Kodak Brownie Hawkeye fever…..

It all started when I bought one of these art deco beauties, produced by Kodak from 1949 until 1961, at a car boot sale for the princely sum of £3.00, in generally good order but needing a good strip down and clean, which as it turns out is pretty easy with these. Then I visited the tall ships when they arrived locally and shot a roll or two, and was surprised at the quality obtained by such a simple meniscus lens. Contrary to the popularly held belief that you have to respool 120 film onto 620 reels, I found you don’t need to fuss about in such a timewasting manner, but you DO need 620 reels for the take-up side. Once I had started, unfortunately, there was no stopping, acquirig a few more examples here and there and THEN I discovered Randy Smith’s Hawkeyemods website….This great guy is well known for doing strange things to unsuspecting Holgas, and making them far more usable in the process, and then started doing similar things for Hawkeyes. Evidently, Kodak thought about making them in various colours, as they were only available in black (bakelite bodies), and made a blue one as a test, but went no further. So Randy did…..I asked if he could add his usual mods to the one he was advertising, such as cable release socket and tripod bush, but he figured that might damage the already painted body, so instead I asked him if he could do a Fender Surf Foam green one with those mods, along with a cream faceplate to match my 50s reissue Fender Strat, which he did, and got very excited about how tasty the finished camera looked in the process. (It’s shown here with the recently released Fender Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar). I think he got very close to matching the colours….At this point, I got really carried away, and ordered the blue one, a white one with black faceplate to match the Telecaster and a Fiesta Red one to match Hank Marvin’s famous Strat……He now offers these colours as standard – I said he should name this range the Graham Lowe Signature range, but that hasn’t happened yet! The green one has a flipped lens, in the same way that I have done with others that have decided to live with me, and there are a number of successful images on this website taken with my original ones. I now have a crazy number of these lovely cameras, collecting the numerous variations along the way, and getting interested looks and often getting into conversations with people who see me using them. I recently shot some more nudes, and used the green one on that shoot for the first time in anger so to speak, and those results will be posted on the site in the near future…