Jollylook Pinhole Square Camera is a simple vintage style
Instant pinhole camera for Fuji Instax Square film, made of plywood.
There was a Mini film version before. It was a Kickstarter project, as
all Jollylook projects.
Their first project was a cardboard camera, 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. Meanwhile all the pledges are fullfilled.
They launched a new project for a better, automatic camera made of
plywood, the Jollylook Auto in both formats, Mini and Square, in
February 2020. They clearly said that a small part of the money from
campaign went to the fulfilment of the old. Then came Covid and
complicated things a lot. And finally Russia attacked Ukraine and there
was war. The makers did not give up which would have been easy and
understandable. Instead, they decided to move outside Ukraine to
Slovakia and restart with some of their tools, but mainly from scratch.
Of course they were in need of money, so they started two intermediate
projects, based on the wooden housings they already had, but without
electronics. They offered them as DIY kits for cheap. So first there was
the Pinhole Mini. They found enough backers and the kits were
successfully shipped. Then the Square Pinhole followed, same thing, the
project was successful. This is the result of the DIY kit. You can now
buy the camera readily mounted. And the Auto project came on its rails again,
hopefully to be delivered in 2024. There is a page about the mounting of this camera here.
Film Format: Fujifilm Instax Square Film Exposure Area: 62mm x 62mm Lens Focal Length: 50mm to 110mm Aperture: pinhole, value depends on the focal set (F132 to F289) Shutter Speed: Bulb Mode Film Ejection Mechanism: Hand powered Multiple Exposures: Unlimited Tripod Mount: yes No Film Counter Size: 120 x 140 x 95 mm Weight: 500 gr. film included
Some pictures of the camera:
pledge from Kickstarter.
The camera mounted. Front closed.
Camera back with exposure calculator. A nice gadget, it really works, but personally I prefer a simple table.
The bottom has the necessary tripod socket. Ejection handle on the side.
Camera open. There are stops from 60mm to 110mm. 50mm has no real stop.
setting. As the distances are inscribed to the side of the stop, you
can't see the actual one which is hidden by the front standard.
Exposure table. This is a simple
wooden pinhole camera. The design is nice and it
works OK. It is very nice to have different focal settings, most
pinhole cameras are boxes with fixed focal length. The shutter which is
aided by magnets, works fine,
is only an aiming device, but it helps well. The
absence of a 50mm stop is no problem as long as the camera is
horizontal or looks down, the bellows provide some tension. If you aim
the camera upwards, the bellows collapse, so you have to block the
front standard. As the standard is near to the body in this position,
just put a finger between the two near the base of the finder and hold.
Some photos taken with this camera. Scanned at
400dpi without any processing. Some data noted on the margin of the
photo. The pictures are bigger on the screen
than the real photos (6.3x6.3cm), the real photos in your hand look much sharper:
Cologne, park next to St. Pantaleon
Cologne, new tax offices (1950s)
Park, lawn and trees. There was some wind, so some grass was moving.
It is interesting, that at 110mm grass at 10cm and the tree at about 8m are both sharp, whereas the trees at more than 20m are a bit blurred. 50mm and 60mm are hardly different. There will be some more photos in some months.
I had subscribed for the Auto model. That one will certainly be easier to handle with
its automatic shutter. I still hope it will be made and I look forward to it.