Jollylook Cardboard Camera is, as the name says, a vintage style
Instant camera for Fuji Instax
Mini film made of cardboard. It was a Kickstarter project. Launched in
February 2017, it
was financed in only 11 hours and should have been delivered in June
2017. By the end of the campaign they received 25 times their goal.
Until mid May 2017 all seemed fine. Then there was a long silence from
the makers, only a few updates but in June 2018, a year too late,
shipping started. The cameras delivered were a disaster, they were
nearly all faulty. Production was then moved from China to Ukraine,
which improved the quality, but it turned out that there was fraud
within the Chinese contractor's firm and the money they had payed in
advance was gone. It took another year until June 2019 that the
Ukainian production was ready to ship. Then there wasn't enough money
to ship the cameras. They decided to sell a part of the production
outside of the project and ship to a part of the backers with the money
from the sale. By January 2020 still a part of the pledges aren't
shipped. Nevertheless they still try hard to get the pledges fullfilled.
They launched a new project for a better, automatic camera made of
wood, the Jollylook Auto, launched in February 2020. A small part of the money from the new
campaign will go to the fulfilment of the old.
Film Format: Fujifilm Instax Mini Film Exposure Area: 62mm x 46mm Lens Focal Length: 110mm (indicated by the makers, but I have doubts, it looks more than the ordinary ~60mm) Aperture: F8-F64 + pinhole Shutter Speed: Bulb Mode, 1/250s, 1/160s and T Film Ejection Mechanism: Hand powered Multiple Exposures: Unlimited Tripod Mount: No No Film Counter Size: 85 x 127 x 48 mm Weight: 270 gr.
Some pictures of the camera:
pledge from Kickstarter...
...in a nice stylish box...
...the cardboard camera protected.
What's in the box. The camera, instructions, elastic band and paper straws. No indications for the use of the straws.
As soon as you unfold the camera, you see the reason for the straws:
without, the camera will not keep straight, there are no struts. So
there are 4 straws for 4 distance settings.
left side, held open via a straw. This isn't too stable, so handle
with care. Ejection handle on the body. The front standard is only
guided by 2 sewing threads.
camera front. On the left side of the front standard: aperture selector
an shutter release; on the right selector for shutter or T setting. the
lens can be moved up for pinhole setting.
side, shutter cocked. You pull the finder out of the front standard and
the shutter is cocked. The metal pin inserted, as on the photo, slows
the shutter from 1/250 to 1/160.
Back open. Only foam as film pressure system.
Just to give you an idea, some photos, taken with the first camera:
First shot on a dull day. F11, infinity, a bit blurry.
Second try. The finder is very approximative. F11, infinity.
Third try. Slight blur, maybe the limits of a single meniskus lens. Infinity. The ejection mechanism isn't reliable. It sometimes
moves 2 photos at a time, sometimes a second photo is only moved a bit,
as above. Foam instead of springs for the pressure system might not be
a good idea.
Test. Ejection of an unexposed photo. All photos have white dots, most probably the rollers are bad.
The straw jumped off, total blur. I gave up.
I bought my camera off Ebay. A very kind seller sent me another one at
no costs. The new one is MUCH better than the first one. The rollers
are fine. It'also much sharper than the first one inspite of its simple
lens. Here are just some photos to show the difference, all photos
1/160s and F 16:
Very cloudy day.
The pictures are sharp now for a simple lens like this.
And no problems with the rollers.
The idea of a simple
cardboard camera is tempting. The design is nice and it
works well if you have a good one. There are 2 shutter speeds and a wide choice of apertures + a
pinhole, much more than most basic Lomo cameras offer.
is only an aiming device, but it helps well. The
front standard is only guided by 2 sewing threads. It's a bit fiddely
extend. There are no struts, so the flap doesn't stay fixed and the
standard doesn't stay upright. If you put the straws provided, it keeps
if you are used to it, but can easily jump off. The ejection
system on my first one was faulty and
erratic. The second one is fine. Having several focal length will
certainly be fun. As a giveaway for the purchase of 10 or 20 packs of
film, this would
be a marvellous start for people to get into the basics of photography.
I have subscribed for the new wooden model, which is more
sophisticated. That one will certainly be easier to handle with
its automatc shutter and its more rigid body. I look forward to it.