Category Archives: 52 Cameras Project

52 different cameras for 52 weeks.

52 Cameras: New Taiwan Pantium DL1000

Trashcam: “any camera whose value at least doubles when loaded with film.”
From http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Trashcam

It has a taking lens, a viewfinder lens, a waist-level lens, and a mirror. Pseudo TLR? TLR? ThreeLR?

PDF manual on the Manuals & Ephemera page.



From Beware the Pantium, my Son at I still ♥ film: “And my favourite part – a lens cap which says ‘camera’ on it. Given the amount of times I’ve tried to put my lens caps back on the kettle, this is super handy.”

My take is this: With all the effort put into fake bits to make it look, fooling no one, like a real camera, they could have built a real camera.

There may be some images here at some point. In spite of this being a valueless piece of carp when it works, I’m going to try to fix it. After the 1st tear-down, I had to go back in because I had a wire across the frame counter dial and the waist level viewfinder mirror came off. It has two plastic posts with the ends melted to hold the mirror. The spring that resets the counter when the back is opened broke and then my repair broke. I think I’ll replace it with a rubber band. It will make sense when I post tear-down & (hopefully) repair entries. I do love a pointless challenge.

52 Cameras: Vivitar PS:35




Another found photo. Kodak Max 400.

Another found photo. Kodak Max 400.


Rio Grande

Rio Grande


Trees on the way to the river.

Trees on the way to the river.


Jem checking out the stray cats outside.

Jem checking out the stray cats outside.


Not sure what happened here but I like it.

Not sure what happened here but I like it.




Sometimes getting information about a camera is pretty piecemeal.

It's actually a pretty sophisticated little camera. I may try to find the older, non-DX version to get more control.

It’s actually a pretty sophisticated little camera. I may try to find the older, non-DX version to get more control.


I can't remember if this is from an auction site, a wiki, or someone's blog.

I can’t remember if this is from an auction site, a wiki, or someone’s blog.


A screen grab of the box on an auction site gave me flash distance and max ISO.

A screen grab of the box on an auction site gave me flash distance and max ISO.


A tiny blurb in the September 1984 issue of Popular Science has shutter and aperture information. Typo - should say f/16, not f/1.6.

A tiny blurb in the September 1984 issue of Popular Science has shutter and aperture information. Typo – should say f/16, not f/1.6.


My test roll.

My test roll.

52 Cameras: Thornward Dandy No. 5


Sources & mentions in the video:

Label & strut pictures. And quite a collection:
http://dtristramludwig.com/collection.html

1905 Montgomery Ward catalog:
http://www.piercevaubel.com/cam/catalogs/1905wardslp096.htm

Wollensak Junior info & 1903 catalog:
https://alphaxbetax.com/Wollensak%20Lens%20and%20Shutter%20Compendium/#Junior

1912-1913 Wollensak Lens and Shutter Catalog:
https://alphaxbetax.com/wollensak-catalogs-etc/

Aperture, f-Stops, and the U.S. System:
http://throughavintagelens.com/2010/01/the-u-s-f-stop-system/



What looks like a reflection at the bottom of the image is a note written on the back with a marker. It doesn’t show up on the paper but the scanner light brought it out on the image.
Arista paper negative. This was in the 1st batch & I over-processed a bit. The contrast is cool but not a lot of detail.

Arista paper negative. This was in the 1st batch & I over-processed a bit. The contrast is cool but not a lot of detail.


Arista paper negative. A Mamiya TLR I'll feature soon. Bit of a light leak.

Arista paper negative. A Mamiya TLR I’ll feature soon. Bit of a light leak.


Arista 4x5 film. Contrast is from shooting into the sunset. Cropped for light leak.

Arista 4×5 film. Contrast is from shooting into the sunset. Cropped for light leak.

Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day 2020 (backup and backup-backup)

For 2020, I’m doing an extremely-long-exposure photograph or solargraph. The Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day rules are that the photograph must be taken “on the day annually designated as Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day ( April 26, 2020 )” or “Extremely long exposures will be accepted if any part of the exposure was made on Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day…”

I started the exposure on 1 May 2019 and I want to do a full year. That means if the exposure is a bust, I’ve missed WPPD and I’ve got nothing.

So… I decided to make another pinhole camera and use a scanner. I used a USB powered Canon LIDE 30 as a digital back and VueScan and TWAIN-SANE software. The results are not a supreme victory but first, the camera.

JPEG from a PDF page print from http://mrpinhole.com/. I used 8×10 inches as the portion of the 8.5×11″ scanner in case I had to resort to paper. The 16″ film dimension is insurance and a trade off to get the specs I wanted.

I wanted to keep exposure simple and let in a lot of light so I chose a 1mm pinhole and a 10 inch (254mm) focal length to get f/256-ish, a nice power of 2.

I wanted to keep exposure simple and let in a lot of light so I chose a 1mm pinhole and a 10 inch (254mm) focal length to get f/256-ish, a nice power of 2.


It's big so the image won't be super sharp but the pinhole came out pretty well.

It’s big so the image won’t be super sharp but the pinhole came out pretty well.


Foamboard is versatile stuff.

Foamboard is versatile stuff.


I had to actually think about how to get the required sizes from a 20x30" piece. The horror!

I had to actually think about how to get the required sizes from a 20×30″ piece. The horror!


Hot glue is wonderful stuff. Too bad I didn't account for the thickness in the construction calculations (had to fudge a bit).

Hot glue is wonderful stuff. Too bad I didn’t account for the thickness in the construction calculations (had to fudge a bit).


I made it too tall on purpose but the 1st rough cut is fugly.

I made it too tall on purpose but the 1st rough cut is fugly.


It sanded up rather nicely.

It sanded up rather nicely.


Pinhole mount coming along.

Pinhole mount coming along.


Pinhole READY TO ROCK! Too much? Anyway, I'm excited.

Pinhole READY TO ROCK! Too much? Anyway, I’m excited.


Black construction paper to fill in the gaps.

Black construction paper to fill in the gaps.


The assembled beast.

The assembled beast.


Sadly, in the short term, it was not to be. I got something, but nothing to write home about.

Tree in the back yard.

Tree in the back yard.


Different scan settings. Tree in the back yard.

Different scan settings. Tree in the back yard.


I’m not completely ignorant about exposure. Something is going on with the scanner. I even tried an emergency, 1/2 the focal distance (f/128-ish) cardboard box.

Maybe this will help.

Maybe this will help.


Not happy with the results, I had to implement plan C. I replaced the scanner with print paper.

The super-complex, 8x10 print paper taped to a piece of foam board version.

The super-complex, 8×10 print paper taped to a piece of foam board version.


The result is pretty sweet. I’m not insane (about this any way) and the camera works well.

Tree in the back yard. Inexpensive Arista photo paper negative. Metered for ISO 6 at f/256.

Tree in the back yard. Inexpensive Arista photo paper negative. Metered for ISO 6 at f/256.

I’m up late and it’s actually May 1st. At about 3:00 PM local time I’ll cover the shutter and find out if the long exposure worked.

52 Cameras: Tougodo Hit




Camera-wiki.org has a great page on the history of Tougodo (sometimes spelled Togodo).

A tear-down post is here.

Not much to show that’s not in the video. If I get crazy and try again, I’ll post more here.

Ilford SFX 200. Spooky backyard tree is spookier with ND & red filters (3 stops).

Ilford SFX 200. Spooky backyard tree is spookier with ND & red filters (3 stops).


Kodak T-MAX 100. The truck window tint was just the right amount of filter.

Kodak T-MAX 100. The truck window tint was just the right amount of filter.

Update: I used some little snips from film & loaded a couple of single frames. What do you even call the piece of film that comes out of the canister but doesn’t quite reach the shutter frame? Any way, the opposite end from the leader.

The tail of the Fujicolor I used in the Vivitar PS:35

The tail of the Fujicolor I used in the Vivitar PS:35


The tail of the Walgreens/AGFA I shot in the Nikkormat EL. Oops, snipped a little too much.

The tail of the Walgreens/AGFA I shot in the Nikkormat EL. Oops, snipped a little too much.

52 Cameras: Apple QuickTake 200 Viewfinder Parallax

A YouTube viewer asked about the parallax error when using the clip-on optical viewfinder. I did a quick & dirty experiment to find out. Original Quicktake 200 post is here.

The 3 focus ranges are 9-13cm for close-up, 45-90cm for portrait, & 90cm-infinity for landscape. The manual says, “IMPORTANT Do not use the close-up focus when you use the viewfinder. It is not accurate.” I didn’t bother with the close up setting but the next worst parallax would be the nearest focus of the portrait setting. The manual also says, “Estimate the focal distance from the front surface of the LCD screen to the object being photographed.” The LCD is on the back so I guess they mean its surface.

I put this on the wall in the kitchen.

Sometimes, science is ugly.

Sometimes, science is ugly.


I put the camera on a small tripod, and measured the distance to the wall so the LCD was 45cm away. I looked as straight through the viewfinder as I could and held still while M slid her finger along the ruler toward the center until I could see it. We repeated that for left, right, top, and bottom. The measurements are just relative to each other, not meaningful in themselves.

Left: 29cm, Right: 67cm, Top: 10cm, Bottom: 37cm

Next, I snapped a picture with the camera in the same place. Ignore the date & time – I didn’t set the camera’s clock.

I used composite out to the old TV instead of digging out the old laptop and Smartmedia floppy adapter.

I used composite out to the old TV instead of digging out the old laptop and Smartmedia floppy adapter.


The image captured these measurements.

Left: 28cm, Right: 60cm, Top: 13cm, Bottom: 38cm

I was a little off reading the ruler. This diagram shows the relationship of the viewfinder view and the sensor image.

Pretty wide angle and not too bad for a cheap plastic clip-on viewfinder.

Pretty wide angle and not too bad for a cheap plastic clip-on viewfinder.