Also known as SuperHeadz Plamodel DIY 35mm Camera, this easy-to-assemble kit camera can produce some very interesting results.
The Camman 35mm Camera Kit is a snap-together kit which is also sometimes sold under the name “SuperHeadz Plamodel DIY 35mm Camera”. This kit is actually an unassembled Vivitar IC 100. The Vivitar IC 100 and IC 101 are nearly identical cameras with the 101 being a pseudo-panoramic camera with a switch to move some levers into place over the film to produce the “wide-screen” panoramic format. Occasionally, you can find an IC 100 with a standard hot shoe. The kit does not have the panoramic switch or the hot shoe.
Putting it Together
The camera comes with all the parts and tools you need to put it together. Most of the construction is snap-together, but there are a few couple of parts that are secured by screws. The kit includes a small screwdriver. The instructions are clear and the construction is straight-forward, but there were a couple of tricky parts – mostly due to the small parts. As I was putting it together I was often surprised at the high tolerances and the smoothness of the movements once they were assembled.
Loading the camera was easy. The take up spool and sprocket assembly is actually one of my favorite layouts. It’s very similar to the Holga 135 series with the sprockets on top and bottom and the film winding onto the take-up spool from the bottom. This makes for a very secure grip on the film. The back closed easily with a positive click.
Shooting was simple, as with any fixed focus, fixed aperture point and shoot camera. There is a slide-away cover for the lens with an interlock to prevent you from accidentally taking a picture with the lens cover closed.
After you slide the lens cover open, you just point and shoot. The viewfinder is not very bright and it does not cover a very large percentage of the final image. This is not one of the camera’s strong points. Winding the film was fast, easy, and the film stopped confidently at the next frame.
The camera can be tricked into doing multiple-exposures by holding down the rewind button while advancing to the next frame.
Rewinding was straight-forward. I just held in the rewind button and rewound. The rewinding was smooth all the way to the end.
The camera has a 28mm lens which is squarely in wide-angle territory. The aperture is f/9.5. The shutter speed is 1/125". So, this camera has better low-light performance than most plastic point and shoot cameras. The first roll I shot was 400 ASA on a cloudy day and it was over-exposed. The second roll I shot was 200 ASA on a cloudy day and it was better.
The plastic lens yields the expected “plasticy” results. Focus is soft and drops off even more at the edges. In some pictures, you’ll also notice a fair amount of rectilinear distortion at the edges. I’ve cropped some of the pictures for better composition, so you won’t notice the distortion on some of them. There’s also a fair amount of vignetting.
Plastic softness, rectilinear distortion, vignetting – some people are looking for these qualities, so they are not necessarily negatives. Only two out of the fifty or so pics I snapped showed any signs of light leaks.
Overall, this is a fun project and you end up with a fun camera to use that will give you nice retro-film results.
Here are some sample pics. Note the strong vignetting on some of these. The last ones were overexposed and required a fair amount of digital tweaking.