Remarkably Beautiful Fundamentals: Jollylook Pinhole Review

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Cameras can’t get much classical than a pinhole, unless of people that pinhole camera besides has a acceptable of bellows. The Jollylook Pinhole is simply a woody camera that artists tin physique themselves. Once constructed, the Pinhole uses Instax Mini instant movie and runs connected quality hands, not batteries. Despite the modern Instax inside, the bellows springiness the Pinhole an unmistakably classical design.

The Jollylook Pinhole, oregon astatine slightest the pieces to conception it, is made by a tiny institution antecedently based successful Ukraine. After raising conscionable implicit $74,000 connected a Kickstarter launch, the Jollylook Pinhole is disposable for pre-order for $109. I experimented with an assembled Jollylook Pinhole to spot if the camera works arsenic beautifully arsenic it looks successful the pictures.

Editor’s Note: I tested a afloat assembled Jollylook Pinhole; I wasn’t capable to physique this myself due to the fact that of constricted kit availability pre-launch. This reappraisal is connected the camera itself, not the gathering process.

The Big Picture


  • Beautiful wood construction
  • Fully manual with nary batteries
  • Simple design
  • Really amusive to sprout with
  • Excellent learning tool
  • Lots of pinhole character


  • Viewfinder isn’t ever accurate
  • Some prints person lines from the roller

The Jollylook Pinhole is simply a large instrumentality for learning however a basal camera works by gathering 1 yourself. The camera feels and looks wonderful, taking inspiration from folding bellows cameras. Images person plentifulness of pinhole character, with an wide softness and chill tones.

If you’re looking for crisp images with much close colors, an Instax camera volition get amended results. As a DIY camera, the Pinhole is much of a learning instrumentality than the enactment favourite Fujifilm Instax cameras. The Jollylook Pinhole has immoderate disappointing lines successful the images owed to the unit the roller puts connected the images. And the viewfinder besides isn’t perfectly accurate.

For artists looking to physique their ain camera, the Jollylook Pinhole offers beauteous physique and elemental operation. On the flip side, the roller lines, patience, and experimenting required whitethorn discourage others.

I‘m giving the Jollylook Pinhole 4 retired of 5 stars.

Gear Used

I utilized the Jollylook Pinhole with Fujifilm Instax Mini movie and the Manfrotto Befree tripod.


The pinhole camera has been astir for hundreds of years. The Jollylook Pinhole doesn’t reinvent the instrumentality but makes pinhole photography easy accessible for modern photographers. It uses the easy-to-find Instax Mini film; there’s nary darkroom required. The Jollylook is besides designed to beryllium a learning tool, allowing photographers to physique their ain camera.


The Jollylook Pinhole takes evident inspiration from classical bellows cameras. For transport, the Jollylook Pinhole folds down into a elemental box. Pulling a tiny wood lever releases the beforehand panel. A lever astatine the broadside past releases the bellows. 

The unfolded beforehand sheet allows the camera to set the focal magnitude by moving the bellows successful and out. A tiny lever astatine the bottommost frees a peg that sits successful the notches for each antithetic focal length. The lever occasionally gets stuck and requires immoderate finesse to adjust. I recovered that pushing the beforehand backmost first, past forward, was the easiest mode to set oregon fold the bellows.

A elemental Fresnel viewfinder portion pulls up astatine the apical of the beforehand sheet to assistance with framing. The shutter is simply a elemental lever piece; pushing it down astatine the broadside opens the screen implicit the pinhole.

How agelong should that screen stay open? A clever vulnerability calculator sits astatine the backmost of the camera. It’s a triangle with tiny gears connected each country that sits wrong a larger gear. Turn the arrow to the existent lighting condition, find the awesome for the existent focal length, and you’ll spot the suggested vulnerability time: from fractional a 2nd to 25 minutes.

The backmost pops unfastened to insert Fujifilm Instax Mini film. Inside the camera, you tin spot however elemental the camera truly is — there’s conscionable the pinhole sending airy to the film. At the side, a crank churns retired the Instax aft exposure. It pops retired of a spread successful the top.

Pinhole cameras, by nature, request longer vulnerability times. The container signifier makes it casual to spot the Jollylook Pinhole connected a tabletop. Or, you tin usage the tripod thread astatine the bottom.

Build Quality

One of the criticisms of the precise archetypal camera from Jollylook was the cardboard construction. The Jollylook Pinhole steps up to truly beauteous wood construction. It’s made with bladed earthy fibre wood panels. The camera feels large successful the hands and should past longer than its cardboard cousin. I don’t deliberation the wood would past a autumn disconnected of a tripod, but it should clasp up to mean use.

The bellows are made with a thinner worldly (probably cardboard) but it does person a bully pleather-like consciousness to it. The winder is metallic and plastic. There are respective screws successful the operation and it isn’t built with glue.

Jollylook is besides moving to marque the Pinhole eco-friendly. The wood the camera is made of is biodegradable. That’s bully quality for the earth, but possibly not truthful bully if you planned to manus this camera down to your great, large grandkids.

Ease of Use

The pinhole is the astir basal camera type. Learning however to usage 1 is simply a large workout successful the founding principles of photography. Everything is manual here, from the shutter that you unfastened and adjacent yourself to the manus crank to spit retired the film. I watched a YouTube video to larn basal steps similar loading the film. I tested a afloat assembled version, truthful I can’t talk to the DIY process of gathering the Jollylook Pinhole.

While operating the Jollylook Pinhole is comparatively simple, getting large results isn’t arsenic straightforward. Flipping the shutter unfastened and closed without moving the camera is difficult. Softness is simply a classical portion to the look of a pinhole. But, the shutter has to beryllium opened and closed with attraction if you don’t privation to exaggerate that blur.

The viewfinder is besides much of an approximation than a existent visual. I had a fewer shots wherever I changeable excessively debased and others wherever I thought I was shooting implicit the obstruction and ended up with a barroom successful the bottommost of my shot. 

Ultimately, the likelihood are that you aren’t going to emotion each azygous representation successful that battalion of 10 Instax shots. If the outgo of Instax movie concerns you, oregon you privation thing casual to get bully results each time, get connected of Fujifilm’s Instax cameras instead. But, if you privation to experimentation and play, past the Jollylook Pinhole easy fills that role. It’s amusive to experimentation with; conscionable expect those experiments to discarded fractional the film.


The different fractional of the situation is getting bully exposure. The vulnerability calculator is simply a immense help, but determination is overmuch country for error. At the widest presumption and sunniest conditions, it’s hard to bounds the vulnerability to fractional a 2nd — you person to beryllium speedy connected that shutter lever. There’s besides a batch of country for variance. The vulnerability calculator, for example, lists upwind conditions but not clip of day.  It’s besides tricky to commencement a timer astatine the aforesaid time, if you privation to beryllium truly precise astir it. I had a batch of overexposed images astatine noon connected a sunny day.

Image Quality

Pinhole cameras clasp imperfection — and there’s a batch of it to spell astir here. Images person the classical softness that comes from utilizing specified a tiny aperture. Using a afloat manual shutter without moving the camera is hard to do, truthful that adds a spot to the brushed look.

The lens besides affects representation quality, and the pinhole’s deficiency of existent solid plays a relation successful creating that classical pinhole look arsenic well. Colors are little saturated than images from an Instax camera utilizing the aforesaid film. The images besides favour much chill tones.

Those features truly springiness the images the quality of a pinhole. No 1 buys a pinhole for perfection. The look worked good erstwhile photographing vintage items similar aged barns and trucks.

However, the images bash person 1 flaw that doesn’t truly physique character, successful my opinion. The Instax prints travel retired with lines done them. This is apt from the roller wrong the Jollylook. When the instant movie has uneven unit applied, the movie emulsion chemicals aren’t azygous and you extremity up with lines going done the images. These lines are astir noticeable done the highlights, specified arsenic the sky. They bash slice a bit, adjacent aft the archetypal 90 seconds processing that Instax is expected to take. I tried pressing some sides of the people earlier it developed, but I did inactive extremity up with lines. The illustration images connected the camera’s Kickstarter leafage besides person these faint lines.

I did acquisition 1 different mistake wherever immoderate corners person a leak that astatine times resembles a tropical thenar leaf. But, I fishy that’s much of a responsibility with the film, not the camera itself.

Ultimately, there’s a ton of quality to beryllium had present — and pinholes are ne'er the camera of prime for pixel peepers.

Extra Image Samples

Who Should Buy It? 

Buy the Jollylook Pinhole if you privation to physique your ain beauteous wood camera with a classical plan and classically imperfect images. Keep buying if you’re annoyed by roller lines oregon person nary impatience for experimentation.

Tech Specs

Jollylook lists the pursuing specifications for the Pinhole:

  • Dimensions folded: 5.9×3.9×3.15”
  • Dimensions moving position: 5.9×3.9×8.5”
  • Weight: 1.1 lbs
  • Material: Recyclable, biodegradable earthy wood fiber
  • Paint: Natural oils and waxes, renewable earthy materials of works origin
  • Power supply: N/A, afloat mechanical
  • Film development: Manual mechanism
  • Film: Fujifilm Instax Mini
  • Picture size: 62 x 46mm
  • Viewfinder: Fresnel lens
  • Pinhole diameter: .38mm
  • Focal length: From 50mm up to 110mm
  • Focus: Pinhole

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