Digital cameras seem to have matured to the point where what once was old is now new again. Companies such as Olympus, Leica and Fujifilm have brought fresh perspectives with retro body designs and/or the use of instant film. But the latest camera, currently funding on Kickstarter, focuses further into the classic photo-taking experience. The cardboard-made Jollylook is designed to develop instant prints from analog hardware.
Fans of vintage or "steampunk" equipment can certainly appreciate Jollylook's style and handling. This compact camera closely mimics the looks and (simplified) functionality of antique folding cameras. But instead of plastic, leather, and metal, Jollylook uses recycled paper and laminated cardboard in its construction.
Jollylook is designed to open up and deploy a pair of lenses, which are housed at the end its accordion-like camera body. Users set the lens position based on the type of shot desired – markings label the choices of macro, portrait, group, and landscape. A pop-up Fresnel lens serves as the viewfinder, while a fixed focal length meniscus lens (110 mm) permits the passage of light onto film.
A switchable diaphragm allows the selection of seven aperture values to control light and depth of field (F8, F11, F16, F22, F32, F64, and pinhole). Jollylook uses a specially-designed automatic shutter system (speeds of 1/250 or 1/160), which also offers the option for manually-controlled exposure times. Once ready, a press of the shutter button snaps the photo. Users are able to take close-ups as near as 20 in (50 cm) as well as double-exposed images.
Jollylook uses the Fujifilm Instax Mini instant film cartridges (available in color and monochrome), which load into the rear of the camera. Exposed photos are ejected from the top of the camera body by turning the handle, which is attached to metal rollers on the inside. As the photo is pushed up through the rollers, the capsule containing the processing liquid is broken open in order to initiate the development process. And since there are no electronics involved, Jollylook offers instant prints without worry of batteries or charging.
The Jollylook instant camera Kickstarter campaign has raised 33 percent of its US$15,000 goal in less than a day, with another 31 days left of funding to go. "Early bird" pledges for one Jollylook instant camera (also includes one Fujifilm Instax Mini film cartridge) start at $29.
The team is said to have developed and tested dozens of prototypes and tooling for production. If everything goes according to plan, backers can expect shipments of Jollylook to start as early as this June.