LEROUGE Pinhole cameras Review – Intro
As part of an ongoing project started several years ago: how to how to have fun (a hobby etc.) outside (or partially ) the digital world.
The project got into a overdrive due to the John’s Mobile project.
There are a lot of differences between analog photography and digital photography. A important advantage for digital is speed, you can do you ( commercial ) projects more quickly. If you ask me what has more “soul” my answer is analog!
Nowadays not sure why but shoot almost no images with my digital camera’s anymore (except skies).
You make 1001 images with a digital camera and look only once to them (or never), its too easy. In the “old” days you had to be carefully shooting lost of images it was simply too expensive. While working on this review saw a nice image on Twitter that needs no explanation:
Now looking back, it was much more fun and exciting when you had a analog camera. You needed to be patient much more then current time where instant satisfaction is “needed” more and more.
Other point is that when your images (or any other documents etc) are only digital stored on a HD for example, a “simple” solar flame *) could be the cause that our memories or even complete history from the last 25 years could be gone in a few seconds.
*) A Solar storm of 1859 hit earth, consequences where minimal, if it would happen today it would be a huge disaster.
With film the images at least would be still here. Historians already are very worried with the fact that some very important parts of our lives are only/partially digital.
Note that working digital has lots of benefits so not going to abandon it. Just curious how this investigation will affect my future projects. Think the research will bring new idea’s / projects to work on. Already working on some projects, so more will be published in the ( near ) future.
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LEROUGE Pinhole cameras Review – Part 1 – how it started
How it started
It was high on my investment list buying a analog camera again. Early February 2017 remembered seeing somewhere on the internet , a while ago, a company that produces handcrafted analog camera’s. Not sure anymore where seeing it until looked at my contacts in LinkedIn. Suddenly saw that was already in connection since 2012 with the owner of the company who (the camera’s are actually build by a friend of Marc – Philippe – in a small workshop in France) sold the LEROUGE camera’s: Marc Kairies. If you want to order in France or UK please check the dealer list.
The LEROUGE camera’s are handcrafted (!) camera’s. Really keen on small companies who makes high quality products with lots of passion. Also noticing that in specially France lots of little companies started last years who make great handcrafted products. The other thing that like about is that the camera goes to the very origin of photography: a pinhole camera (note that the pinhole technique is most like like much older then the photography , a nice example is Tim’s Vermeer or have a look here ). No batteries no extra’s you just need a 35 mm film. There are other LEROUGE camera’s that can handle other film formats like 120 or 4×5″ to see those just scroll down on the info page.
So on 25 February contacted Marc directly through Linkedin, Marc reacted quickly resulting that on Sunday 26 February ordered the LEROUGE 135 black edition and the LEROUGE 135 L (panoramic) Red edition. The whole ordering process went smoothly.
This Part 1 of the review is the intro of this project, inclusive the arrival of both LEROUGE camera’s. Part 2 of the review will be published in the near future, part 2 will be the actually testings etc.
While waiting on the package to be delivered (5 or 6 days is standard delivery time) started writing part 1 of this review , and asked Marc several questions:
Some info about Marc en Philippe
Question: “Why does Philippe build cameras?”
“Because he likes making things. Before he becoming a photographer in 2003, he worked in the industry for 20 years. First he made a 66 camera for his own use – then came the idea to start a small series and sell them. It´s because he loves analog photography and the simple way to take pictures. And because all his knowlege is now arround photography which is his passion. Philippe starts selling LEROUGE Pinhole Cameras in his gallery three years ago.“
Question: “Why does Marc / MK Panorama Systeme sell LEROUGE Pinhole Cameras cameras?”
“Since 2006 (23 years old!) Marc has been dealing with the panoramic photography (camera technology). From Noblex, Seitz Roundshot to his own products. Now he is passionate about analog photography. In 2016 he met Philippe and start to sell his products. Pure passion!“
Well doing the “things” with passion sounds always good!
Are the LEROUGE Weather proof
Question: “Are LEROUGE Pinhole Cameras safe for rain and dust/sand?”
“Like 99% of cameras in the market, LEROUGE Pinhole Cameras are not wheather proof. According to manufacturer, sand, dust, water is to be avoided. But a funny story:
When we shoot the advertising photos of the LEROUGE Pinhole Cameras on the beach of St. Peter Ording (North Sea) into my Leica V-Lux 4 flew so much sand that now the zoom lens is only working from time to time – fine sand in the zoom!
My 2 LEROUGE Pinhole Cameras I had only to blow and the dry, fine sand was gone! However it is up to the photographer to use his camera carefully”
Below you can see a comparison of the smallest 35 mm camera Minox made in the past and the LEROUGE 135 and the LEROUGE 135L
On the image you see two people:
Reinhard Lörz (MINOX Club member and owner of the MINOX Museum)
& Peter Baum (Visitor and MINOX Club member)
The LEROUGE 135 is already pretty small but hope that a even smaller version would be possible to create. A version that fits even more easily in your pocket. For me personally the LEROUGE 135 is still a bit too big. Think that creating a smaller version then the 135 would need some big design altering. The perfect size would be for example the size of the smallest disposable 35 mm camera or the Lomography Baby Diana 110 Camera. So perhaps a LEROUGE with a 110 film? Anyway for now its no big deal off course, let continue!
What surprised me is that there is still a vivid market for films. For example ADOX.
Going to test – in Part 2 of the review – two 35 mm films:
In the Netherlands films and other needed parts can be ordered at FotofilmFabriek
The package arrived on 4 March!
Made some unpackaging images. As you can see it all looks carefully packed. Marc gave very kindly two free ADOX Silvermax 100 films for free!
The camera’s are amazing: handcrafted masterpieces!
This is the end of part 1. Part 2 will cover the the testings and other findings/ notes. Due to having lesser spare time the coverage of Part 2 will take a while have the idea 1 or 2 months. Exited to actually start testing the LEROUGE camera’s that’s for sure!
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