The hell I went through to get these images! The hell I say! I bought this “mini camera” off the Internet. When it arrived, there were two mini cameras in the box. I’m sure it was an oversight on the sender’s part, but it turned out to be a good thing for me. I have no idea where you can get film for this camera…I’m not even sure it’s a camera. I’m pretty sure it’s just a toy, but I forced it to become a camera, and from this point on, I’ll refer to it as such. Each camera came with a tiny film spool. This meant I could cut up some 120 film (a 5/8″ strip – I’m wondering if 110 film would work?), tape it to one spool (the take-up spool) and load the rest of the film onto the other spool. In my first attempt I kept the paper backing. I took a couple of shots and the end of the take-up spool broke. After going back into the darkroom, I switched spools, so the unbroken spool could replace the broken one and I immediately broke the unbroken spool. Now I had two broken spools. I’d put too much energy into cutting the stupid film to give up at this point. So, I merely taped it all together (without the paper this time), left the darkroom to take one photograph, came back to the darkroom to advance the film…lather, rinse, repeat. I guess I didn’t advance it quite right, because there’s a double exposure of an antique high chair. Bet you couldn’t tell what it was, huh? Bet you thought it was some secret plans for an enemy missile rocket, or something, huh? I mean, it is a spy camera!
Made in Hong Kong, the camera has a shutter release that keeps the shutter open for as long as you hold the lever down. The knurled winder knob broke off the camera as soon as I touched it and I had to do a custom super glue job. It has a little viewfinder, which is a tiny help. (Tiny, get it?) I’ve tapped and tapped, with my best pinky nail, on that cheezy little lens and I’m pretty sure it’s glass. It came in a really cool box, with a picture of a car stopped at a railroad crossing or something.
I don’t know that I’ll ever use this camera again. Real spies have most likely gone digital by now.
Click on any image for a larger view.
I made a Gala Edition Hit Tiara using one of these “cameras”:
This is one of the many “Hit-type” cameras (http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Hit-type_cameras). It uses 17.5mm roll film. You can respool some 16mm film and it should work quite well. You can often find a box of very expired film for these on that evil auction site, you know the one. Toss the film and use the paper and reels for respooling.