Light leaks

Light leaks and focus woes

It’s fair to say I wasn’t expecting the first few rolls of film to be perfect. I was very pleased to be getting recognisable images from the 1st working camera. Turns out there are a few issues to resolve. The focus is out of whack for all but the pinhole lens, pinholes have this lovely habit of always being in focus (albeit a slightly dreamy focus). For the meniscus polycarbonate lens things are clearly a little bit off. Images from my 1st 2 films taken with this lens have all been a little out of focus. I have a plan for fixing this issue, essentially it boils down to getting the lens positioned at exactly the right distance from the film. Solving that problem was going to need a special bit of kit, more on that later.

The other problem was a nice selection pf light leaks. My 1st black and white film was taken on an overcast day and I didn’t really notice anything unusual. Once I ran a colour film through the camera however the problem was a bit more obvious. If you are ever trying to track down light leaks there are a few things to bear in mind;

  • Red light leaks on colour negative typically come from the back of the camera as the light is filtered through the film base.
  • White light leaks are most likely from the lens side of the camera.
  • Any leaks that span the whole film from top to bottom are very likely due to rear door light leaks.

Turns out I had all of the above! Under strong sunlight the camera had more holes than a broken sieve.
The process for tracking them down involves close examination of your negatives, a good torch and some black tape. I am working on a redesign of the rear door labyrinth light seals (I had cut a few corners on the 1st design) which is now looking good. Also I spotted a rather large hole in the shutter mechanism which only shows up in strong light at certain angles! I’ve got a solution in the works for this as well so the next films should start to show the true potential of the TYCH.

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16 comments

  • Gordon Palmer August 3, 2022   Reply →

    Hello! Just saw the article on MMC about you – I’d be Thrilled to be considered as a beta tester – I’ve been a Huge fan of film p&s, and very much half frames – owned and used the Olympus EE, EE2, EE3, a Canon Demi, a Canon Multi Tele.

    Would be Honoured, lol. Loving your design too and the interchangeable lens mechanism you’ve designed in.

    Any which way, very excited to see your camera come together, and being considered as a tester would be a bonus!

    Cheers
    Gordon

  • Patrick Sterenchuk August 3, 2022   Reply →

    This is clearly a passion project, and it is absolutely filling a niche! I’m very much looking forward to the creative possibilities of this camera. I’d love to be in on the beta test. I’m not a professional…something more than a hobbyist/amateur…but I’d like to offer that this would seem like a demographic match to the kind of folks that are going to buy your camera. Plus, I’ll talk it up, and promote the hell out of it. No matter what, I’m.very much looking forward to the launch of this. Cheers!

  • Saule Sudziuviene August 3, 2022   Reply →

    Jesus just sign me up!
    I am more of a lomographer, don’t think, just shoot type of gorl, but I own several wonderful 120mm cameras where I do behave more considerate.
    It would be a great honor to be a beta tester, I would do some shots in molecular biology lab 🙂
    If not, I will be just waiting for release 🙂

  • Bill Lawson August 3, 2022   Reply →

    Wow, this looks fun! Any new film camera is good news. I understand you are looking for beta testers. I have a YouTube channel that I can review your camera on. Shoot me an email if that is something you need. Link below. https://youtube.com/c/BillLawsonpix

  • Dustin Aubry August 4, 2022   Reply →

    I would be very interested in being a tester for this new camera my previous camera that I used mainly before Nikon FM 10 and I’ve also used I think two different lomo cameras I’ve used a pinhole camera and a music cereal box to see the eclipse of the Sun but then I used it to take pictures of the clouds and I took a snapshot with my cell phone reflected on the inside of the box through the pinhole like camera to see the eclipse and I live in the United States of America.

    • Richard Noll August 11, 2022   Reply →

      Would love to test your film based rangefinder here in the states. I have never had a half frame before unless you want to include a 645 medium format. I primarily take outdoor landscapes (B&W and color), industrial, architecture, portraits and rural garden photographs. I use 4×5 to 35mm, film and digital, nikon, canon, fuji, minolta, leica, voightlander, bronica, and others. Please consider testing the camera in mountainous rain forests where long duration camping often requires reduced weight and half frame cameras could become all the rage at our w ou world renown REI stores.

  • Thomas Jarmusch August 4, 2022   Reply →

    I would love to test your camera!
    I have life long experience with all sorts of analog cameras.
    Including various half frame cameras, point and shoots, instant cameras, medium format…
    Please include me in testing this camera

    I am an artist and filmmaker, have shown internationally
    and have worked extensively with cameras…

  • Giulio August 4, 2022   Reply →

    ciao! sono un fotografo non professionista con base a Venezia (Italia) mi piacerebbe far parte della beta, per qualsiasi info scrivimi una mail, posso mandarti un po’ di scatti che ho fatto.

  • Glenn Bottomley. August 4, 2022   Reply →

    Hi there,would love to test this product.Do a lot iof car photography.Would be great to see the results with this new camera.

  • Lex Optical August 4, 2022   Reply →

    Congratulations on a great build. Excellent work.

  • Sergey Chekh August 4, 2022   Reply →

    With great interest I read and development. I have extensive photography experience, over 30 years. I can shoot with pinhole, zoneplate and vintage optics. In addition, I have extensive experience in the design and construction of medium and large format cameras. I would love to become a beta tester of the project, and I hope I can be of service to you. In addition, there are a few more original thoughts that may be useful for your company. I wish you good luck with your project. Best regards, Sergey

  • Wayne Sutton August 5, 2022   Reply →

    I would love to test your camera. I live close to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Western North Carolina, USA. There are photo opportunities in every direction you look.
    I’ve been into photography since high school, which was a long time ago.

  • Philip Tudor August 8, 2022   Reply →

    The missing 4th lens: why not make the hole a c/cs-mount so people can add their own? Might be focus issues limiting maximum aperture and use of vari-focal lenses, but hey just make it clear users will be responsible for creating their own dope cards.

    • AnnMarie Tornabene August 11, 2022   Reply →

      that sounds like an awesome idea but where would people get their own mini lenses? Oh, maybe from an old phone?

  • Pizza Man Nick Diesslin August 11, 2022   Reply →

    I’m really excited for this project!

  • AnnMarie Tornabene August 11, 2022   Reply →

    I would love to be a beta tester though I live in France so you’d have to tell me if sending it across the pond would be worth it. As a photographer for more than 25 years, I love both film and digital imagery but I admit that my Holga, Diana and pinhole lens cap for both my Nikon FM2 and Canon Rebel 800 are awesome for giving me soft, dream-like imagery useful in some of my series. And light leaks, happy accidents are a good thing but if you are gearing this camera to an audience of “perfect” photography, then I suppose that has to be fixed. Lastly, a real pinhole image is not always sharp depending length of exposure/where and how you place the camera. What I love with this is the USB battery power, the size AND the selection of lenses. 🙂

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