Lo-Tech Blackbird Fly Flies in the Face of Digital Accuracy

Photographers praise digital cameras for crisp accurate images, exactly the opposite of what you will get with Japanese toy inventor Hideki Ohmori's Blackbird Fly. The camera is one strange bird: it leaks light through its poorly constructed plastic body, it adds mysterious aberrations, and sometimes doesn't even bother to keep images from seeping across sprocket holes.

Yet fans clamor for the under $120.00 (US) plastic toy film camera with a framing mask that allows you to shoot square photos on 35mm film. The camera is colorfully analog in every way. Like music lovers who long for the rich sound of vinyl LPs, fans of the Blackbird love that you don't always know what you're going to get. Says Ohmori, "We do not always want a faithful reproduction of reality. Sometimes we yearn for a dream."

Check out these images captured using the Blackbird Fly 35mm camera.

Distributed by Superheadz, the twin-lens reflex camera fits right into the retro film trend exploding in Japan and sneaking over to America. The Fly recreates the square images and down-looking viewfinder of an old Rolleiflex.

The Blackbird Fly can take pictures in standard 35mm film format (24x36), but using a different (provided) mask, it can also produce square format pictures (24x24). You can even remove the mask entirely and make a larger square format image (36x36), which fills up the entire width of the film, including the side sprocket holes.

Sample image taken with Blackbird Fly, by Michael Tullberg.

For all of the tech detail go to:

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Filed under: Photo Hardware July 13, 2009
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