Bill Hansen considers himself smarter than the average bear, although fortunately he has never had to put that hypothesis to a test. He was born at a very young age and, much to his chagrin, has been getting progressively older ever since. He has a lovely B.A. in Cultural Anthropology adorning his bathroom wall and it is, by far, the single most expensive piece of paper he owns. An award-winning photographer currently based out of Syracuse, NY, Bill's work has been exhibited multiple times at the New York State Fair and has been featured in several shows across Central New York.

He enjoys taking long walks on the beach; spontaneously going on adventures with his beautiful wife, even if it means driving twelve-hours just to try duck-fat-fried poutine; and sometimes, just sometimes, he finds subtle satisfaction in a good cup of coffee.

If given a choice, Bill would rather be in Hawaii.

Category Archives: Rollei Retro

How to flip a Brownie Hawkeye Flash lens

Brownie Hawkeye Flash

Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash

I’ve noticed a lot of search traffic hitting my site specifically looking for information on how to flip the lens of a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash (BHF). While there are probably multitudes of other resources on the interwebs, I figure I’ll just throw my two-cents out there.

For those who don’t know, the BHF is a black bakelite beauty with a top-down viewfinder, single element meniscus lens, shutter speed somewhere around 1/30 to 1/60 & a bulb setting, while it lacks a tripod mount, it has a nifty handle. In it’s heyday, the BHF was a very popular camera. Your grandparents most likely had one. Nowadays, you can find them cheaply at thrift stores, flea markets, garage sales, and eBay, or for a higher premium decorating shelves in antique stores & hipster boutiques.

I got mine for free on Craigslist thanks to a kind-hearted Samaritan who was donating several cameras to anyone who could justify receiving one. I simply wrote “I’ll use it.” It arrived in the mail a couple days later and I’ve been enthralled with it ever since.

Anywho, an unmodified BHF takes a relatively normal photograph, but something magical happens when you flip the lens. It’s like the soft focus of a vintage Diana multiplied to the Nth degree. The lens’ focal point shifts from infinity to about 3 feet in the center, while the edges just melt away into blurry goodness. The effect can be quite surreal.

Flipping the lens of a BHF is actually a simple procedure with a very low-risk of permanently #@$%-ing anything up and is easily reversible. That said, I assume no responsibility with these directions if you somehow manage to accidentally bork your favorite family heirloom.

Ready? Let’s get flipping.

Read more

BHF – Bridge to the Adirondacks

bhf-adk-bridge1a
Yet another flipped lens Brownie Hawkeye Flash, Rollei Retro 400 developed in Diafine. Tinted in PS.

BHF – More from the Adirondacks

bhf-lp-road1
NY 86, near Lake Placid, NY.

bhf-lp-ausableriver5reedtree
Ausable River.

bhf-lp-gorge
High Falls Gorge.

All taken with a flipped lens Brownie Hawkeye Flash, Rollei Retro 400 developed in Diafine.

BHF – Ausable River

bhf-lp-ausableriver1
The western branch of the Ausable River, near Lake Placid, NY.

Flipped lens Brownie Hawkeye Flash, Rollei Retro 400 developed in Diafine.

Kodak Jiffy II

IMG_2000a
The Kodak Jiffy II, a nifty $5 find at a recent garage sale.

A folding 6×9 ‘six-20’ camera with two viewfinders (horizontal & vertical), the original Jiffy had a really cool Art-Deco motif; the sequel here just has a plain black faux leather covering. It has a ‘twindar’ lens with two focus settings: ‘5-10ft’ & ‘beyond 10ft’; two shutter speeds: ‘I’ (about 1/60) and ‘T’ (bulb) and two apertures as well.

It needed some TLC after I purchased it. After a thorough cleaning, the biggest problems were a sticky shutter and folding mechanism. Careful application of some ball-bearing oil resolved both issues. As Kodak discontinued  its ‘six-20’ film for quite some time now, I trimmed the plastic spindle on a roll of 120 film and used the metal 620 take up spool that came with the camera.
Read more

Chittenango Falls & The Parking lot of Green Lake State Park

Ithaca Falls Holga

 

holga_ithacafallstreea

A shot of Ithaca Falls taken with a Holga 120CFN with a vintage Kodak red filter on Rollei Retro 400 film (Afga APX equivalent) and developed in a fresh solution of Diafine. Scanned with an Epson v500, curves slightly tweaked in PS.