Today, I was cleaning in preparation for my daughter’s birthday party – and well, because spring cleaning is long overdue. So, I’m up on a stepladder doing the really high shelves of collectibles and such that don’t get done frequently. As I was up there, I realized that while I was pulling down some of my favourite finds to clean them anyway, I should photograph them and begin sharing these with all of you during Fab Find Fridays.
So, for this installment, I am sharing with you my Brownie Hawkeye Camera. These cameras were manufactured from 1949 through 1961. The body is made of moulded Bakelite and its features include a viewfinder, rotary shutter, and a Meniscus single element lens that focussed from 5 feet to infinity. The lens aperture is about f/22 and the shutter speed is between 1/30 and 1/60 of a second, depending on the model. Mine, as you can see, includes flash. The basic Brownie Hawkeye sold for $5.50 and the flash model like mine sold for $7.00. I guess I found another great bargain when I got mine because I actually bought this back about 5 years ago along with a second one (which my ex now has) for $12 for the pair of them.
Mine has the little protective plastic piece over the flash and came with a manual. Apparently, the standard going rate for these cameras nowadays is about $15-20 (they are quite plentiful on Ebay and in flea markets and so on). The cameras were made to take 620 film (which has now been discontinued) and take 6 by 6 cm photographs. This is another reason for the low price of the camera as many collectors don’t want one that cannot be used anymore. (Note: there are online dealers who sell unopened packs of the 620 film but it is a bit on the pricey side).
Taken with a Brownie Hawkeye Flash, frankie m, flickr
However, I have found several websites in which instructions are given for using 120 film in these cameras, which is readily available. I haven’t given it a try yet – I really bought the camera because I thought it was wonderful as a piece of art and a conversation piece but after seeing some of the photographs that people have taken with these, I’m thinking of giving it a go.
Taken with a Brownie Hawkeye Flash, remediate that, flickr
Some great additional information and examples of photographs taken by a Brownie Hawkeye Flash