Bruce Varner Photography


Adapters/Filters I Use to Correct Hawkeye Exposure

--Those Specific Filters I Use--

Updated 08/21/16

In a previous article I discussed how to actually capture non-flash images using the Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera.  Since the Hawkeye has a fixed aperture and shutter speed, being able to change the amount of light striking the film becomes problematic.  This discussion was created to provide a guide to the specific filters I use to achieve correct exposures with the Hawkeye.  For an overview of the constraints and some methods for capturing images using the Brownie Hawkeye, please see my article here.

Below I will describe exactly which legacy products I use on the Hawkeye to produce correct exposures under different lighting conditions.  Except for the lighting Neutral Density film, all items I use are no longer manufactured.  They can still be obtained in the online market place from various sources, at reasonable prices.  I do not shoot the Hawkeye as often as this conglomeration of accessories might indicate.  Most of these items I already had from previous camera deals.


The complete setup.  Ready for use.


Same setup showing the filters & adapters.  You can see the ND film cut into "round" pieces, ready to slip into the Series 6 size filter holder.


Full List of Filters I Carry for the Hawkeye:

1 - Ednalite 25.5mm Slip-on to Series 5 Filter Adapter (Fits over the Hawkeye lens)
1 - Ednalite Series 5 to Series 6 Step-Up Ring
1 - 1.33 stop Kodak Series 6 Polascreen Polarizer
1 - 1 Stop Kodak Series 6 Yellow K2 Filter
1 - 1.25 Kodak Series 6 Green X1 Filter
1 - 3 Stop Kodak Series 6 Red Filter
1 - Skylight Kodak Series 6 Filter (Used to hold the ND Film in Place)
2 - 1 Stop Neutral Density Film (Cut to Series 6 Size)
2 - 1.5 Stop Neutral Density Film (Cut to Series 6 Size)
4 - 2 Stop Neutral Density Film (Cut to Series 6 Size)
1 - Kodak No. 13 Close-Up Attachment


Example: In this case from left to right:

 < 25.5mm slip-on to Series 5 adapter
< Series 5 to Series 6 step-up adapter
< Kodak Pola-Screen (Which has a built-in Series 6 size filter holder)
< Series 6 Green Filter
< Pola-Screen screw-in ring to hold filter in place

The slip-on adapter and the step-up adapter are used in all cases of added filtration.  This setup is wide enough to avoid vignetting of the image & in this example provides just over 2 1/2 stops of reduced light into the lens.

The above filtration example in place on the Hawkeye

The Neutral Density (ND) film is just that, flexible film.  It can be purchased anywhere that sells photography lighting supplies and is designed to be placed in front of studio lighting.  It is a Mylar type film and comes in large square sizes.  It scratches easily, so care must be taken.  The correct size round pieces can then be cut from those squares.  That is one reason I carry several pieces, in case one is lost or damaged.  Also take care not to smudge or get fingerprints on this ND film, as you would with any lens filters.

Since these round pieces of film are very thin, when no other filter types will be used in conjunction with the ND film, I use the Series 6 Skylight filter as hold medium to "hold" the thin film in place.


Here I show the slip-on adapter & the Series 5 to 6 adapter.  Then the correct number & strength of ND film pieces are placed into the Series 6 adapter.  The Skylight filter goes over the ND film to hold in place & finally the cap is screwed in place to hold all together.


The ND film now in place and in this case ready for a 2 stop reduction in light reaching the film


As you can see this set-up provides a wide range of light reduction capabilities for your Hawkeye.  I was lucky and did not need to go out and purchase all this equipment.  Most I already had on hand from previous Kodak camera purchases.  These filters and adapters are all still available to purchase used on sites like eBay.  If you are just going to be shooting a couple of rolls of film through your Brownie Hawkeye, this is overkill.  However, if you have any of this laying around, or just want to experiment, it makes for a very nice setup.  Good luck!


Copyright: Bruce Varner 1972-2021