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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.