The film was over 20 years expired, 100 ASA and the shooting conditions were pretty overcast most of the time, but I am happy to say that I picked up the developed first roll from my demekin fisheye camera (made by Powershovel/Superheadz in Japan but available (along with other great products) in Australia from Via Alley
I am even happier to report that about 50% of my shots resulted in some sort of recognizable image! Let me clarify that statement in that it is not unusual to have a few ‘misses’ with the first trial of any new toy camera, given unfamiliarity with the way the camera works and responds in certain lighting conditions etc. Throw in the fact that the film was decades out of date and I’m surprised I got as many shots out of the roll as I did.
In true noob style, forgetting I was using a fisheye camera with a 146 degree field of view, I even managed to get my finger in one of the shots! (see example image called ‘olympicfinger’ you can see more examples by navigating forward or backward through the images once you’ve brought up the lightbox viewer). It’s hard to really judge the camera from this one roll given the variables I have mentioned, but I can at least comment on my personal experience using the camera for the first time and my initial impressions. Please take the example images provided in the context previously stated (over 20 years 100 ASA expired film, overcast conditions and first use of an unfamiliar camera) – so, my impressions? Well, I found the camera great fun to use (or should I say ‘play with’) and it is certainly a conversation starter. Even though the camera controls are very simple, I did mange to get the winding/shutter operation a bit wrong to start with, I wound on to the number 1, but when i went to take my first shot, the shutter did not seem to ‘click’ and I wasn’t sure if I had taken a photo or not – it turns out you have to wind until the film will not advance anymore and you here an audible sound (faint, but detectable) as the shutter cocks – then you can use the shutter release to take your shot, it should ‘click’ then (just like a real camera – heh).
I guess I am just too used to using my medium format toy cameras where you just wind on until the exposure number is in the window and which don’t need the shutter cocked by the film advance. Apart from this one small user interface problem (which was totally down to my inexperience with the camera) it worked fine. As mentioned you have to be careful not to get your fingers in frame, as the camera pulls in a wide field of view, because tha camera is small, the way you hold it could well have some stray fingers waggling in the front peripheral areas of the camera.
When I get some fresh 110 film (also available from Via Alley in Australia), I will be able to review this camera (and the Ikimono – stay tuned for my review of that) more thoroughly – as it deserves.