PS: Thesis is submitted! Hooray! Though, admittedly… it does feel kind of weird not working on it… On the plus side, hopefully that means I get more time to write up tips/tricks, as well as reviews for more cameras and accessories that I’ve gotten my hands on recently.
Okay everyone, as I promised in my Gakkenflex review, here is an english version of the Gakkenflex instruction manual! I’d just like to preface this by saying that these are not direct Japanese-English translations. My amazing, awesome girlfriend did rough translations of the part names (thank you!!!) and I filled in the rest with my own instructions, based on my experiences. I gave some of the parts my own names, because we had no idea how to translate them, but you should still know what I mean
I know that there are some Gakkenflex clones out there, but the one I got was the offical Otona no Kagaku Magazine, volume 25, which I bought when I was in Japan. The images here are scanned from the magazine that came with it. I hope this is useful!
I know this photo in itself is nothing special – it’s really just a simple matter of taking a double exposure. Despite this, though, images like this are actually what initially inspired me to pick up film cameras. Being someone who has predominantly used point-and-click digital cameras, I had no idea about multiple exposures, and these images totally blew my mind.
It made me happy that this shot turned out well , actually. If you try to do something like this, you’ll have to try and keep the camera in the exact same position for the two shots, or else it will turn into a big massive blur. I wasn’t sure if I managed to achieve that, but it seems to look okay.
All in all, it makes it look like we all live in the sky, above a temple… which is on fire!
This photo was taken when I decided to experiment a bit with multiple exposures on my Gakkenflex. For a long time, I had just been taking multiple exposures in the same orientation. But in this one, I’d taken a photo of this temple in portrait and then a second shot landscape. I actually think this was entirely accidental on my part, but it just goes to show that accidents in photography can sometimes turn out pretty cool
I’m posting this as a bit of a “what not to do”. I called this one “almost there”, because that’s how I feel about the photo as a whole. I like the depth of the shot, and the blurred edges, highlighted by overhanging trees. Those edges, however, are the problem. Because of the naturally blurred edges on the Gakkenflex, your eyes are naturally drawn to the clear, focussed centre of the photo, and there’s…. nothing there. I feel like this photo is lacking that focus in the centre.
So, when you take photos with the Gakkenflex, keep in mind that it will look best if there is a subject in the centre. Have a look at my Hikone Castle photo as an example.
Otona no Kagaku (大人の科学) is a great little magazine series in Japan, literally translating into “Adult’s Science” or “Science for Adults”, and is released irregularly, roughly every few months. Each volume contains a DIY kit of the product of that issue, as well as a magazine which contains any necessary assembly instructions and, usually, a brief history of the item. Volume 25, released in 2009, was a nice 35mm Twin Lens Reflex camera, known as the Gakkenflex. Since then, the Gakkenflex has gained a cult following (see http://www.flickr.com/groups/gakkenflex/), due to its unique-looking photos. Continue reading