Camera geekery: “Hammcamm” Box Camera

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Camera geekery: “Hammcamm” Box Camera

Living in Japan, I’m quite used to a unique balance of old-school tradition and cutting-edge technology. Which is why when Robert Hamm told me about his 3D printed box camera, it struck an interesting yet familiar chord. It’s an ambitious and intriguing concept; modern innovation meets old world inspiration.

Codenamed HammCamm (the real name will be released shortly) it’s a fully modular box camera that shoots 120 film with a 6×6 aspect ratio. The camera takes the best parts of century-old designs and is a modern innovation inspired by the Kodak no. 1, Agfa B2-Cadet, and other cameras of the era. It is made up of five different interchangeable modules (including a cartridge to hold the film, a 1/100 sec. shutter mechanism, and a single-element glass meniscus lens with maximum aperture of F/5.6) that can be swapped to change both the outward appearance of the camera as well as its internal specifications.
The base “trim,” informally called the Black Box Edition, will be 3D printed out of durable PLA plastic, with the highest trims featuring brass internals and an exterior made out of wood by master luthier (guitar body maker) Stephen Boone. This ain’t your grandfather’s Brownie. The HammCamm will be launching on Kickstarter in the third week of October, and are seeking the support of members of the film photography community to share the excitement for their modular box camera with the world.

Robert, the founder of the company and lead designer, has been working on this project for years and tells me that the manufacturing process has smoothened out and testing is going along well. For more information, check out their Facebook and Instagram. The process is also documented on their Youtube page.

It’s nice seeing folks trying to create new new twists on classic designs, the revamping trend continues. Here’s hoping they can avoid the production problems befalling Wanderlust.

What are your thoughts? Comments are welcome.

One commennt on “Camera geekery: “Hammcamm” Box Camera”

    Larry October 15, 2017 at 7:21 pm / Reply

    Well I hate kickstarter because I find it a good way to buy junk.

    This particular camera is not defined enough. Why would this be better than a pinhole camera?

    Pinholes are typically wide angle. They often use 120 film. There is no light meter. User must figure exposure by reckoning the film ISO and exposure time, including extra time for reciprocity failure.

    This camera from what I could learn: is wide angle. Uses 120 film. There is no light meter. User must figure exposure by reckoning film ISO. There is no additional option for adding time to make good the exposure, because it has fixed shutter at 1/100. So therefore film ISO and amount of light are the only things available to make proper exposure. This camera could be better than a pinhole in one aspect, and that being it has some type of lens, which may or may not be better than a hole drilled through some wood.

    So anyway, in further video(s) Hamm may wish to explain more about what the camera can do, and what it cannot do. Watching that 29 min video, on a one-shot, one kill basis, was horrible. I only wanted to know what it might do. The currently available video and still photos are only enough info to be irritating, rather than informative.

    Useful features I would want to know about before buying:

    + Does shutter have some sort of Bulb mode to allow long exposures?
    + Is there a mechanism to maintain some tension onto the film? [such as pressure plate or a spring steel tensioner]
    + Is aperture always fixed at 5.6? [need to know for personal shooting reasons. If fixed at 5.6, this could be interesting, but may not be good enough for the very family photo Hamm goes on about in the video. At 5.6 and wide angle, very little will be in focus on 120 film. However, at f16 it could be possible to shoot some scenics]
    = clarification: Something alludes to lens being replaceable, and or aperture might be adjusted. Explain

    No need to give away secrets! Need only know capabilities … and maybe a little about how it is capable. It is already understood a user would want a light meter and perhaps a timer. But you should say so.

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