The camera market is filled with materials from plastic to magnesium alloy but the Ondu III is made (mostly) from wood. Returning after two successful Kickstarters, Ondu is back with a new series of wood pinhole cameras and it’s hard to tell what looks better, the images or the camera.
The Ondu III series contains several different cameras with different film sizes all the way up to large format, along with a new advanced Rise line. The cameras are largely made from ash and walnut, while the interior parts and those the most susceptible to wear and tear are created from CNC-milled aluminum.
The third generation of the camera line uses a magnetic shutter that allows for smoother, shake-free shots and that satisfying click noise, according to Ondu. The pinhole is also now surrounded by hidden magnets, which allows the cameras to use Conkin circular filters. The third generation series also uses a few more parts that are aluminum or steel.
Like the earlier generations, framing lines on the wooden body help guide the photographer’s composition, since there is no mirror inside pinhole cameras to create a viewfinder. The company also added carrying loops and a strap for more carrying options. The classic series includes options from a 135mm camera to a 4×5 film camera, including some panoramic sizes in between. The 120 film cameras can also be adapted to use 135mm film.
Along with the classic cameras, Ondu also shared the Rise series. The Rise series uses three pinholes instead of one. The change allows photographers to compose with the rule of thirds, the company says, without the off-center distortion typically associated with the pinhole format. The Rise series cameras are compatible with the Conkin Series A square filters. The Rise series options include models from a 120mm film to 4×5.
Ondu is a Slovenia-based company that launched in 2013 with a Kickstarter campaign for the company’s first pinhole camera series. The company says the third series is based on feedback from photographers using the first two generations of the camera.
The company has already more than doubled the Kickstarter goal, which reduces but doesn’t completely eliminate the Kickstarter risk. Pledges that include a camera start at $89 and increase as the film size increases, with the Rise series starting at $168. The company anticipates delivery in May.