Brownie Hawkeye

Brownie Hawkeye

My dog, Hawkeye, and his Brownie Hawkeye

My mom had one of these. If you were born before 1970, your mom probably had one of these too:

It sat on the floor in my older brother’s room. I remember picking it up and making the button click. Then I’d mess with both buttons and it wouldn’t click and I couldn’t figure out why. Today, I know why. Ha! I don’t necessarily have the corner on the Brownie Hawkeye market, but I do have quite a few of them.


Made of Bakelite and metal, these cameras have a wonderful, boxy style that just begs to be messed with. I’ve dressed them up as Gala Edition Hawkeyes, making them ready to go out for the evening:

You’ve got to use 620 film (120, respooled onto a 620 spool – is what I use). 12, 6cm x 6cm images per roll.

Another thing all the kids are doing these days – flipping the lens! A flipped lens is a fairly easy modification to perform on a Hawkeye and it gives some nice distortion:

Check out Randy’s exceptionally cool Hawkeye Mod site:

My dog, Hawkeye, has his own Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera (of course). I put a graphic of him on my car and film freezer.


James Surprenant modified a few of these Brownie Hawkeyes to accept electronic flash. He sent me one:

In an effort to bring about world peace, I’m peppering the world with junk store cameras. I recently brought a Brownie Hawkeye Gala Edition camera (flipped lens) along on a trip to the UK and Iceland.

Fotografi in Reykjavik.


  1. Richard Skipp

    I have three Brownie Hawk-eyes. Two are lefties and one is a rightie. I wonder if this was some production oversight or were they designed that way for a reason?

    I am sure you have observed the same in your own cameras, that the catch and lever for opening these are positioned on different sides. Or, could I possibly have the only Rightie in the world? Even less likely; do I have the only two Lefties?

    • Marcy Merrill

      Richard: I have not seen a Brownie Hawkeye with a shutter button on the left side. Huh.

      • Marcy Merrill

        Richard: It’s been pointed out to me that you said the catch, not the shutter button. Sorry. I had never noticed that before but you’re right!

  2. Kenny Harrelson

    I think he means the silver release lever to get the back off. I’ve seen it on different sides of mine as well. I wondered about that as well.

    • Marcy Merrill

      Oh yeah! Duh… Thanks. Now I gotta go look. YUP! They’re left and right. Haphazardly ( to me, anyway.)


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