5 frames with... Camera History

5 Frames with a No.2 Kodak Hawkeye Folding Camera Model C – By Jochen Utecht

July 25, 2019

Recently I stumbled across a very old brown leather bag at the flea market in the German School in Beijing. It turned out it housed an equally old camera. On the back of the camera it said 120, which meant I could load it and shoot it with film that’s still readily available. I asked the seller if he was ok if I paid 120 RMB (c. 16 EURO) and he agreed. So I got a roll of 120 film for it and youtube’d how to load and shoot the thing. I believe there are at least 50 models of this camera and so I couldn’t find out if it is from 1920 or 1936. Nor could I find a matching manual.

The negatives are huge at 6 x 9 cm, especially considering you have a camera that measures only 80 x 165 x 31mm. There is a viewfinder on top of the lens that you can turn depending on if you are shooting in portrait or landscape orientation.

Unfortunately there are only the numbers 1 to 4 for the aperture and that certainly does not reflect the f-stop. Most likely 1 equals f/8, 2 is maybe f/16, 3 is f/22 and 4 means the lens is stopped down to f/32. But I could be wrong.

Disassembled and ready for loading

The shutter speed is just as mysterious. It only has a T and an I setting. Pressing T opens the shutter and pressing it again closes it again. The I-setting is probably 1/30 of a second.

I decided first to use Kodak Ektar 100 and just give it try. On a perfectly sunny day I stopped the simple lens to a number between 3 and 4 and clicked away. The flare is no light leak but shows my inexperience with unloading the film. It almost unrolled.

Jingshan Hill in a Mirror

Poor Smiling Bear

View of the nearest crossing to our home in Beijing

The next challenge was with a FomaPan100. I don’t know if it was the film itself or the camera that caused the black mottles, maybe the camera has too much debris inside which I was not able to clean.

My friend He You when we were trying to buy pieces for a storage rack.

View from our roof garden

I like the results from both spools even if the pictures were mostly blurry. The last one was with the use of a tripod. The camera has 2 threads to shoot in portrait or landscape. Everything is so well thought out, it certainly could not be any simpler.

Instagram: echtjut

Contribute to 35mmc for an Ad-Free Experience

There are two ways to experience 35mmc without the adverts:

Paid Subscription - £2.99 per month and you’ll never see an advert again! (Free 3-day trial)
Subscribe here

Content contributor - become a part of the world’s biggest film and alternative photography community blog. All our Contributors have an ad-free experience for life.
Sign up here.


  • Reply
    kaleena johnson
    July 25, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    I also have 2 cini Kodak camera ione still has film in it I have pics. don’t know what to do with them but they r very old and fragile. I would like to put them in the hands of someone who will take care of them and put them in the right place.

    • Reply
      Jochen Utecht
      July 26, 2019 at 7:57 am

      Hi Kaleena, you can send the cameras to me. I will teach my children how to use them. They are more creative than I am. Cheers, Jochen

  • Reply
    James Tappin
    July 25, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    Black marks on the final image are most likely from debris dislodged when opening and closing the bellows. If possible with aged folders I try to open the camera and then wind on rather than winding on after taking each shot, that way any crud settles on exposed film and will be washed off in the developing process. This does of course increase the risk of double exposures for those cameras that don’t have any safety interlock.

    • Reply
      Jochen Utecht
      July 26, 2019 at 7:55 am

      Hi James, good idea with the winding. Will try that. If you think life gets easier sometimes. Cheers, Jochen

  • Reply
    Lori Brooks
    July 25, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    Nice! I have an Autographic 2a which I’ve restored (I did a write up on this site earlier in the year on it)

    I also have a couple of the Kodak vest pocket camera’s as well.

  • Reply
    Roger B.
    July 28, 2019 at 9:50 pm

    For those of you wishing to shoot very old folders that use 116 or 616 rollfilm, The Film Photography Project online store often has it for sale, at least b&w emulsions.

Leave a Reply

This site uses User Verification plugin to reduce spam. See how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Contribute to 35mmc for an Ad-Free Experience -Click here to find out more