Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
11-01-2022, 08:08 PM - 8 Likes   #1
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
ismaelg's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Puerto Rico
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,602
Kodak Brownie Hawkeye: Special Rescue Operation of a 1950's icon

Hello,

The Kodak Brownie Hawkeye is one of the most popular cameras of the mid 20th century. The great Arthur Crapsey designed this camera. He also designed many great Kodak cameras from the 40's until the 70's. This camera was produced from 1949 until 1961. The only main change was the addition of flash support in late 1950. Made of bakelite, a popular material of the era, this camera was very successful. Today, it is arguably the most popular 620 camera out there and enjoys a cult following. It is very basic: single shutter speed (about 1/40s) and Bulb. No aperture control. No focusing. That's it. Just shoot and advance. The resulting image is square format of 2 1/4 inches or about 6cm on each side. One of the reasons why this camera is so popular is that you can use 120 film without re-spooling. However, the take up spool has to be 620. A 120 spool will not fit as take up.

My specimen:
This camera is very popular and easy to find. While still affordable, prices are not what they used to be. So I got this broken and abused Flash model sample basically for the price of shipping.

Left for dead, it has seen far better days.










The biggest issue among many others is this big chunk of body missing. Light leak anyone?
Bakelite is a very brittle material.

By the way, the datecode is CMRO which means the last 4 weeks of 1956. This camera will be 66 years old next month (December 2022)!

Every single part needs help.




AHHH!!!! The venerable rotary shutter! By the time this one was made, the base concept was already over 70 years old!
Cleaned and lubed, ready for at least 66 more years!



Let's fix the missing chunks of body.
The plan of attack is reconstructive surgery using epoxy sculpting compound. Keep in mind many of these pics are larger than actual size.

First, a small strip of aluminum tape as backing.


Sculpt to rough shape


Cut a precise strip of thin aluminum sheet, bend to shape. I was going to use brass but aluminum worked like a charm.


Adjust as needed


Maniacally test fit every move

Technically this should do it as is.

Sculpt to rough shape


Continue test fitting constantly while shaping the part


A few days go by carefully shaping the part while taking extra care to prevent sanding dust and water to get into the shutter


When doing bodywork, you look with your fingers. Don't trust what you see. Trust what you feel. Is it smooth? Do you still feel the transition?
A few more days go by and your fingertips say you are ready to paint.


Attempting to match the original bakelite finish will be a lengthy nighmare. I decided to mask and paint it flat black so it will stand out on close inspection and not look like a lame attempt to match the original finish.


Forgot to take a picture of the inside prior to assembly but it was carefully painted light sucking flat black.




TA-DAH!!! Oh wait! Everything else is still disassembled. At this point it becomes a "regular" restoration

Presenting for your approval my "Ready to be tested hopefully soon", "NEW" 1956 Kodak Brownie Hawkeye!








A little lithium grease under the opening latch and it may be smoother now than when it left the factory








The bright viewfinder is another reason for its popularity












Badges of honor: Lots of scratches, blemishes and hairline cracks in the body are reminders of a tough past. If this camera could talk!


Biggest problem now? Fingerprints! Also bakelite is a dust magnet.
Can't wait to test it!

I hope you like it and approve this Special Rescue Operation.

Thanks,
Ismael

11-01-2022, 08:45 PM - 1 Like   #2
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 24,414
I need to run film through mine. Great job, as usual.

---------- Post added 11-01-22 at 11:47 PM ----------

Brownie Hawkeye - PentaxForums.com
11-01-2022, 08:51 PM - 1 Like   #3
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
grog85361's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 870
Well done!
11-02-2022, 06:44 AM - 1 Like   #4
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Toledo, OR
Posts: 783
I found two of these in my parents house when a kid. One was complete with flash unit, bulbs, and original box. Of course none of the photos survived because they were lousy, all because I tried to take closeups. Not the fault of the camera, yet the reason it ended up in a garage sale. 😃

11-02-2022, 08:54 AM - 1 Like   #5
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Nov 2015
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,485
Great work as always!

Isn’t there a trick with these to flip the front element, making it only do closeups?

-Eric
11-02-2022, 09:10 AM - 1 Like   #6
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 24,414
What is the normal mfd with acceptable sharpness?
11-02-2022, 09:47 AM   #7
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
ismaelg's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Puerto Rico
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,602
Original Poster
Hello,

Thank you everybody!

QuoteOriginally posted by TwoUptons Quote
Great work as always!

Isnít there a trick with these to flip the front element, making it only do closeups?

-Eric
The trick is to flip the single lens. I've seen results and they are in focus only at the center. The rest of the image is blurred. Interesting effect but may not be for everybody.

QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
What is the normal mfd with acceptable sharpness?
The user manual claims mfd to be 5 feet, but people usually report it works best from 10 ft - infinity

Thanks,
Ismael

11-02-2022, 01:31 PM - 1 Like   #8
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
ramseybuckeye's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Hampstead, NC
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 15,900
Well done as usual! I'm very impressed with the use of aluminum tape. Smoothing any kind of putty including drywall mud and spackling, I agree that the feel always trumps the eye.
11-26-2022, 07:28 PM - 1 Like   #9
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
ismaelg's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Puerto Rico
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,602
Original Poster
WE HAVE PICTURES!

Hello,

Just downloaded the online scans and I have to say I'm very happy! Once I receive my negatives back I'll scan them on my own as well. In my experience I can't beat the lab's color scans, but the B/W I can usually get a bit more out of them since I have more control over contrast and sharpness.
These are untouched except for resize and signature.
All 12 images are good. Here is a sample:











Here is an experiment I did:
First: a single shot


Then a long exposure: (~little less than a second)


Then I tried a double exposure while as secure as I could on a tripod platform. (The camera has no tripod socket). You can see it was not successful.


Observations:
-Fun to use. People discreetly glance at it and at you... A guy with a DSLR saw it and went "ohhhh!!!" and gave me a thumbs up.
-Provided a stable platform, it can produce really sharp images. See pic #3 above
-Hard to use handheld as shutter speed is about 1/30th
-Long exposures require a really sturdy platform.
-Viewfinder is hard to use if camera is above waist level, impossible to use if at face-level or above.
-A tripod socket would make it more convenient, but keep in mind this was an entry level consumer camera

Conclusion: I had a lot of fun!

*EDIT* This post is related to this other one. Check it out to see the comparison between this and a last gen 35mm film camera:
Very odd couple on a date - PentaxForums.com

Thanks,
Ismael
11-29-2022, 09:38 PM   #10
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Toledo, OR
Posts: 783
Still working well after all these years.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
aluminum, body, brownie, camera, days, kodak, shape, shutter, test, vintage
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Kodak Pony 135: Interesting 35mm from 1950 ismaelg Vintage Cameras and Equipment 21 06-07-2022 12:55 AM
Brownie Hawkeye UncleVanya Vintage Cameras and Equipment 37 04-11-2022 08:46 AM
Operation to rescue Thai boys in cave begins pakinjapan General Talk 71 07-18-2018 05:12 AM
Pets Addy the Rescue Dog to the Rescue - Ever Vigilant sealonsf Post Your Photos! 6 07-01-2018 06:36 AM
Kodak Hawkeye Surveillance Film G and T Film SLRs and Compact Film Cameras 2 06-13-2014 09:35 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:11 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top