This Is My Brownie Hawkeye Flash

This is my Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash (BHF).  You don’t get an idea of scale from these photographs but it’s surprisingly cute.

Brownie Hawkeye Flash

It only takes 620 film – the plastic spools on the modern 120 films are too big to fit into the camera.  But respooling the 120 film onto old 620 spools in a lightproof changing bag doesn’t take too long at all.

I bought this camera off ebay.  I removed the two lower screws from the front plate and was able to clean the viewfinders and the lens cover.  You can find cleaning instructions here which also give a bit more information about this the BHF.   I didn’t remove the top two screws off the front plate as I didn’t want to mess about with glue if the threads got ruined in the process.  Here is a second set of these cleaning instructions.

I mail ordered some Bakelite polish called Bake-O-Bryte from Radiophile Magazine to clean the body of the camera.  I’m assured it’s the same stuff as “Polish Paste No 5” which was used for cleaning telephones.  You may find it under either of these names.  For me in the UK Radiophile was the cheapest.  Don’t be tempted to clean your bakelite with anything else. Most cleaners are too harsh and once you strip the top surface off you’ll never get it back again!  The bakelite polish did make it a bit cleaner and certainly more shiny.

Brownie Hawkeye Flash

As I write I have only put one roll of film through my BHF.  It was a 400asa colour film.  I didn’t have a great deal of success with the first film but now I have a better idea of how to use the camera next time I hope for better results.

Here’s a photo I took with my Brownie Hawkeye Flash:

Lowdown Cat - BHF

I hope I get to show you more photos taken with this camera in time!

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Posted in Art, Artist, Photography
10 comments on “This Is My Brownie Hawkeye Flash
  1. Nina says:

    Oh wow — we all had brownies back in the 50’s:-) Yours looks beautiful all polished up. Thanks for bringing back that memory. I love that folks are recycling them.

  2. Ah yes – while others declutter I am stockpiling ;o)

  3. tomdurkin1 says:

    this camera looks COOL! I want one 😀

  4. Loren Lloyd says:

    You can run 35mm film through it as well. You have to get negatives only and scan the negatives into a jpeg, but it looks really cool with the sprocket holes exposed. Check out my how to video here:

  5. cusp says:

    Oh you’re so cool, you. This looks great. I have a camera fetish too. I love Boot Sales for that reason. Never been so dedicated as to buy special polish with which to burnish them however. I love the square format of photographs — always have. Where do you buy your film from ? When you want C41 b&w film do you ue XP2 ?

  6. Does special polish make me a proper nerd?

    I buy my film from 7dayshop – really cheap, although delivery takes about a week you do save a fortune. There’s more choice at places like B&H and maybe other retailers but 7dayshop keep me happy enough (Fuji and Kodak).

    I’ve only just discovered the C41 black and white film.

    I send my films to Spectrum Imaging mail order for processing and scanning.

    They only do C41. So you could cross process slide film with them but not C41 film. Is that what you meant by XP2?

    Can you cross process normal black and white film in C41? I expect not. Something to do with …. ummm … silver?

  7. OK – like – umm – durrr! I’ve just been recommended to try XP2 in my Six-20 and discovered that’s a kind of film.

    Well. I just learnt something. :o)

    So answer to the question is actually – no, I haven’t tried XP2. I think I shall have to investigate further. Off to browse films … yum!

  8. cusp says:

    well I was just about to come on here to tell you what XP2 is but I see you don’t me ;-))
    Very versatile film and used to use it a lot. You might be also be interested in a lovely ‘toy’ which you can play with for hours with your B&W photos —- Colorvir >>

    Not that cheap and you can do a lot of stuff with it that’s done digitally now BUT you have the advantage and joy of doing it by hand which gives the whole bsiness a whole different spin

  9. Rachel, I apologise for extreme wooly-headedness coupled with congenital stupidity, but I can’t quite see how to join the blogring thing. In fact have been piddling about for ages trying to see where to comment, so trying this out.

  10. Cusp – Ah but you were the one who told me about XP2 even if I didn’t get it. Ooooh – colouring kit … ooooh …

    Signs – I shall come and comment on your blog and try and explain.

    You go to the Blog Ring site and the Chronic Artists list (the list holder if you like) which is here:

    Then click “Add Your Link Below” which is in a box with an arrow pointing down (totally misleading).

    You’ll need to register for an account but it’s just nickname, email address and a password for this site. That way you can update your own details and even remove yourself off the list if you want to (no!).

    Then you see a form for the details of your blog. Listing title is the name of your blog (like Reading The Signs). URL is the web address and site description is a little bit of background which will appear under the listing (“I am a fab artist and I have a blog” etc).

    You’ll also see some badges and a text link. Select one and copy the code then pop that code on your blog.

    Does this help?

    Oh and then I will “accept” you and I’ll add you to the blogroll on the Chronic Artists blog

    Lots of words – hope it makes sense!

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Rachel Groves, Artist
Lichfield, Staffordshire, UK



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