Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

Vest Pocket Hawk-Eye

Eastman Kodak Company

Name: Vest Pocket Hawk-Eye
Type: Folding (Rollfilm)
Manufacturer: Eastman Kodak Company
Country of Origin: US
Construction: Conventional vertical format folding camera, finished in a crackle coating in various colours with coloured bellows.
Plate / Film Size: 127 rollfilm
Dimensions (w x h x l):  
Production Period: 1930 - 1933

The Vest Pocket Hawk-Eye camera was made in a set of colours, in common with many other models in the late 1920s and early 1930s, namely blue, brown, green, orchid and rose.

Model / Variant: Blue, with grey bellows
Lens: Simple meniscus
Shutter: Rotary shutter with choice of four stops
Movements: None
Date of this Example: c1930
Serial Number: Number 38607 marked on lens surround
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [x]
  • Hard to Find [ ]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 144

<Photographs to be added>


The Vest Pocket Hawk-Eye camera was available in a choice of 4 colours, which are (according to McKeown): blue, green, orchid & rose. This example is therefore "blue". The bellows are original, but have some small holes to corners. The bellows have stiffened and do not pull out easily to full extent. This example of the Vest Pocket Hawk-Eye is complete with its original sales carton. This appears to be a patterned sleeve over an inner plain cardboard section, a bit like a matchbox. Unfortunately, sellotape has been applied across one end, and the seller had applied a strip of tape to the other before being dispatch! In addition, it also has the instruction booklet, with gold covering. The gold covering and the edges of the pages have been affected by some form of coloured dye, though not apparently from the camera itself.


Compare with the Rainbow Hawk-Eye Vest Pocket camera, which is essentially the same camera. The two cameras are almost identical, as shown in the side-by-side photograph below. The most obvious difference between the two is the name that appears on the shutter face plate. Other differences are quite subtle.

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Stiffening of the bellows and holes at the corners is a fairly common problem with these cameras. The cloth based bellows seem to lose their flexibility with age. In addition, be very careful when pulling out the lens standard as the layers of the bellows are also prone to sticking together. It can be a good idea to remove the camera from its back and gently ease the bellows apart from the rear while pulling from the front.