V140: New Vintage Camera: No.2 Folding Cartridge Hawk-Eye Model B

While in Astoria, Oregon, Carolyn and I visited many an antique shop.  I was delighted to find a whole case full of vintage cameras, many of them folding cartridge styles like this one.  The prices were great, so then it was just a matter of deciding which one.

I didn’t have internet access on my phone in the basement of the antique shop, so I had to make a guess as to which camera would be the best choice.  I knew vintage Eastman Kodaks, while very common, are always decent, and there were many to choose from.  I looked for overall condition, then condition of the bellows (the foldy-outy accordian part, often cracked or torn in old cameras), and if it had a functioning shutter.

I decided on this little baby, the No. 2 Folding Cartridge Hawk-Eye, Model B.  This camera was on the market from 1926 to 1934, and you can still buy 120 film for it.

One of my geek-out favorites is taking functional props to historical events – sure, it’s cool to carry an original camera around at The Gatsby, but it’s far cooler to actually take pictures with it! /geek-squee!

Hawk-eye needs a bit of a cleaning, and a little more oiling of the bellows tracks, but then I’ll be ready to pop some 120 black and white film in and take some snaps (all 8 of them, on the roll, lol) at the upcoming Lake Tahoe Gatsby picnic, in August. 🙂


  • Toby Wollin

    May 19, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    You'll probably want to check out the integrity of the bellows – over time, these can get cracks in them which let in light and ruin the film. Open up the back where you'd put in the roll film, extend the bellows and shine a light to see if anything is getting through.

    • Lauren R

      May 20, 2012 at 12:45 AM

      you bet! The bellows are the first thing I looked at, though I got lucky and there were no light leaks when I got it home and cracked open the back. It needs oiling, though, certainly

  • Avonlea_dreamer

    May 20, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Wow! That's awesome! Will you have to develope them yourself? If so, is it an expensive process? I've always wanted to get into that. (It'd be awesome to take a photo of a costume with a period camera!) But I was worried about the expense.

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