Recesky DIY Stereo Pinhole Tutorial
The Recesky Stereo Pinhole Camera is another build-it-yourself camera kit by Recesky that uses regular 35mm film. While it is called a Stereo Pinhole Camera, it also functions as a normal pinhole camera that takes regular pictures, as well as a panoramic camera that takes pictures twice the width of a regular pictures.
In comparison, the Recesky Stereo Pinhole camera is slightly easier than the Recesky TLR, with a more simple shutter mechanism and viewfinder.
Again, while the packaging says assembly time is 1 hour - we suggest setting aside around 2 hours to comfortably finish building the camera.
Note: At the time of writing the manufacturer has not provided English instructions to building the camera. The package comes with a Chinese set of instructions, which has pretty clear graphics taking you step by step - but we have provided this guide as an accompaniment to the instruction manual in case you get stuck.
Before you start, remember these few important points as with the Recesky TLR:
- Take your time! Remember once you break something, there is no going back. Patience is the key. The parts are well constructed and are very solid, but if you find you are using excessive force in any of the steps then you are most likely doing something incorrectly!
- It is best to read ahead - or at least read what’s involved in the following steps as there are some sections that may appear out of order in the manual.
- As the camera body and parts are made of plastic, avoid tightening the screws too much in the beginning - tighten the screws only when adjoining and affected parts are firmly in place.
- Keep an eye out on the type of screw used in different sections - there are 2 types of screws used - one capped head screw used specifically for the Film Counter (Step 5 in the instructional manual), and the rest are rounded head screws (10 screws)
- The Recesky kit does not come with a screwdriver, so you'll need a small screwdriver to build the camera. If possible, use a screwdriver with a magnetic tip - it will save you a lot of frustration if you need to undo a screw and it gets stuck inside the camera.
Without further ado, here is a step by step commentary on the instruction manual.
1. Assembling the Camera Body
The part of this step is to build the Film Mask - it is a part which ingeniously allows you to switch between different shooting modes (stereo, regular, panoramic) at any time as you are going through a roll of film. Simply screw in the pieces as shown in the picture. The Film Mask Lever should be able to move freely between open and closed (90 degrees).
The second part involves putting the Gear Wheels in for the Film Winding/Rewinding mechanism.
After that, insert the whole Film Mask into the Front Camera Panel 'A', and screwed on as shown in the picture.
2. Putting together the Shutter Assembly
As with any camera, the Shutter Assembly is probably the most important parts in building the camera! The Shutter Assembling for the Recesky Stereo Pinhole is a simple 'Bulb' shutter with hold function - which means the shutter does not have a fixed speed like the Recesky TLR. The shutter mechanism works simply by pulling back the Shutter Panel, which springs back when you release the Shutter Trigger.
There are 4 pieces to the Shutter Assembly, Front Camera Panel 'B', Shutter Panel, Spring 'A', and the Shutter Trigger. We found the easiest way to putting these pieces together is somewhat the reverse of what was shown in the instruction manual - firstly insert Spring 'A' into the Shutter Panel, place the Shutter Panel onto the Front Camera Panel 'B', and bend Spring 'A' to slot it inside the edge of the panel. Note that as it is not fixed in any way, you should keep your finger pressed on the panels to avoid it springing out. With your finger pressed on the panels, carefully slip the Shutter Trigger into place so the knob can be seen from the front, inside the 'L' shaped hole.
Once all 4 pieces are in place (with your finger still pressing onto the panels so they don't spring apart), slot the whole Shutter Assembly to the Camera Body which we were working on earlier, and put in the screws at each corner of the Shutter Assembly to fix it in place.
Note: This is probably one of the places you can carefully try and fix the screws in a bit tighter, to avoid light leaks (of course, you can have it loose when experimenting with light leak effects!)
Test the Shutter Mechanism by pulling the Shutter Trigger back and forth, to see if the pinhole penetrations allow light to pass through. Test the Hold Function by positioning the Shutter Trigger at the top of the 'L' shaped hole.
3. Installing the Film Mask Control Lever
This step involves putting the Film Mask Control Lever at the front of the camera so the film shooting mode can be changed at any time. This involves finding a piece of foam 'washer' that should be inserted before screwing the lever onto the Camera Body.
Note: There should be 2 pieces of these 'foam washers', which are sometimes hooked onto the Gear Wheels, or inserted in the pieces of 'pressure clips' for the Film Rewind Assembly. Please carefully look through all the pieces inside the kit for these!
Once the Film Mask Control Lever is fixed in place, test the film mask mechanism to see if the lever flips the Film Mask Lever to its open or close position (90 degrees).
4. Assembling the Film Rewind Assembly
Firstly, insert the two 'pressure clips' into slots at the top of the Camera Body. These allow the Film Winder clip and Film Rewind clip to be snapped into place.
Secondly, place the Film Winder Spool on to Film Winder Stand and insert them into the Camera Body. You might need to press the Film Winder Stand in a bit to be able to slot it into the body.
Thirdly, screw in the Film Winder Knob and Film Rewind Knobs - note the direction of the arrows are as shown on the instruction manual!
5. Install the Film Counter
The Film Counter Assembly requires 4 pieces - the capped screw (only one in the kit), the Film Counter piece, a piece of the foam washers, and Spring 'B'. Screw them in this order (from top to bottom) while holding the white gear head in the body - for this part do NOT use excessive force! The Film Counter does not need to be tightly fixed - it only needs to be fixed so it rotates as the gear turns, so we know how much we have advanced the film as we are shooting.
6. Insert the Tripod Nut
This is done simply by inserting the Tripod Nut and the plastic piece into the slot at the bottom of the Camera Body to fix it in place!
7. Install the Viewfinder and Back Panel
We're nearly there! This part is pretty straight forward - simply clip the front and rear Viewfinders on to the Viewfinder Stand, and insert it onto the slot on the top of the camera body. Note the order to fold them back when not in use - first the rear viewfinder, then the front viewfinder.
For the Camera Back Panel, simply slot the side clips onto the side. Note that the left side clip and right side clips are different! The Back Panel can then be easily clipped onto the Camera Body.
8. Installing the Pinholes
The final step is to install the pinholes - there should be three Pinhole pieces for the three 'penetrations' on the Front Camera Panel, and three 'clips' that fix the Pinhole pieces into place. They are fixed by firmly pressing onto the Pinhole pieces. Note the grooved side of the Pinhole pieces should face up!
The reason why there are three pinholes is because of the three shooting modes:
- Stereo mode: Uses the two pinholes on the side
- Regular mode: Uses one pinhole on the side
- Panoramic mode: Uses the centre pinhole
The three remaining rubber pieces are the 'Lens Caps' for each of the pinholes. Be careful not to misplace them! This is because you need them to cover up the pinholes that are not in use in different shooting modes.
And that is it! Congratulations! You have just completed the Recesky DIY Stereo Pinhole Camera. Now you should load a roll of 35mm film into it, and start shooting!
We hope you find this tutorial useful. If you require any more clarification or would like to share any tips or tricks in building camera, please write us a comment, or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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