Gakken Pinhole Camera


I got a nice Christmas present from my friend Travis. If you spend much time on Flickr, he is the guy with the great collection of toy cameras (link to his Gakken Pinhole set). He gave me a Gakken camera. Never heard of it? It is a little plastic camera from Japan that comes in a kit with a magazine. I can’t read Japanese, but the magazine was really nice, and had pictures describing several interesting pinhole experiments. I am not sure if a camera kit magazine is a common thing in Japan, but it sure seem foreign (and wonderful) to me.

I called this a pinhole camera, but it actually comes with a plastic lens that can be used if you don’t want to do the pinhole thing. The shutter is probably around 100th of a second, or you can use an unorthodox bulb mode. Push the button one way to cock the shutter. Push it back the other way and it snaps accross. To use the bulb mode, you cock the shutter. Then push the second lever up and the shutter will open. Push this lever back down and the shutter closes. Turn the know on top to advance the film. The knob has a mark on it too show when you have advanced one complete frame. The Gakken doesn’t have many extras, but it does come with a tripod mound which will come in handy for long pinhole exposures.

The entire camera is plastic and it was made for fun. Double exposures are simple and so are overlapping frames. If you can get your hands on one of these cameras, I recommend it. I don’t have any photos taken with this camera to show you yet, but I recommend Travis’s gallery from the link above.

Here are some of the auctions on Ebay for Gakken Pinhole cameras that you might be interested in:

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