I picked up the Brownie Bullseye at a garage sale at the Old West End Festival a couple of years back for $3 or $4, boxed, with the flash attachment. After letting it sit in its box on top of my camera display shelf for a year or two, I finally got around to running a test roll through it this past May.
The Bullseye takes 620 film, and doesn’t accept 120 spools, so this was my first attempt at respooling 120 film onto a 620 spool. Honestly, it’s not that big of a deal: I sat on my basement stairs in the dark and wound the film onto one 620 spool, then back onto another 620 spool. I’m sure I’ll get quicker at it once I develop the muscle memory.
Surprisingly, I only had a couple of very minor streaks and light leaks thanks to my respooling attempt; for the most part, I really liked the pictures that came from this test roll.
(Of course, being a test roll, these are unretouched photos. If I were going to print any of these, I’d do some post-processing in Photoshop.)
Once I got the focus right, and kept the camera properly still, I feel like I got some decent images out of this box camera. The shutter speed has been estimated at about 1/50 sec, which is really on the lower end of handholdability, but still doable.
(Also, I intentionally try not to take any amazing or unique shots on a test roll, because it’s just so heartbreaking when they don’t come out. So I stick with tried-and-true subjects in normal situations. Although I do wish I’d used the right focus on the first photo of my son, above. Case in point.)
My standard shot of the PNC building out my boss’s window (below) reveals that this camera has a moderately wide angle lens — wider than the 50mm Cintar on my Argus C3, at any rate.
Having grown up on 24 and 36-exposure rolls of 35mm, it seems like a real bummer to only get eight exposures on a roll. The negatives are large, though, so if you can get a crisp image (by using a tripod, perhaps), you could get some mighty nice enlargements. It’s a trade-off.
Overall, I like the camera for what it is: an attractive mid-century box camera with zone focus and a slowish shutter. Will I use it often? Probably not, but I’m still glad to have it in my