Viddy – Build and First Shots

I got hold of my Viddy by backing the crowdfunding on Kickstarter; but you can get the camera, and its older brother (if a camera has a gender) the Videre from the Pop-Up Pinhole Co. A word of warning here, I’ve seen these cameras offered an “That” auction site for a ridiculous mark-up, if you want one I really suggest you go straight to the maker.

I was a little nervous about purchasing this camera for a few reasons. Firstly, some of the results I’d seen had some really heavy vignetting and, secondly, I’m not the most handy when it comes to making stuff. Given that I am not so handy, I was sceptical about my ability to make the camera in 30 minutes (as promised), the bottle of rose wine I was planning to sink whilst I built Viddy probably didn’t help. Anyway, you can see how long it took and some of the steps I took by taking a look at the movie below (yes, I also live twitted it).

The build itself really wasn’t too bad, given the wine and my lack of skills, and I did make a few tweaks along the way. Firstly, I made sure that the pinhole was centred in the middle of the aperture and that the internals of the camera were flush to the pinhole (using masking tape), both steps to try and minimise vignetting. For the same reason I also widened the hole in the disk that attaches to the front of the camera, as part of the “Lens” assembly. As you’ll see from my images I actually don’t have any vignetting, which is a good result.
Viddy 2
I also don’t have any light leaks, which I think is brilliant given the way you construct the camera (albeit I did tape a few extra bits over and above that suggested in the instructions. Talking of the instructions, I found it a little bit painful to follow them online and would much have preferred printed instructions, which would fit better with the overall analogue feel of the Viddy and its construction. A few steps were perhaps not as clear as they could have been but the camera is so well put together that it doesn’t really matter (although that being said if you’re less handy than me, or have little pinhole experience it might be tricky in spots).
Viddy 3 So, the construction was simple, but what about the shooting experience. Actually, I really enjoyed it, the camera is really light and easy to carry around meaning you can chuck it in a bag and go and have fun. I have (since shooting my first roll) reinforced the shutter with some wooden splints on the bit that sticks out the side of the camera…its much more robust now. You don’t get any indication of the f-stop of the camera, which is a bit of a shame (and I haven’t been bothered to work it out) so I used the exposure guide that comes with the camera (and the accompanying app – available on the iPhone at the very least), adjusting for reciprocity and my gut feeling. I’m pretty comfortable with that approach with negative film, with transparency film (or film with less exposure latitude) it might not be so easy to get a good exposure.
Viddy 4 One thing I do have to get used to is the focal length, which at about 80-90mm is pretty much a “Normal” focal length for medium format film and would be a short telephoto for 35mm. This brings me on to a slight disappointment. During the funding, it was pretty clear the Viddy could utilise either 35mm or medium format film. It certainly can do this, but you need to make the choice during construction. I was really hoping for a camera that could use both formats interchangeably…perhaps that should be Kelly’s next project. Which brings me on to another positive, which is the interaction with Kelly Angood, designer of the Viddy. She’s always been very responsive and promotes the Viddy and her company really well in my opinion…very good to see folk like that involved in pinhole.
Viddy 5 Overall, I’d recommend the Viddy as a fun little camera which actually delivers pretty good results if you are careful during construction. I enjoyed shooting with it a lot, and got a bit creative with some of my images (sorry about that…and sorry about the shocking scan quality). I’ll definitely be popping it in my bag on regular occasions. Its definitely a camera worth considering, particularly given the price, and could be a really good introduction for someone to the wonderful world of pinhole. Happy Shooting all!
Viddy 6