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.)

  3. Randy Sweatt

    Hi Marcy,
    I inherited a few Hawkeye’s from Doug’s old collection. I just recently cleaned up one and loaded it with some 120 B&W. Now let’s go shoot around Martinsville 🙂

    • Marcy Merrill

      Randy: Any results to show us yet? Martinsville … one of these days I’ll get back there!

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