Flipped lens Brownie Hawkeye + modern strobes

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M Carter

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Man, it's a one-trick pony, but what a beautiful trick. I bent the flash contacts in mine to work with electronic flash. pretty cool to see the little Brownie with a Pocket Wizard hanging off of it, firing speedo packs and heads! (Lith print on Ilford MGWT).

ODkGci4.jpg


Here it is out in the daylight - I tested the shutter speed and it's about 1/25th; a series filter holder and step ring lets me put 55mm ND or colored filters on it. Lith print on Forte PWT.

I7MlqK8.jpg
 

RLangham

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Hmmm.... I had written this trick off as nearly-useless, but seeing these results I'll have to try it. The photo of the model is quite intimate and the medium softness on the face is quite nice. How was the increasing softness towards the bottom of the frame achieved? Is it a fairly tight crop of the absolute bottom of the image, so that the drop-off is very pronounced? The bridge is wonderfully evocative--it reminds me of work that's been done digitally with a mirrorless and a Petzval-formula projector lens. The lighter area of sky inside the end of the bridge is quite lucky!

Strange, though... Every Hawkeye I own looks like 1/60th or lower on the shutter. I haven't measured it but I tend to be good at guessing by eye. Is that just a weakened spring?
 

Donald Qualls

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The Bakelite Hawkeye was originally designed to use ASA 80-125 film in "direct sun or open shade". Thus the f/16 aperture should require about a 1/50 shutter, but since it was only ever to be used with negative films, a one stop shutter variation either direction would be well within the latitude of the film and process. I've owned two or three of these in the past fifty years, and their exposure matched Sunny f/16 (with post-1960 film speed) very well, producing very normal negatives.

I've never flipped the lens in one, though. I rather like them "lo-fi sharp".
 

RLangham

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The Bakelite Hawkeye was originally designed to use ASA 80-125 film in "direct sun or open shade". Thus the f/16 aperture should require about a 1/50 shutter, but since it was only ever to be used with negative films, a one stop shutter variation either direction would be well within the latitude of the film and process. I've owned two or three of these in the past fifty years, and their exposure matched Sunny f/16 (with post-1960 film speed) very well, producing very normal negatives.

I've never flipped the lens in one, though. I rather like them "lo-fi sharp".

Yes, I've only ever used color 100 ASA film in them, and the negatives tend to be dense if exposed in bright sunlight, as if overexposed by one or two full stops. Furthermore I've often seen shake even when I'm quite sure I made efforts to hold the camera steady. I would say that there's probably variations in spring strength, but I would imagine, both from negative density under known conditions, and from looking at the shutter when it fires, that they average a little north of 1/30 and a little south of 1/60. I would also imagine it was probably more like 1/75 to 1/100 when the cameras were new.
 

RLangham

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Wow! Thats excellent.
You worked out the sweet zone with the portrait, it is very impressive.
I did the lens flip with a little Argus 75, it has a different rendering.
I would love to see any images you wanted to share from that. I've almost bought a couple of the different pseudo-TLR Argoflexes, and I do a lot with my Argoflex EF, which is a true TLR from the same series.
 

MattKing

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Here is a scanned shot from a Brownie Hawkeye with an unflipped lens. The selectively bleached and brown toned print does a better job of conveying a feeling that matches my title for the print: "Wraiths"


upload_2020-3-16_14-24-46.png
 

Ces1um

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Flipped lens with a closeup lens attachment.


Riley Closeup by Bryan Chernick, on Flickr

I remember the last time you posted this picture. It was because of this picture that I bought a Brownie Hawkeye last summer. It's produced two of my all time favourite photographs in my collection. I really find if you get these photos printed at 3"x3" you really get photos that are more like little treasures.
 
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M Carter

M Carter

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Hmmm.... I had written this trick off as nearly-useless, but seeing these results I'll have to try it. The photo of the model is quite intimate and the medium softness on the face is quite nice. How was the increasing softness towards the bottom of the frame achieved? Is it a fairly tight crop of the absolute bottom of the image, so that the drop-off is very pronounced?

Thanks! Yes on the model shot - I framed it so her face was in the center and then cropped in printing. I shot 1 roll with the Brownie, now that the world is shutting down, I may go and print some more from it.

The bridge is wonderfully evocative--it reminds me of work that's been done digitally with a mirrorless and a Petzval-formula projector lens. The lighter area of sky inside the end of the bridge is quite lucky!

Yes, and even luckier were the clouds working out nicely for the lens! Just a bit of dodging to pop the center a bit more.

Every Hawkeye I own looks like 1/60th or lower on the shutter. I haven't measured it but I tend to be good at guessing by eye. Is that just a weakened spring?

No idea - I measured the speed by shooting shutter actuations with a 120fps video camera and counting the frames. I have 2 Hawkeys. both about 1/25th, and an Agfa Clask that's about the same (can't recall, I write the shutter speeds on a tape label, not sure where the Clack is these days - I flipped the lens on it but it's very extreme).

I did use the Clack to shoot the sky for this image and masked it in with a litho mask:

n7Y9Hx4.jpg
 

Nicholas Lindan

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If you flip the lens then you also need to flip the aperture stop - that will cure the fuzzy corners. If you like the fuzzy corners then all is copacetic as it is.

Flipping the stop would be rather hard to do, though, as the aperture stop and the shutter opening are usually one and the same.

The old Kodak box cameras (the ones made from real cardboard boxes with a hole where a lens 'should' be) had the stop in front of the lens and the lens mounted with the concave side out. Produced remarkably good photos, assuming you are into that in-focus aesthetic.
 

Donald Qualls

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The old Kodak box cameras (the ones made from real cardboard boxes with a hole where a lens 'should' be) had the stop in front of the lens and the lens mounted with the concave side out. Produced remarkably good photos, assuming you are into that in-focus aesthetic.

The Brownie Hawkeye Flash had this setup, too, as did most of the "consumer" level folders sold with Brownie in the name. Cheapest way to make a lens that gives good contact prints and okay enlargements.
 

Nicholas Lindan

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Found a wonderful web page on photographic optics, with a large section on the Wollaston landscape lens: https://sites.google.com/view/wollaston-landscape-lens/home#h.hrp70851h75m

It seems a reasonable WAG is to place the stop about 1/6 the focal length in front of the convex side.

Of course if you do flip the lens and put the stop in front you are also going to move the shutter mechanism from behind the lens to in front of the lens.
 
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