We. Love. Film. NuBox 1, a completely modernized box camera, takes inspiration from the cameras of old while innovating to meet the demands of the contemporary photographer. Hamm Camera Company has designed and produced a one-of-a-kind experience with the NuBox 1.
Too Long, Didn’t Read: Just the facts, please.
We get it, you’re excited. So, here’s the scoop. Hamm Camera Company has produced a modern box camera in several colors and styles with a 1/200 of a second shutter, apertures from f32 to f5.6, and an interchangeable lens-cartridge system offering standard, wide, and telephoto fields of view. The hardware contains optical grade glass lenses and windows, polished mirrors, and real ground glass viewfinders. Each model will ship in retail packaging with a full manual, quick start guide, two empty 120 film spools, two sets of winding knobs, a complete NuBox 1, one Standard lens-cartridge, two sets of standard aperture sticks, and a lifetime guarantee. The camera is ready for mass production. Once funded, the proceeds will be used to set up a production line and the backers will begin receiving their cameras in July 2018. The NuBox 1 is available starting at $79.99 USD with free shipping to the continental US and a small shipping fee (dependent on your location) for our friends abroad.
What’s the full story?
Let’s get down to business. The NuBox 1 sports a shutter speed of 1/200 of a second, apertures ranging from f5.6 all the way to f32, and interchangeable lens cartridges. That’s right. Hamm Camera Company has created the first Box Camera with a shutter speed of 1/200 second, designed a shutter system which allowing for an aperture as large as f5.6 (another first in the box camera category), and designed a lens-in-cartridge system which allows us to provide three different fields of view: a standard, wide angle, and telephoto lens-cartridge.
It's Complete, Right?
The design process is complete. We have a small developer preview group who will give their final feedback on the camera prior to shipping to backers in July of 2018. This will allow Hamm Camera Company to make any last-minute adjustment to the camera that could only be found by professionals in the field. The accomplishment here is that NuBox 1 is not just an “idea”, it’s a physical camera in working condition right now.
Why We Need your Help.
This Kickstarter is to raise money for a full production line to be set up in Virginia Beach, Virginia. We want to keep production of the NuBox 1 organic to Hamm Camera Company. Therefore, we will be making all parts of the camera except for the optical hardware, for which we have set up a great sourcing and supply chain partner. This means that as orders are placed, optics will be received, and the NuBox 1 will be produced, assembled, and finished. All by hand, all for you.
What we need to make this work.
The key component to the process is a hybrid 3D production model. That’s what the Kickstarter is for. Everyone who backs this project is backing the purchase of the production line; several different 3D printers, and a small warehouse to facilitate production, finishing, and shipping. Hamm Camera Company already owns the designs and finishing process. Therefore, only a few new machines and a suitable work space are needed to launch successfully. We hope you join us in this great project.
How is it made?
Our camera is durable. We wanted to design a camera that will be functioning twenty years down the road. This got us thinking about materials which almost never deteriorate and led us to plastic. We thought about how the cameras would be used, the different environments the machine would operate, what kind of user maintenance would be required; and determined that we needed three different processes and two different kinds of plastics to be successful. Working with plastic allows all of the production to stay in house. It means that a small group of people can produce and maintain consistent production for hundreds of cameras at a single time. Hamm Camera Company discovered that by keeping all design, production, finishing and shipping operations organic, we would be able to reach a high order volume while keeping the price down. Without 3D printing, our entry price of $79.99 USD, nor our ability to produce the cameras at that price, would be possible.
Are there any other designs or accessories in the works?
Hamm Camera Company has two other box camera designs on the drawing board right now. One will be for 35mm film and the other for Fujifilm Instax instant film. We are working on our telephoto and wide lens cartridges, as well as some interesting aperture and shutter designs for development purposes.
What are your future plans?
As the design process began to wrap up, we realized that Hamm Camera Company had a different mission than just creating a great box camera. We realized that we were pioneering a new industry of camera production, the Maker Movement. It became apparent that we have a very important role to play in the film revival, and that is one which bridges the distance between Makers and users. We have gained the experience and knowledge of how to make a completely 3D printed camera, and we want to foster that presence through forums, workshops, and design contests. Hamm Camera Company isn’t just bringing the box back, we are also creating reference hardware for a new generation of photographer. We believe that the next big thing in photography is the Do-It-Yourself movement, that people will make the camera they want by designing it. Hamm Camera Company will be at the helm of this movement.
Sample Pre-Release NuBox 1 Images
In the above image, Rob was conducting street photography to test the shutter and see if there would be any blurriness from walking pedestrians and hand shake. As you can see, there is none, YAY! However, working within the limitations of a box camera, rob was using a light meter to insure that 100 ISO, f22, and 1/200th second shutter would work well. This meant that the image was taken on a very bright day and the EV was about 16-17. It was a very bright sunny day and the shot came out well.
In this image, Rob was photographing his son at the park. Using f/11 at golden hour worked out for a beautiful photo. The image is a little light starved and you can see the grain coming through. In this instance Rob chose f/11 in order to have the appropriate near and far limit focus. You can see that the background is beginning to blur. This is because the hyper-focal zone begins about fifty feet behind the subject. Creating images with good bokeh is easy on the NuBox 1 when you line the subject up in front of a background that is a long way off. It also helps to keep the background the same exposure value as the subject (or a little darker).
Notice the sharpness across the frame in this still image. The NuBox 1 is designed to to work best as a point and shoot camera using f/22 on a bright sunny day. Notice the dynamic range from dark to light. This is because of modern optic and lens design.
The above image pushes the limit of portrait photography with NuBox 1. Illustrated here is beautiful shallow depth of field rendered at f/5.6 as golden hour passes. In order to get this shot, Rob had to point the headlights of his car at the side of his son to provide rim lighting and because as the sun set, there was not enough light to properly expose the image. You can see that the film was struggling to render what little light was available. Rob used a light meter and tape measure to compose the shot. Savvy photographers who desire this kind of portrait photography will find an exciting challenge when photographing with NuBox 1.
Final Notes on the test images:
There are many photographers who are experts in the field of medium format film photography, developing, and printing. These images were provided as a general look at pre-release hardware. We believe they are great and are excited about them. But that won't stop us from improving. Our closed developers preview participants will be soon providing Hamm Camera Company with their final thoughts on everything with the camera, including imaging. Please know that it will only get better from here.
Also, Rob chose to shoot black and white because he likes it a lot. Another note... Rob didn't expect to shoot so late into the evening or he would have chosen a faster film! We are still proud anyway.
What The industry has to say about NuBox 1
- February 1, 2018: Mint Camera hosts Robert Hamm, creator of NuBox,on a Live Stream demo and QnA. Robert shows how the camera operates and discusses technical points of camera design.
- February 1, 2018: Em from the prestigious Emulsive.org, interviews Hamm Camera's Robert Hamm and Andre Domingues about the start of the company, current state of medium format photography with box cameras, and discovers some exciting future plans.
- January 23, 2018: Bill Manning from Studio C-41 Introduces Hamm Camera and NuBox 1 to his readers. Shares details and history of the genre.
- January 22, 2018: The Negative Positive Photography Podcast's very own Mike Gutterman interviews Andre Domingues of Hamm Camera Company about NuBox 1.
- January 19, 2018: Hamish from 35mmc shares news of NuBox 1 with savvy readers. Gives his take on the box camera genre and the influence of Hamm Camera Company.
- January 18, 2018: Bellamy Hunt from Japan Camera Hunter discusses NuBox 1 by Hamm Camera Company and invites discussion about the camera in the comments.
- January 17, 2018: John Aldred from DIY Photography Reports on the success of NuBox 1 by discussing it's importance as a successor to the traditional box camera. Shares details, photos, and sample images.
- January 15, 2018: Nico from Nico's Photography News interviews the Public Relations Director for Hamm Camera Company, Andre Domingues. Interview is filmed on location in Miami, Florida.
- January 15, 2018: Mike Raso from the Film Photography Project's Round Table report on the Nu-Box 1 By Hamm Camera Company.
- January 15, 2018: The Phoblographer, Chris Gampat, announces the NuBox 1 available on Kickstarter. Shares details and images from the camera.
- January 11, 2018: Graeme and Rachel from the Sunny 16 Podcast interview Robert Hamm and Andre Domingues about Hamm Camera Company, the NuBox 1, and the Kickstarter launch.
- January 7, 2018: Nico from Nico's Photography News shares details about the upcoming box camera from Hamm Camera Company.
- December 22, 2017: Chris Gampat, the Phoblographer, broke our story with full details of the camera, an interview with Robert Hamm, and the NuBox 1 Kickstarter launch.
- December 6, 2017: Chris and Timothy from the Analog Talk Podcast interview Andre Domingues about Hamm Camera Company, the NuBox 1, and his experiences with film.
- October 13, 2017: Bellamy Hunt over on Japan camera hunter first broke our story with a short article about the camera, our process, and the promise a revival of this platform could bring.
- August 17, 2017 Mint Camera announces Robert Hamm as an Expert on the TL70 and Fujifilm Instax Mini Film
- July 31, 2017: Robert Hamm reveals Hamm Camera box camera project.
- April 25, 2017: The Phoblographer, Chris Gampat, cites Robert Hamm's work as a great reference for professionals.
Tee Shirt Reward:
Polo Shirt Reward:
NuBox 1 Weathered Series Reward:
NuBox 1: Vintage Series Reward
Risks and challenges
We at Hamm Camera Company love a good challenge. Just consider the NuBox 1. The design process included over 40 box designs almost 200 shutter designs, and the list goes on and on.
One thing we were concerned about early on was production. We were worried that we couldn't procure our cameras in a volume sufficient enough to meet demand. We were concerned about any supply chain partners that may have demand to larger companies. None of this was acceptable. So we decided to keep our camera and the processes and production methods organic to Hamm Camera.
The key to this was learning how to design a camera, use the software, prototype, and test... Then do it all again until we got it right, and we got it right!
Keeping things inside the company lead to the team becoming cross-trained on all aspects of production and marketing, sourcing, and design. Completely unintentional, yet absolutely valuable, was a result that we gained the experience through doing and then could critique within our organization. This sped up design times between prototypes.
Finally, when the design process was complete and the development preview was ready, we were ready to get the camera into the hands of professionals in the field. This has been one of the most exciting parts of our journey so far.
Yet, one concern early on was answered through our experience. No one knows hoe to make the NuBox 1 better than us! So, we decided to upgrade our production process to higher resolution 3d printers, we are using a hybrid process of FDM and SLA printing with several different resins and plastic filament.
In the end, keeping the intellectual property organic to Hamm Camera Company, keeping our print finishing process and technique in house has allowed us to keep costs down, price our models very competitively, and provide a hands on approach to customer service, production, and fulfillment.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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