Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Gakken - Japanese Stereo Pinhole

I had this toy on my wish list for ages and I finally got my hands on ! This is a DIY 35 mm Stereo Pinhole Camera made by Gakken, a pretty cool magazine in Japan where each issue comes with a different kit to assemble.

I'm quite impressed with quality of the kit, you don't need to understand Japanese and all you have to do is follow the pictures. I thought it was easy to put all the pieces together, everything fits well and as a result I got a really well made plastic camera with a cool design. The stereo viewer is the downside as the tapes provided were not good enough to keep the lens in place.

The camera has two modes: the stereo and the panoramic. I've already got a stereo camera so I took most of the shots with the pan mode, and I love it... I really recommend, specially if you want to try stereo photography. Most of the good stereo cameras are quite expensive and you might pay over £150.00 for a good one. I know there's been some plastic stereo cameras around (Loreo and Holga) for a reasonable price but I don't think you have the option to do both formats, besides the DIY fun and design are unique.

The picture below was the only one I took using the stereo format and later transformed into anaglyph file, in that way you can still see the 3D effect using a pair of red and cyan glasses.

My DIY chart with the exposure times that my Japanese friend kindly translated.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Zenit 12XP

This is my very first SLR camera I bought many years ago... the Zenit 12XP is a very bulky and solid Russian camera able to prooduce amazing good quality pictures. That's because like many other Russian cameras, the lens are razor sharp without paying the price of a top lens. Unfortunately, a poor metering system and the lak of slow speeds makes the Zenith a not so "every ocasion" camera. With only B, 30, 60, 125, 250, 500 speeds available it can be a let down camera when photographing low light or scenes or, where a faster shutter speed is required like sports scenes.

The metering system works with two red leds instead of the usual needle that most of SLR cameras, for these shots though I've used my hand held meter as I don't think that after all this years it would be still accurate.