Miru Cameras 35mm – First Impressions

I guess one of the advantages of having a presence on the internet is the kindness of strangers, and this post is the result of just such an instance. Through Instagram, I was contacted by David creator of Miru cameras asking if I’d like to test his 35mm camera. Of course, I jumped at the chance, after all who wouldn’t. The camera arrived with me over Christmas, and I took advantage of the break to throw a roll through the camera.

Before I get on to the results though, a word about the camera itself, I posted a couple of pictures on Instagram of me unboxing the camera and of the camera in action (making the featured image for this post). For ease, I have embedded them below so you can see the camera itself.

Unboxing the @mirucameras pinhole camera #pinhole #believeinfilm #filmisnotdead #mirucameras

A photo posted by Alex Yates (@pinholista) on

Coffee and pinhole @thedandyhorse

A photo posted by Alex Yates (@pinholista) on

As you can see, the camera is really nicely packaged, and I have to say the written materials that are provided put many more commercial cameras to same – well done David. The camera itself is lightweight, I’m not sure of the wood used, and nicely finished with wax. The design makes loading and unloading film relatively simple as well. There is no tripod mount (more of that later).

I was a little concerned about light leaks so used some blue masking tape to minimise the risk, which unfortunately removed some of the wax when I unloaded the film (I hadn’t really thought that through). I didn’t see any signs of light leaks with this first roll, for my next roll I won’t add any tape and we’ll see how things go.

www.alexyates-photography.com

David also marks both the top of the camera and the supplied 35mm take-up cassette to allow you to easily count the number of turns when you wind on. Rather then the recommended 1 turn, I wound on for 1.5 turns after each shot, which resulted in me wasting film. Next time I’ll try one turn and see how that works out, it should be pretty good I think. Winding on can be a little stiff, at least it was for me, but nothing insurmountable.

www.alexyates-photography.com

So, how about the actual shooting? Well, I have to confess that I generally don’t like using 35mm film for pinhole photography. First off, I think the images are not as good as medium format, and in my experience are not as sharp (although why that should be I don’t know). I also find using a whole roll a little challenging, at least in any kind of reasonable time. So much is my aversion that I recently sold my Ondu 35mm panoramic camera due to lack of use. You know what though, this little camera surprised me and I really enjoyed using it…much more than I thought I would.

www.alexyates-photography.com

The reason for my enjoyment? Quite simply the size of the camera made it the perfect companion to throw into my bag and have with me. As someone once said, the best camera is the one with you, and this little camera came everywhere with me for a week or so. So much so that by the end of the roll I was excited to get the film developed ASAP, which led to me scanning myself, which in turn led to the really poor scans with this post. This means that you probably shouldn’t use the images to judge the quality of the camera as they certainly reflect my rush and scanning skill.

www.alexyates-photography.com

As you can probably tell, I really enjoyed using this camera. There are, however, a couple of things to consider as we close this post. As already mentioned, and not surprising given the size of the camera, there is no tripod mount. This means you have to be careful what and how you shoot. On a solid surface and with a long exposure you’ll have no problems. However, if you wobble like me then hand holding is not going to work well, the image above shows this well.

In conclusion, a lovely little camera and I really think David should be pleased with what he has created. There are lots of 35mm pinhole cameras out there and the Miru definitely deserves some consideration. This is particularly the case if you are looking for a camera you can take anywhere with you. I’ll be making more pictures with mine, and next time I’ll get some proper scans.

Finally, if you want to find out more about Miru cameras then have a look at their Instagram and Facebook page, as well as the website linked above. Happy shooting!

If you’re in Berlin – do this!

This is just a quick post to draw your attention to an awesome exhibition opening shortly in Berlin. The exhibition is called “Atmosphère – Intuition formt Stemming” and features four photographers, including friend of Pinholista Larissa Honsek (Novemberkind). More details can be found here.

Details of the exhibition are in German, to save you the trouble I have Google translated below. Oh, and the image used here is from the linked website and is copyright Larissa Honsek, please respect that.

***UPDATE***

There’s is now a proper English translation, the text below is taken straight from the site (and can also be found by following the link).

To the translation:

“The 4 photographers from Germany, France and Italy show each in their individual way highly aesthetical analogue works, mainly pinhole photography. Without a viewfinder intuition – the premonition of how the image might turn out – plays a central role. Another focus is on photography as a craft. In contrast to quick selfies, all images are the result of a careful manual preparation and production – slow photography.

Laura Fiorio (Italy) creates images of Liquid Cities by portraying medieval towns like Venice, Verona or Valencia applying extremely long exposure with her self-constructed pinhole cameras. The outcome reminds of the early years of photography and contrasts the time-consuming practise of pinhole photography and the increasing pace of modern society that serves as a metaphor for the endless flood of digital images.

Jeanne Fredac (France) travelled to Burkina Faso to portray wild animals in the steppe as well as mine workers in one of the poorest areas of the country with her pinhole camera. Thanks to the physical presence and extraordinary shape and technology of the camera, she managed to raise the interest of people and gain their confidence. Curiously, she was rumoured to be a voodoo priestess with her black box and within days everyone knew who she was and what she was doing. It was important for her to show the locals that one does not need to buy an expensive camera to take pictures but it can be easily built with little resources.

Larissa Honsek (Berlin) loves to experiment with light and so she goes all the way to discover interesting sources of light that she can capture with her pinhole camera. For Atmosphere, she used objects like fireworks, sparklers, bicycle lamps, LED-chains, mobile phones and light swords. In one series, these objects illuminate a whole forest with magical energy; in another series light is captured in a black box and forced into predetermined shapes.

Laure Gilquin (France) went on a nightly expedition across the Senegalese capital Dakar for her series Dox rek – just go. Attracted by the dark and guided by scarce flickers of light like a glowing cigarette, a flickering television or a ray of light falling through a slightly open door. The light opens passages, it transforms facades of buildings into huge projection screens. The view enters these spaces and wanders around.

In addition to the exhibition, Fotogalerie Friedrichshain will host a series of pinhole photography workshops for different age groups in March. For more info and registration please contact fotogalerie@kulturring.org