I made this camera in 2007, following the instructions of the Czech manufacturer in the Internet. Some years later, and after several accidents, I’m ready to talk about how marvelous it would be shooting everything with this little piece of carton paper!
I’ve never been good with the hand crafts. That’s why I had some doubts about making this experiment. But the desires were so much stronger: Make a pinhole camera with materials easily found at home. And that wasn’t all: It had to be a really good-looking paper camera.
Dirkon is a mixture of two words: DIR (the beginning of the Czech word ‘dírka’, that means pinhole), and KON (the end of the name of a well-known Japanese camera that needs no introduction). In my first years as a lomographer, I’ve never heard about this kind of pinhole camera, but one day while exploring the Internet, I found a manual of the manufacturer.
My first impression was “I’ve got to have a lot of patience”. OK, I tried to follow the main instructions and tips, for example: use only 35mm format, make the pinhole correctly with a needle, make sure that the inside of this camera is dark, use stiff paper, etc. But I failed to put all the parts together. And the light leaked a lot.
Here are some tips: It is very important to print the cut-out to from the author in the correct size, i.e. 1 : 1. When you are printing from the Acrobat Reader, the option “Fit to page” MUST NOT be selected, otherwise the pages might come out smaller than recommended. And also make sure that you don’t have any light filtrations from outside, but for me this was a very happy accident, and I consider them a plus!
For the ones who want “no leaks” the design could be significantly improved by sticking on a thin piece of metal with a hole, rather than making the hole in the paper, as described in the instructions.
Dirkon was made obviously for FOMA 21ºDIN film, very similar indeed to Ilford 100 PAN. But you can use it with any 35 mm film, and i’ve tried it with colour negative film fujicolor 400 and b&w film (agfa apx, fuji neopan ss, ilford 50 pan, etc) several times.
A last few things on technical matters:
Lens: ABC dikkor
1 : 130
I hope you’ve enjoyed this camera, in case any of you decide to make one. Is pretty easy, and believe me: Easy also for people with two left hands :D I’m still in love with her pure lo-fi style!