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2007.10.25 Went through and updated a few links today, also cleaned up some page code (this page now validates as XHTML 1.0 Transitional). This site is old! It's nice that this page still turns up at the top of Google searches for "photoblaster". In the near future, I should include some better product photos of the 'Blaster.
My PhotoBlaster hasn't seen much travel use lately. I can see it from here, sitting on a shelf, all lonely. It's been supplanted by ease of digital (Canon S230, "old reliable"). My Canon makes me want to take my camera with me everywhere and snap photos. By comparison the Photoblaster, however lovable, is klunky. I checked eBay again today, and no P-Blasters for sale right now. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled to see how much they're running.
Feel free to email Photoblaster related comments and questions to: t h a t s i x e r AT h o t m a i l DOT c o m
Why does this page exist? _top_
I found out about the PhotoBlaster around May 1999. My friend brought one on a vacation trip I took with a bunch of friends, and it intrigued me immediately. I only got around to looking for one this month (June 2000), only to have a hard time finding any information about them. So I built this page as a resource and shrine for PhotoBlaster fans and enthusiasts, as well as fans of other "toy" cameras.
What is the PhotoBlaster? _top_
The Nickelodeon PhotoBlaster (Long Hall Technologies model N6800) is a compact "kid's" camera which has the useful feature of being able to take 4 images onto a single 35mm frame of film, one shot at a time. The camera uses standard 35mm film, and has a built-in viewfinder and flash, and works by shooting with 2 fixed lenses. The camera was sold for about $40 retail.
Why should it be worshipped? _top_
For a number of reasons:
Who Made the PhotoBlaster? _top_
The Nickelodeon PhotoBlaster was manufactured until 1999 by:
Long Hall Technologies
500 Eastern Pkwy.
Farmingdale, NY 11735
Phone: 631-293-6900 Fax: 516-293-7130
The camera itself was made in China. It used to retail for about $40. I found mine at K-Mart for $24.99.
I called Long Hall on June 14, 2000, and was told that the company stopped manufacturing the camera before the 1999 holidays, i.e., sometime during Fall 1999. The company was not very helpful in providing information on what stores might still have these cameras.
Subsequently the Photoblaster has become somewhat hard-to-find, as a kind of photography "collector's item." But you can still find them, as I did today (6/19/00). Check the How I Can Find One section.
Where Can I Get One? _top_
Long Hall Technologies (see above) no longer manufactures the camera as of Fall 1999. There are cameras circulating around in the stock of many major toy and department stores, to which Long Hall distributed. Places I recommend trying:
What is the best film for my PhotoBlaster? _top_
Good question. People report shooting 200 to 800 speed film (see reviews below). I'll post feedback from people here periodically. My first roll used in my LOMO Action Sampler with 400 in sunny conditions yielded very grainy results. If this is any indication for film in the PB, I would personally recommend lower speed (200). Check out the gallery for my first roll of PhotoBlaster film, shot on Kodak Gold 100. I think 200 sounds pretty optimum given the first results. Add your vote for your favorite film type to our poll.
Other Cool Cameras Similar to the PhotoBlaster _top_
The LOMO Action Sampler
Buy it now at: http://www.freestylephoto.biz/sc_prod.php?cat_id=&pid=2690
This cool little camera takes 4 quick shots in sequential order using its 4 lenses over the course of one second. A cheap plastic camera which opens up a whole new range of very cinematic photo possibilities.
The Kalimar golf camera
Buy it now at: www.lomo.com
John Stewart <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes: "The Nickelodeon PhotoBlaster is better as a shelf item. There is no real spacing, so the four images tend to vary in spacing, driving photofinishers nuts. A better choice (if you can find one) is the Kalimar golf camera, made by Fuji. This is an electronically controlled model with precise spacing. Can so single shots or 16 sequences across two frames. They were $300, but could be found for $45 if you got lucky. I got lucky. It was made by Fuji and sold in the USA as a Kalimar. Mine isn't handy, so I can't give you a model number. It's odd, made specifially to photograph golf swings! The electronically controlled shutter had four modes: one speeded up in the center series of the 16 shots to catch more of the swing, the other kept a steady speed. The third did 15 shots and saved the last one for a snapshot. The fourth shot each "frame" separately. Very odd, very expenseive, very (former) Japanese boom time product. I found mine at Neiman Marcus, deeply discounted."
(Ed. note 6.26.00--I found a camera called the "Action Shot 16" on the Kalimar website. I don't know if this is the same camera, but check it out anyway. Haven't found where you can find it yet though.)
(Ed. note 4.16.01--I believe the Kalimar website is no longer active. I emailed them about this camera several times last year but never received a single reply.) _top_
(Ed. note 5.24.01--Kalimar has merged with Tiffen. Read the press release here.)
(Ed. note 3.29.02--Thanks to Kim Tran for a nice tip...it's being sold in limited quantities at $230 each through lomo.com)
(Ed. note 1.02.02--Unfortunately lomo.com has been out of stock on these for a while...will post more sources if they become available).
(Ed. note 10.25.07--Here's a link to the WayBack Machine site for Kalimar ActionShot 16. Unfortunately it looks like the product photo is missing).
This Toy Camera
Ring site owned by P. Mosinskis.
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