Here's a review of another Do-It-Yourself camera from China. Marketed under a few brand names, it's fairly easy to assemble and fun to use.
I have been on a kit camera building kick lately. I am not sure if the change is brought on by getting comfortable with building baby furniture or just a maturity thing. Either way, I find it relaxing and a small sense of pride in making something work. My latest project was trying to get the Superheadz Plamodel kit. I had seen it around the internet for about two years. When I found myself really wanting one for myself, I had a difficult time locating them. Most of my usual haunts were out and on long back-order. In addition, Superheadz has a new more expensive, more complicated kit that they are marketing. That was not really feasible for me. I found that the Plamodel had a clone from China called the Camman. It looked entirely the same except by name.
A two week wait had it at my door.
The kit came with bilingual instructions in English and what I can assume is Chinese. The box contained everything I needed with parts and screwdriver. I found a small cutting plier an asset in removing the individual pieces from the molds.
I believe the entire build went together in thirty minutes. To be honest I put a few pieces on backwards and had to figure out how to put both of the two final halves together without dropping little parts on the floor. I had a little trouble with the lens sliding door. I took it apart and assembled again because I thought it was wrong, only to find out I needed to depress the slide lever before moving. Here is the finished product with the shutter door half open to show the movement action.
Here are the technical specs as given by seller:
- Format: 35mm
- Lens: Plastic
- Focal length: 28mm
- Aperture: f9.5
- Shutter speeds: 1/125
- Includes: Strap, Screwdriver, English manual.
It was a few days before I could test it out. I used a trusty Fujifilm 100 roll and tried it in some various lighting in the afternoon and morning. I found the lens surprisingly forgiving in different lighting of shade and direct light. I could also see that focus is central to the lens and is not great before 1.5 meters or after 15 meters.
I like the camera a lot for the $12 USD it cost me. There is no flash and I have another 28mm plastic camera, but the slide lock is invaluable. I have the habit of advancing the film after every shot from other cameras. With the slide covering the lens, the shutter is also locked. This assures a clumsy hand or bump will not fire off a useless shot. The lack of flash leaves it in the realm of daylight, but the focus-free lens means as soon as the shutter is open, I can start shooting. The aperture and speed were forgiving enough that I could take a good picture with the afternoon sun behind me or in the slight shade of a building without bad exposure.
My next kit to review is a paper pinhole. Until then, Aloha!