Oleg Khalip: The Creator of the Jollylook Answers Questions (EXCLUSIVE)

The Jollylook is a brand new camera announced on Kickstarter that spits out Instax Mini sized photos while also having a very DIY and vintage appeal to it. Naturally though, lots of people have questions about it and how it works. So we got an exclusive interview with Oleg Khalip – the creator of Jollylook.

And guess what? It seems like larger formats are coming!

This is what the Jollylook used to look like before it was put on Kickstarter.

Phoblographer: What made you want to create a compact camera made from paper that shoots instax?

Oleg: I was inspired by my son’s question about how to construct an analog camera, it was an old German camera that he found in the house of my father.

Telling my son about how it works, I wanted to do something unusual, spectacular, and what is more spectacular than instant photo? But it was important that a child or an adult can easily examine the camera and how it works, so was born the idea, it became a challenge.

Phoblographer: Is something like this possible with Impossible Project film formats or Instax Wide at all?

Oleg: Of course, it is possible, after the Jollylook campaign ends and all our backers receive their Jollylooks, I hope we will be able to please fans with a different designs for different formats.
Before Jollylook, I created a similar camera that worked on a Fujifilm FP100c, and FP3000B but unfortunately when everything was ready Fujifilm announced the termination of the supply of these films, and I went to creating Jollylook, that we are presenting.

Phoblographer: Tell us about the durability. Sure, it’s super affordable, but how long is a camera really expected to last?

Oleg: With one of the prototypes of Jollylook we used 12 cartridges and it is still working great,
When I decided to make the camera out of paper, I thought about books: some books last for a long time, I also think a lot depends on the design, we tried to make it durable and external elements used vinyl laminated cardboard (this is used for book bindings) increased the reliability of Jollylook.

Phoblographer: What about the bellows system? This is always a concern of so many photographers.

Oleg: In Jollylook the bellows system is primarily a design element, but also an opportunity for taking macro photos. The Bellows system is made from a laminated vinyl accordion so the strength of this element is high.

Phoblographer: Tell us more about the lens if possible. How many elements? And what about the aperture; how many blades are there?

Oleg: We tried using different lenses from dozens of old cameras, and ended up with the best one for Jollylook – a long-focus meniscus lens with a focal length of 110mm.

The aperture: a disk diaphragm with seven values: f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22; f/32; f/45; f/64 + pinhole.

Phoblographer: I think one of the biggest things that every photographer has wanted is manual control with shutter speeds. You’re offering it via the manual setting. How will this work exactly and what shutter speeds are available?

Oleg: The shutter that I designed for this camera is inertial, that means the exposure depends on the size and weight of the shutter (I don’t think anyone has done this before). Measurements show that the duration of exposure accuracy can be ± 10% accurate.

The regular shutter speed is set to 1/250s. But there is a pin weight that comes with Jollylook, it can be inserted into the top part of the viewfinder, that makes it 1/160s.

In manual mode, When you press the shutter-release button – the shutter stays open until you press the release button again.

Combined with 7 aperture values, and Pinhole it gives you a great field for experimentation. Originally created as a teaching toy I now hope it will please both children and adults.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.