There are other fine web pages that will help you get the most
from your Brownie Hawkeye camera that include:
- Doug Wilcoxs page on how to use
120 Film in a 620 Camera -
another excellent resource on the subject. Check out the rest of
Doug's page while you are there; and,
- Marcy Merrill's
Box Camera 101 - lots of
information on traditional box cameras. The entire
Junk Store Camera
site is worth a visit.
Picture taking with the Brownie Hawkeye Camera, Flash Model
Your Brownie Hawkeye Camera is the world's most popular snapshot camera.
Popular because with all its picture-taking ability, modern styling, and modern
features, it retains the basic box camera simplicity of
But, although your Brownie Hawkeye camera is simple to use, remember that
there is a right and wrong way to do even simple things. So, follow the
so you can LOAD right, AIM sharp, and SHOOT well.
The satisfaction of good pictures will be your reward.
Load in subdued light only - never in strong direct light
Load your camera with Kodak No. 620 Roll Film. Each of the black-and-white
and color films described
gives 12 exposures per roll.
Loading instructions follow and are also printed on the wall of the roll
holder inside the camera.
- Open your camera by moving the LATCH to "O" (open) and pulling the front
from the back.
- The empty spool should be in the lower roll holder (WINDING KNOB end): fit
the pin on the SPRING into the hole in the spool end. Press the empty spool
- Place new roll of film onto pins on the top film holder.
- Break seal on the roll film and draw the backing paper, colored side up,
over the square opening to the empty spool. The black side of the paper
must be toward the lens. Thread the end of the paper through the longer slot
in the empty spool as far as it will go. Turn the winding knob two or three
turns to bind the paper on the spool. Be sure the paper is started straight.
- Replace the back section of the camera and move the latch to "L" (lock).
Turn the winding knob until an arrow appears in the red window on the back of
the camera; then continue to wind slowly until the "1's" are centered in the
window. You are now ready to aim and shoot.
The camera must be held steady during exposure on the picture will be blurred.
Look straight down into the brilliant viewfinder - what you see there is what
you will see in the finished picture; so give some thought at this point to
composition and background. For daylight pictures, the sun should be behind you
or over your shoulder.
A steady aim means a sharp aim with your camera. Sharp aim
means sharp pictures.
Outdoors in Sunlight
Check the light - When Kodacolor Film is used outdoors, the subject
must be in bright sunlight; with Verichrome Pan Film, keep the subject in
bright or hazy sunlight.
The shutter control must be in the "down" position.
Look in the red window on the back of the camera to make certain that
you have advanced the film.
Check the camera-to-subject distance and keep at least 5 feet from
your subject. Objects closer than 5 feet will not be in sharp focus unless
a Kodak Close-Up Attachment is used.
Compose the picture - The viewfinder tells you what your picture will
Press the exposure release with a gentle squeezing action. Hold the
camera steady; camera movement during exposure will blur the picture.
After each picture has been taken, advance the film to the next
exposure number by turning the winding knob. Form the habit of advancing the
film immediately after each picture.
Film SIZE - KODAK No. 620
Black and White
Kodak Verichrome Pan Film - Here is a new, faster film with the old,
familiar Verichrome Name. It is your film for general-purpose use-indoors with
flash, or outdoors on bright or cloudy days. Balanced panchromatic sensitivity
assures good rendering of colors in tones of black and white. Its unusual
latitude permits bright, sparkling prints over a wide range of lighting
conditions. 12 exposures per roll.
You save money and have film on hand if you buy Verichrome Pan in the Kodak
Duo-Pak (2 rolls in one package).
Kodak Tri-X Film - An extremely fast film of wide exposure latitude.
Recommended for poor light conditions and flash. Do not use in bright
sunlight. 12 exposures per roll.
Kodacolor Film - Full-color snapshots are easy to make with your camera.
Just load it with the new Kodacolor Film. You no longer have to buy one
type for daylight use and one type for use with flash. Expose this new
Kodacolor Film by sunlight or clear flash - it gives beautiful color pictures
Take the exposed roll of Kodacolor Film to your photo dealer. He will arrange
to have negatives and prints made for you. Enlargements in various sizes can
also be ordered through your photo dealer. 12 exposures per roll.
Flash pictures are as easy to make as those in bright sun. just add a
Kodalite Flasholder - either of two models can be used with your Brownie Hawkeye
Camera, Flash Model.
- The Kodalite Flasholder uses the larger bayonet-base lamps such as No.
5 or 25. This unit gives more light -and is especially recommended for
- The Kodalite Midget Flasholder is a compact unit which uses small,
low-priced M-2 lamps or No. 5 and No. 25 lamps.
Attache either flasholder to the camera by placing the posts on the
flasholder into the holes in the side panel of the camera; tighten the knurled
CAUTION: Do not attach or remove the flasholder with the lamp inserted.
How to install batteries
Open the back by loosening the screw.
Insert two fresh size C batteries* base down
Replace the back and tighten the screw
Flash lamps. Use No. 5, No. 25, No. 8, SM, or SF lamps.
Just turn and push a fresh lamp into the reflector socket before taking a
picture; the used lamp is ejected by pressing the LAMP RELEASE, on the
flasholder, toward the camera.
CAUTION: Since lamps may shatter when flashed, use of the Kodak Flashguard
or other shield over the reflector is recommended.
* Use fresh batteries which test at least 5 amperes.
KODALITE MIDGET FLASHOLDER
How to install batteries
Remove the back cover plate by loosening the screw.
Insert to 1 1/2-volt penlite batteries* base down.
Replace the cover plate and tighten the screw.
Flash lamps. The Kodak Midget Flasholder uses the midget-type M-2
lamp; however, No. 5 or No. 25 lamps can be used by removing the socket adapter.
To remove the adapter, push in with the thumb and turn counterclockwise; then
press the lamp release on the top of the flasholder. Store the adapter inside
the case, under the batteries when No. 5 or 25 lamps are used.
With No. 5 and 25 lamps, turn and push a new lamp into the reflector socket;
the lamp will be held by a catch.
With the M-2 lamps, simply push a new lamp straight into the socket
Eject used lamps by pressing in the lamp release button on the top of the
* Use fresh batteries which test at least 3 1/2-amperes.
Shooting flash pictures
The shutter control must be in the "down" position.
Insert a flash lamp in the reflector socket as described
Check the lamp-to-subject distance according to the table on the
flasholder. This is important for proper exposure.
Place the flashguard over the reflector because there is always the
possibility that the lamps may shatter when flashed.
Locate the subject in the viewfinder.
Press the exposure release until it clicks. This will operate the shutter
and flash the lamp.
CAUTION: Lamps are too hot to handle immediately after firing. Always use
the LAMP RELEASE to eject used lamps; pulling lamps out by force may
damage the socket. Do not flash lamps in an explosive atmosphere.
When light is not bright enough for a snapshot, or flash lamps are not
available, still subjects can be photographed by making a long exposure.
Place the camera on a firm, solid support. Be sure that the camera is within
two or three inches of the edge to be sure that the support does not show in the
During long exposures, never hold the camera in the hands, or the picture
will be blurred.
First, pull up the SHUTTER CONTROL
. Then make the exposure by slowly
pressing down the exposure release as far as it will go. The shutter will remain
open while the exposure release is held down and will close when it is released.
For head-and-shoulder pictures of people or close-up pictures of flowers and
other subjects, use a Kodak Close-Up Attachment No. 13. Snap the attachment in
place over the front of the camera lens and hold the camera 3 to 4 1/2 feet from
Tilt the camera up slightly when taking the picture. This is necessary to
center the subject in the picture at this close range.
Removing the film
After the last exposure has been made, turn the winding knob until the end of
the protective paper passes the window and is drawn up to the film spool.
Turn the latch on the top of the camera to "O." Be sure you're not in strong,
direct light when you remove the front of the camera. Press the end of the spool
opposite the winding knob outward; then lift out the roll of film. Do not twist
the film tightly on the spool or it may become scratched. Fold under the end of
the paper and fasten it with the sticker.
Remove the empty spool by pressing outward at the spring end; then place it
in the winding knob side of the camera. Turn the winding knob until the key
engages the slot in the end of the spool. The camera is now ready to be
reloaded. After loading the camera, replace the front section and then turn the
latch on the top of the camera to "L" (lock).
Make them interesting- Your
pictures should tell a story at a glance. To help achieve natural, unposed
effects, give your subjects something to do.
Trick shots - To shoot over a crowd, hold the camera upside down over
your head and look up into the viewfinder.
Shoot an unsuspecting subject by facing 90 degress to the subject, the
viewfinder on a horizontal plane with your eye, and the lens toward the subject.
Moving subjects - Movement can be photographed if the subject is not too
close and its travel is toward the camera or away.
Check the background - Look beyond the subject and exclude uninteresting
and distracting objects. Be sure the background serves as a setting only.
Low angle shots are pleasing. Remember the sky makes a good background.
Protect the camera lens -- Keep it free of scratches, and fingerprints.
Let's look at some fumbles
We will have a good start if we take a quick look at some of the most common
camera mistakes - and how to avoid them. Keep them in mind and you will
eliminate these basic errors in your own work.
- Camera movement The whole picture is blurred. It happens when you
"punch" the shutter release. Always stand steady, hold your breath, and
release the shutter with a squeezing action.
- Double exposure Two pictures accidentally taken on one film. It won't
happen if you wind the film immediately after taking each picture.
- Dirty lens Your camera can't see through a dirty lens. Keep it clean;
it pays. Use Kodak Lens Cleaning Paper and Kodak Lens Cleaner. Never use
- Subject partly cut off This is merely another case of careless view
finding. Keep your eye on the finder image and keep the subject accurately
framed until after the shutter clicks.
- Subject out of focus This kind of fuzzy-wuzzy comes up when you take
pictures closer than 5 feet. Close-ups can be made with a Kodak Close-Up
Attachment No. 13.
- Lens obscured You'll get a picture like this if a finger is in front
of the lens. Just learn to handle your camera so that your fingers or case
strap don't get out in front.
The Kodak Field Case for the
Brownie Hawkeye Camera protects your camera from dust and dirt. Its fall-away
cover readies the camera for instant picture taking. The case is made of sturdy
simulated leather. Your dealer will be glad to show you this case.
The Kodak Cloud Filter No. 13 will add new sparkle to your
black-and-white snapshots by darkening blue skies and emphasizing clouds. Slip
the cloud filter over the lesn mount and you're all set to shoot. Don't use
with color films.
For full-color prints and enlargements, use Kodacolor Film. You'll get a
thrill when you see your family pictured in Kodacolor. For close-ups
Kodak Close-Up Attachment No. 13.
Eastman Kodak Company
ROCHESTER 4, N.Y.
Details of Brownie Hawkeye Camera, Flash Model
Film: Kodak 620; 12
exposures; standard oversized prints, 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches; negatives 2 1/4 x
2 1/4 inches.
Lens: Pictures sharp from
5 feet to infinity.
Shutter: Instantaneous and
"Long" exposure settings. Exposures release set flush with body.
Film Operation: Accessible
spool chambers. Film advanced by knob.
molded two-piece body, held together by lock rotating around handle stud.
Bright metal trim.
synchronization. No. 5, No. 25, SF, and SM lamps in Kodalite Flasholder (uses
2 size C photoflash batteries) or M-2, No. 5, No. 25 lamps in Kodalite Midget
Flasholder (uses 1 1/2 volt penlight photoflash batteries).
Extra Equipment: Kodak
Close-Up Attachment No. 13; Kodak Cloud Filter No. 13; Kodalite and Kodalite
Midget Flasholder; Kodak Field Case.