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"Nikai" camera

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  • #985
    Analogy
    Participant

    So my father came back from a trip to visit his parents with a camera they had lying around unused.

    I think it might make a fun holga/lomo type of camera if I can figure it out a bit.

    The fun details:
    It comes with an external flash, connected to the camera via a standard hot shoe. For some reason it won’t fire from my 30D. Sparks actually fly off it when I try to fire it by manually shorting the terminals. I think it’s putting the entire power of the flash through the hot shoe. Maybe I don’t want to put this on my 30D. =D I shocked myself a couple times in the process of taking the sparks picture, it’s pretty ridiculous.

    Any electronics wizards who could help me figure out how to make it fire on the 30D (preferably without running high voltage through my camera!) would be appreciated.

    The radio trigger for my studio flash triggers perfectly when mounted on the camera. Woot?

    The camera itself: Fixed lens, 50mm focal length, fixed focus, manual aperture from f/16 to f/4.5. Opening the aperture from f/16 makes a tube extend from the front of the lens barrel for no discernable reason. There’s no actual optics in this tube, just a clear plastic plate. Looking inside the lens you can see a 2(!) bladed diaphragm moving when you change the aperture setting. Each blade is a right angle shape and the two blades form a square. There is an additional circular stop behind the iris which becomes the f/4.5 stop.

    The lens itself is a lot smaller than the protrusion on the front of the camera, more in line with something like you’re see on a disposable. I think it’s trying to look like a “professional” camera, which may explain the tube extension when you open the aperture, because the action of the aperture looks a little like focusing, and “real” lenses extend when you focus. Yeah, it sounds weird to me too.

    It’s got two viewfinders, a waist level viewfinder on the top which looks through the lens just above the taking lens, and a “normal” viewfinder which looks through the lens on the upper right as you look at the photo.

    The shutter looks to be a simple leaf shutter. Shutter speed is a mystery. I’m trying to figure out what it could be by looking through the back while it’s pointed at my computer monitor and firing it a bunch of times. Right now I’m guessing about 1/100, which would make sense with a min aperture of f/16 and ISO 100 film.

    Makes an annoying beeping noise when you hold down the shutter partway. This is probably to simulate the beep that many SLRs give off when they achieve focus. I’m going to try and disable that beep when I explore the camera’s innards.

    The photo at the top was taken by darkening the room completely and “painting” the camera with a flashlight during a long exposure. Took a few tries to get what you see here.

    The sparks photo was also taken by darkening the room, the light from when the flash fired froze my hands and I managed to “milk” some more sparks out of it over the next few seconds before the shutter closed. That’s why the sparks don’t appear to be coming from the terminal. Oops, my bad. =O

    #11231
    Klahanie
    Participant

    I found a couple of them on ebay. In the description on at least 2 of the auctions it mentions that it has an AERODYNAMIC DESIGN. So it’s got that going for it. 😉

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Nikai-35mm-Deluxe-Camera-Set-NIB_W0QQitemZ290121536398QQihZ019QQcategoryZ626QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    I like your photo of it!

    #11232
    Analogy
    Participant

    I found a couple of them on ebay. In the description on at least 2 of the auctions it mentions that it has an AERODYNAMIC DESIGN. So it’s got that going for it. 😉

    It’s true, I took it into a wind tunnel and it performed flawlessly. It’s perfect for taking skydiving pictures. Or not.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Nikai-35mm-Deluxe-Camera-Set-NIB_W0QQitemZ290121536398QQihZ019QQcategoryZ626QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    If that’s for the same camera, they’re blatantly lying. “Deluxe Electronic Flash,” “Fast Recycling of flash,” ha. It’s no speedlite, that’s for sure. And it’s a good 5-6 seconds between flashes, I tried to light the picture of the camera with the flash but I could only get about 5 flashes out of it in a 30 second long exposure, so I had to switch to the flashlight technique.

    “Zoom type lens,” maybe they’re referring to the hood that pops out when you open the aperture, because it sure as hell doesn’t refer to the lens.

    “Red Eye Reduction,” sure, if by that you mean detaching the flash and holding it away from the camera so the light isn’t reflecting straight back through your subject’s eyes.

    I like your photo of it!

    Thanks, I spent probably a half an hour trying out different lighting techniques before I got what you see.

    #11233
    sleeping
    Participant

    Any electronics wizards who could help me figure out how to make it fire on the 30D (preferably without running high voltage through my camera!) would be appreciated.

    These would work, I think, but they’re not exactly cheap: http://www.omegasatter.com/v2/products/displaycategory.cfm?CatID=482

    #11234
    Analogy
    Participant

    These would work, I think, but they’re not exactly cheap: http://www.omegasatter.com/v2/products/displaycategory.cfm?CatID=482

    My wallet just cringed in terror. I think I’ll forego putting this flash on my 30D for now. =D

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