Brownie hawkeye flash adapter...

Discussion in 'Lo-Fi Cameras' started by ChristopherCoy, May 28, 2014.

  1. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    Somewhere I remember seeing a Web page that had a DIY flash adapter. Does anyone know the link?

    Or has anyone built an adapter for a Brownie Hawkeye? I'd like to try and hook up a radio trigger to fire cheap hot shoe flashes off camera.
     
  2. MichaelT72

    MichaelT72 Member

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  3. OP
    ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    Yes! !! Thank you!!!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using Tapatalk
     
  4. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Let us know how it works out
     
  5. snapguy

    snapguy Member

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    wow

    Adding strobe capability is a great project but I think I will stick to flashbulbs. But I agree how sharp these old box cameras can be. I have negatives and prints from my original camera. a Brownie Reflex (circ 1949) and am amazed how sharp they are.
     
  6. OP
    ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    I flipped the lens in one of my three. It's my favorite one to use.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using Tapatalk
     
  7. Denverdad

    Denverdad Subscriber

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    You might also consider this adapter. I bought one and found it to work well on my Duaflex III. Checking just now I find that it will fit the Brownie Hawkeye Flash as well.
     
  8. OP
    ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    Awesome!!!! Just bought one. I'm sure the materials to build my own who have cost just the same or more.

    The lingering question is if it will send a signal to the simple radio trigger, and sync with the camera??
     
  9. OP
    ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    It works!!! It works!!!! Now to put some film in the hawkeye and see how good it syncs.
     
  10. Denverdad

    Denverdad Subscriber

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    Christopher, the nice thing with electronic flash and its ability to "freeze" action is that there is an easy way to test sync without having to use up a roll of film. Just take off the back, aim at a wall, and then watch through the lens as you release the shutter. If it is properly synced you will see a bright circular flash of light. If the sync is off you will see the shutter paddle partly obstructing the aperture, or possibly even completely obstructing it (so no light is seen at all) if the sync is WAY off. If you have to, you can disassemble the camera and fine tune the shutter mechanism to get the sync right.

    Just don't be too close to the wall if you do this - the reflection is VERY bright! :blink:

    Good luck!
     
  11. GtownRick

    GtownRick Member

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    I would be interested to know what the results of your photos were, when using the adapter.
     
  12. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Welcome to APUG
     
  13. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    My first camera was a Brownie Hawkeye, but I never had the flash attachment. This is all very interesting.
     
  14. OP
    ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    I cant remember if I ever shot a roll with it or not.

    If I did, and its the roll of film that I'm thinking about, it was synced, but the frames were highly over exposed. I've never attempted anything else with it after that.
     
  15. AgX

    AgX Member

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    That adapter most likely will not take care of the synchro time issue connected with all box cameras.
     
  16. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    The old tinkerer/engineer in me wonders if, given the relatively benign electrical parameters of modern electronic flash trigger circuitry, one could put some sort of passive RC delay circuit in an adapter to add maybe 40 milliseconds delay to firing the flash, letting it work on M sync. I fear there are enough variations in sync timing and flash circuitry it might be unlikely to arrive at a universal fix, but it might work on a case by case basis.

    Since my only box camera has no flash, I have no incentive to torment myself any further over the idea! :whistling:
     
  17. AgX

    AgX Member

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    I expected such reply...

    And the synchro-switches in box cameras are simple enough for a tinkerer to turn his old plain box into a "synchro-box".
    Thus: no excuses.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2015
  18. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Aye -- but I might damage its collector value! :laugh:
     
  19. OP
    ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    Your conversation confuses me. What are syncro issues?

    If I used the flash adpater, and got over exposed photos, wouldn't that prove that the flash adapter works?
     
  20. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Due to its character of combustion a flash bulb typically is triggrerd "prematurely" that is before the shutter has completely opened.
    The character of the electronic discharge tube however necessitates to be triggered at the start of the completely open period.

    This synchronisation is critical for discharge flashes. For combustion flashes how critical that is depends on the kind and location of the shutter, and once effectivity expectations. Thus with the latter there should be room for trial.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2015
  21. M Carter

    M Carter Member

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    OP, you can try it for yourself, as noted in a post above - remove the back and trigger a flash with the brownie while you watch through the shutter/lens - you'll either see a perfect circle of white, or a sort of lunar-eclipse circle. If it's not perfect, the flash is firing before or after the shutter is fully open.

    There are some tutorials on the web regarding bending the flash contact to get it to align. Takes a little trial and error.

    Here's a pic swiped from the web:
     

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  22. Jeff Bradford

    Jeff Bradford Subscriber

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    Yes. Also, if you want to use an older high-voltage flash, add an SCR or transistor/thyristor stage.
     
  23. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Now its me who does not get point...

    It was just in the old box cameras days that trigger-voltage was quite high. Or do you refer to setting a flash trigger into an otherwise not sufficiently isolated shutter assembly. In this case you are right. I neglected this issue.
     
  24. Jeff Bradford

    Jeff Bradford Subscriber

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    Some older flash units couple the capacitor directly to the contact switch in the camera. The high-wattage discharge of the capacitor is enough to fry components rated for low-power. Using a transistor or SCR allows the power to be shunted passed the components of the RC delay portion. Since we're talking about a camera that needs an X-sync delay to adapt from its M-sync, it is unlikely there is anything in the camera to be damaged by switching the entire load of the capacitor internally. The easiest, of course, would be to use a modern flash that only uses a signal voltage. Then you just need a resistor and capacitor in series.
     
  25. AgX

    AgX Member

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    The old bulb flashes had enormous currents that synchro-contacts had to withstand, especially when flashes were set up in parallel.
    The use of trigger capacitators the same time limited this current to extreme short times.

    Concerning electronic flashes, it is never the charging capacitator that is coupled to the synchro-contacts, but a accessory capacitator. This capacitator not only has lower capacity, but typically has lower voltage too.
    Yes, modern flashes have a low-voltage semiconductor switch to control that accessory capacitator.