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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The FilmOut Camera

This, my dear readers, is a FilmOut Camera:

Ok, to clarify, I gave it that name because I didn't know what it was called. I went to my usual photolab to develop some shots as usual and I noticed a new toy camera they had.

Not only that, but the box showed that the roll of film was exposed?? 

(Note: Usually when a film negative is exposed to light, it becomes overexposed and everything on the negative turns white. So when doing film photography, exposing the film negative entirely is a strict no-no.)

I asked to take a look and when they took it out of the box, the film roll was indeed exposed! The key design feature that made this possible was the closeness of the camera to the slit in the roll where the film would exit. The design made it such that the film roll would sit right next to the camera so that the film would be wound from the roll to the other side of the camera (the side of the astronaut in my picture) 

I couldn't help it, I just had to give it a try for $20. 

Lo and Behold, it works!

There were caveats, of course:

The camera should be used where there is strong light, or a source of strong light. Such cameras are typical point-and-shoots and they don't have additional features like flashes or light meters to allow you to take nice pictures in dark rooms or at night. 

The pictures appear in a continuous panorama. Perhaps because the film wasn't wound enough into the camera, the lab couldn't figure out where to cut the negatives. So you might notice parts of an earlier shot spilling into the next shot, like the 6th shot of the woman at Starbucks.

There are light leaks in each one because I didn't set the film firmly against the camera. That's why you see little stalagmites of light in each shot.

Still it is a unique collector's piece! I still want to bring it out to try again! Bonne chance!

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