Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash - first roll

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by silverscape, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. Well, I finally finished my first test roll in the Brownie Hawkeye Flash that I bought recently.
    And I have to say, I already love this little camera! For the first test roll, I used Plus-X. I developed the film a few days ago, and I just developed prints in my garage darkroom last night.
    The pictures turned out GREAT! A couple of them are a little bit soft at closer distances, but still not bad. Overall, I was really happy with how the pictures came out. They're surprisingly good for a simple box camera like this. There were absolutely no light leaks or any other obvious problems that I could see. I was really anxious to get a couple of pictures with flash bulbs, because I have never in my entire life used them before. I wanted something worthy of my first attempt (and burning up a bulb), so I got my mom and dad to pose for a picture!
    One thing I noticed right away with flash bulbs is that the lighting is MUCH better quality. It definitely has a different look to it. The light is more even than a modern electronic built-in flash. A modern flash only lights up a tiny area right around the subject, and tends to wash out the foreground and leave everything else too dark. But flash bulbs seem to light everything up more evenly. Even just the experience of using a flash bulb was so cool! The sound, the little puff of smoke, and even the smell. It made taking a picture a fun and different experience.
    Here's another flash bulb photo. This is my friends, Gilbert, Joey, and Judith. I wanted to get a picture of them, but we weren't sure where, so they just posed in the hallway.
    If I had been using a modern electronic built-in flash, I don't think I could have ever gotten this picture in a million years. The door frame on the right would have been the only thing lit up, and their faces would have been totally dark. But with the flash bulb, even though the door frame in the foreground is a little bit overexposed, there is still plenty of detail everywhere else. The flash bulb seems to flood everything with a smooth, even amount of light.
    This next picture is a Lutheran church a few blocks away from where I live. I've taken pictures of it before, but I thought it would be good subject. I've always liked how the trees seem to frame it...
    Since you can't change the aperture or shutter speed on this camera, you have to choose the film ahead of time. On a clear, sunny day, 100 ISO film seems to work best. A couple of the pictures I took outdoors might have been a tiny bit overexposed, but not bad at all. (Heck, maybe next time I'lll try Ektar in it, since Ektar LIKES to be overexposed).
    By the way, I scanned and adjusted these pictures on an older computer with a CRT monitor. I think that with an LCD monitor, they might be a little too bright. I wish I could mail you my darkroom prints - they came out pretty good for a simple antique box camera!
    I definitely plan to use this camera again soon. It's simple, very easy to fix, and takes surprisingly good pictures. So I'm sure I'll have some more photos to show you guys soon.
  2. Lovely images! Sure the bottom of equipment acquisition but thems might fine photos.True about flashbulbs! i used the in a holder without the reflector but a white board behind the bulb.Very natural light. Lit up a whole school hall once to shoot the students and the Academic staff on the stage! One big bulb.Camera was my 1st Pentax H1a with 105mmTakumar.Negative size is part of the quality.Shooter was the rest!
  3. Nice work from a little Art Deco sweetie!
    Really like that you used actual flash with it.
  4. Very cool, Chris! I have one of these but have never put a roll through it, although now I'm feeling motivated to try it. There was a guy who posted on here a couple of years ago and shared some pics he'd taken with his Brownie Hawkeye Flash. His pics and an article were also published in Jpg. Magazine, which I think is pretty awesome. Thanks for sharing!
  5. Very nice. I always liked flash bulbs. Aside from the great lighting, the pop and fizz, and the little button to send the dead bulb flying out all added to the fun.
  6. Good job! It was fun, wasn't it! :) I agree about the smoke puff and the smell -- and then carefully removing the hot, blistered little bulb. There's something strangely special about that.
    FAIW, the quality of light from a bulb flash isn't better because of the bulb, but because of the reflector. There's simply more light, so the reflector doesn't have to be (and isn't) as efficient. There's a whole lot of light scatter to the sides, which bounces off of the walls and creates softer lighting, with more even light distribution between foreground and background. You can replicate this look, more or less, with a bare bulb attachment on an electronic flash (e.g. Sto-Fen). These attachments aren't too efficient at diffusion, so you can actually point the flash as you normally would and get slight directionality to your light, with a lot of scatter to the sides. Also you can improve much more simply by bouncing the light off a nearby wall. While this could have been done with bulb flash, I think there would be too many variables involved, with too little technology to compute correct exposure.
    Hey, if you like the flashbulb, you would LOVE the work of O. Winston Link. He was a photographer and railroad enthusiast who worked on the Norfolk and Western project, which is displayed at the O. Winston Link Museum in Roanoke, VA. The project sought to show the end of the steam locomotive era. The dad of one of my friends was a railroad worker/administrater on the N&W and was put in charge of seeing that Mr. Link got all the help that he needed in order to set up his shots. He would set up enormous banks of elaborate lighting, sometimes placed on mountainsides, firing off as many as 300 bulbs for an exposure. His was the most elaborate night-time railroad photography ever done, and his shots capture lots of the charm of the 1950's. You can see some of his photographs here:
    I have to say the online images don't even begin to do his work justice -- not well presented, not very sharp, etc. My friend has a copy of this book, which is extremely well printed:
    You could of course also visit the museum the next time you're in Virginia! ;-) They've got some of his lighting equipment on exhibit.
  7. you can modify the hawkeye to use electronics flash.
    this is a non-permanent change
    scroll way down to "electronic"
  8. Glad to see you back in form! This is a neat camera and I've got one too! I think I have a reflector flash somewher but alas .. no bulbs! Funny ..last night on FB with a new friend discussing Polaroid the three bulbs I got I show with that back in 1997 or so. IT is as Others have mentioned an experience and like many others here old enough to remember when they were not an exceptuion and more so the rule, but I was just a little kid! I remember a few exploding nd my mother always fearing this.
    The light is more filling and it makes a big difference. I shot a big Honeywell flash on a Koni_Omega and it also filled nicely. Flash is kin of a love hate relationship!
    You did manage to get some great photos of family and friends! I really like PX!
  9. BTW, 120 film worked or did you respool?
    I thought this was a 620 camera.
    Just for fun, here are the closest equivalents in East German cameras -- not up to the R A Teague design by a long shot, but not without a certain, um, charm.
  10. Great flash work!
  11. Great to see some old-fashioned flash! Having a larger area of ignition and a big reflector, compared to the tiny flash tube in a compact flash, even the small bulbs seemed to throw a more even illumination. It won't be long before you're experimenting with a tray of magnesium powder....Great post, Chris, successful pics and a nice balance of personal detail and technical stuff.
  12. Thanks a lot everyone for looking, and all the great feedback! I definitely had a lot of fun using this camera, and I'm planning to get some more pictures with it very soon. In fact, I have a few more pictures from that roll that I didn't develop yet, and when I get around to that, I'll scan them and post them.

    JDM, I used a 120 roll. I didn't have to re-spool it. As it turns out, a 120 roll fit fine on the supply side, even though it's supposed to be a 620 camera! (It won't fit on the take-up side though). My camera is an earlier one, from 1953, so maybe Kodak hadn't rigged it yet!

    By the way, that has to be one of the most blatant rip-offs I've ever heard of a company doing. 620 and 120 are the exact same film...but not only did Kodak try to sell 620 as a different film, with just a different spool flange, but then they also deliberately rigged their cameras so that you COULDN'T use 120 even though it was the same freaking film?!
    Talk about a rip-off! Surely people must have caught on and complained about that back then?
  13. Thought I had written a response...must've forgotten to confirm posting.
    Those flash shots look quite good Chris, well done!.
    620 Stayed with us until 1995. So I guess it must've been a partially succesful ploy to corner the market. I only need it for my Medalist from time to time, respooling isn't a big deal with a change bag.
  14. Thanks. I find it hard to get around to actually re-spooling, and don't have two 620 reels in any case, but finding out that you can use 120 in this one, may lead me to get one of them.
  15. Great work Chris, and that camera is a beauty for sure. I'm guessing that you are at the younger end of the spectrum, so it is really encouraging to see you using these cameras and getting into your garage-darkroom to produce proper photos.....keep it up.
  16. Did you try any photos using the "B" setting?
  17. Yes, these are great cameras. I like to use 35mm film, and scan to the sprockets.

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