Pics now added - Time to share - Hawkeye ii

Discuss older Nikon-based Kodak digital SLRs, including DCS 100, DCS 200, NC2000, DCS 400/600/700-series, etc. Ask questions, post general comments, anecdotes, reviews and user tips.
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Joined:Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:47 pm
Location:Brisbane, Australia
Pics now added - Time to share - Hawkeye ii

Post by » Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:19 am

Hi there,

been lurking for some time, and I think its time to step up to the plate and start sharing some stuff with you guys.

I'm a Press Photographer in Australia, and to keep myself poor, and my wife unhappy, I collect Nikons.

I believe that sharing information and knowledge is critical to our joint interest.

Was extremely lucky to obtain a Hawkeye ii a few months ago. I didnt think I would ever get to see one let alone own one...

Initially I was worried that the sensor seemed too large and that I had bought some sort of "mash-up".

However with incredible helpfulness of Ron Volmershausen, and his contact with the legendary Jim McGarvey he discovered it is actually an even rarer version of the Hawkeye ii, a Mono M3 sensor version.

Until this camera popped up the only known image of it was a small photocopied B/W picture in an US Defence paper (again found by the amazing Ron Vol!!)

This is what Jim has said to Ron about this particular camera:

"A B&W M3 back is a rare one. The 9036 date code on the voltage regulator dates it pretty late in the HEII timeframe. is likely a camera that was sold to the Gov't. and not a Kodak leftover. We made a couple of those for the CIA, as a follow up project to the EO camera."

"I knew the FBI tested some of the cameras, but I didn't remember that they had any with the M3 sensor. I've never come up with a good total number of tethered HEIIs. I usually say I think we made a few dozen, and that's pretty ambiguous!"

"The M3 sensor is the 16um, 1024 x 1280 sensor in the DCS camera. We put a couple of them in Hawkeye II's to test, before we built the DCS prototypes. M3 was the first color CCD we used, and I know we made a color HEII. I believe we made some HEII's with mono M3's as well, but I don't remember any specifics. The one in your picture could be either mono or color. I remember distinctly the first M3 we tested had a rectangular 'cluster defect' that took out about 1/4 of the pixels.
Thanks for all the info. Those were exciting days.."

With the moderators permission I will happily add some attachments of pictures I have taken of the unit. (I think I need approval for the ability to add attachments?)

Kind regards Lyndon
Last edited by on Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Stan Disbrow
Joined:Fri May 20, 2005 7:33 pm
Location:Raleigh, NC USA

Re: Time to share - Hawkeye ii

Post by Stan Disbrow » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:44 am


Cool! I also made quite a few of what I call 'skunk works' things for the US Govt during my days at IBM and, later, at Ericsson. Those are always interesting items.

Back in the 1996 timeframe, when I was at Ericsson, I was involved in making a special version of our MPA public safety handheld 2-way radio for NASA. They used it on the shuttle for their amateur radio project, talking from space to school children mostly. I only recently found out that they were still using them on the International Space Station.

I found out when they announced they were finally retiring them a couple weeks ago.

Not cameras, but still very interesting that such a skunk works item would be in service for such a long time. :)

I look forward to learning more about the HE-II from you.


Ps: Skunk Works was the name of Kelley Johnson's sideline shop for government 'specials' at Lockheed. Such a wonderful name! ;)
Amateur Photographer
Professional Electronics Development Engineer
Joined:Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:47 pm
Location:Brisbane, Australia

Re: Time to share - Hawkeye ii

Post by » Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:02 pm

I purchased this from a sports photographer near Washington DC.
And this is what he told me he knew about its history:

Years before he had been gifted it by a friend who worked at the FBI, who was not a photographer there, but whose boss knew
he liked cameras and passed on the now long redundant camera.

The sports photographer had it authenticated a good number of years ago by Eastman House, who at that time did not have an example of a Hawkeye ii at all.
At the time they made some serious noises about buying the unit for their own museum...but amazingly it was about this time that the box of old Kodak digital relics/machines was found just before they were due to be thrown out!
So the sports photog got to keep his camera.

Ive crossed referenced these details with emails I have seen from Jim McGarvey, and the timing etc all matches perfectly.
However Jim thought only the CIA/Military only got these special mono Hawkeye's, so its possible the sports photographer may have mis-remembered the FBI instead of CIA...

So lets see if this image hosting thing works...

Some high res. views of the new toy:

The rubber grip on the shutter dial is missing, but I think its accidental rather than by design.
Note there was some sort of large sticker on the front of the drive, only its residue remains.

Side. There are a number of empty "holes" around the unit.

Top. The MD drive shutter is very different

The pins are even thinner than on the DCS 100....quite scary to refit! Cool triple lights.

Its all a solid hunk of machined alloy, the handle is milled to clear the front bulge on the F3. The finger grips
is a stuck on rubber type grip.


The back, with the large mono sensor and a #129 serial number

The very rare Mono M3 sensor, used for the likes of the CIA and FBI for max resolution and sensitivity.
The surround reads KAFI 300 on one side and MA 179 on the other.

They are working prototypes, so the "gaps" are not what the later production models enjoyed! (and yes,
this is fully pushed down as far as it goes!!)

Front, but remember its not as bad as it seems..the bottom of the camera body fills most of the space
in between.

3/4 view

Top showing sensor position

( Your'e right Stan "Skunk works" is one of the greatest sounding terms there wonder so many industries have stolen it!
You must also be very proud of your radios...thats a long service time!)

If there is any interest I can post some more detail shots.

I have also taken some quite a number of direct comparison shots with the hawkeye ii directly alongside one of the DCS100 units I have, if they are of any interest to people?

Please let me know if there are any further details I can help with.

Cheers, Lyndon

how do you upload pictures

Joined:Fri Nov 03, 2006 10:34 am

Re: Pics now added - Time to share - Hawkeye ii

Post by precertvideo » Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:11 pm

Congratulations for owning this, and thank you for the pictures.

DCS serial no. survey
RC-760, EOS-1D & Ds Mk I, II, III, EOS*DCS-3, 5, DCS, DCS-200ci, 420, 460, D1, D1H & X, D2H & X, E2, F, F2, F3, F4, MVC-2000, 5000, 7000, RD-175, 3000, EF 50mm f/1.0, Audi S2, Porsche 911, GSX-R1000 K9

John Millham
Joined:Thu Jan 17, 2008 9:14 am
Location:Oxfordshire, U.K.

Re: Pics now added - Time to share - Hawkeye ii

Post by John Millham » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:50 pm

My DCS 100 outfit, in its grey case, was on its way to Chris Sap in Belgium by DPD when it went missing over a month ago. I assume it has been stolen, as it's huge and weighs 25 kg. If it turns up anywhere, I would, of course, be very interested. :evil: ] The F3 camera number is 1923036, the winder is K370-1564, the sensor is K370-0465, the DSU is K370-2645 and the keyboard is K370-3314.
A similar camera, but not so complete or in as good condition, sold on eBay last week for £2622.00!
Joined:Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:47 pm
Location:Brisbane, Australia

Re: Pics now added - Time to share - Hawkeye ii

Post by » Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:05 pm

Thats terrible mate, I'll keep an eye out for you into the has to turn up somewhere!

(At least it wont have been easy for the you say, its the most stupidly heavy "kit" of all time!)

Commiserations and regards, Lyndon

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