It was an incredible "TV" offer! Simply buy a one year subscription to the venerable Time magazine for a low, low price and receive a free, high quality 35mm camera!
Boy Howdy did it work. Thousands of subscriptions and thousands of high quality cameras flew from Time magazine’s warehouses. Soon other magazines followed suit with their own incredible offers and incredible cameras. Eventually, you got one of these cameras for enduring a high pressure timeshare pitch, opening a savings account at your local savings and loan, and maybe for filling up your tank at the local EXXON station.
Like all bubbles, this one burst. Word of mouth got around that these promotional cameras were not the high technology wonders being cranked out by Canon and Nikon. Although they looked similar, these cameras were simple plastic cameras hardly worth what you had to endure to get one!
A massive wave of buyers’ remorse swept the country and the Time magazine camera and its many clones began to flood thrift shops around the world....along with bundles of lightly read magazines.
At this point in our story, we should say that the cameras were discovered by young hipsters, artists and Lomographers for the unique images the camera can produce. Then they would fly off the shelf once again. But sadly…no. They still stink up second hand stores, thrift shops and landfills at exceptionally low prices.
The Time Magazine Camera (TMC) and its many clones are the Rodney Dangerfields of the toy camera universe. Don’t get no respect! You can blame the glass lens that renders a sharp, quality image on your film for this sad state of affairs. The TMC did not have the “dreamy” Diana styrene lens or the flare prone Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim wide angle lens to attract the artsy types.
In this instructable, we’ll try to move your TMC a little closer to high quality camera you expected in the first place by adding some photographic capabilities. Specifically, we’ll add:
1. Multiple exposure capability
2. Extra shutter speeds
3. Filter capability
4. Lens shade
5. Cable Release Socket
Step 1: Camera Overview
1. "Color" "Optical" "Kinetic" "Capital" Lavec" Glass Lens (50mm) in an absurdly large housing.
2, Autofocus...in that it is a fixed focused. Can't get more auto than that.
2. Adjustable aperture, f6 - f16 or cloud to full sun.
3. Fake pentaprism bump.
4. Hot shoe that really works.
5. Tripod bushing.
6. Rewind button and crank.
7. Chunk of lead in the bottom for that quality feel.
8. Viewfinder that does not really work all that well.
9. AOL Time Life Warner logo.
10. Takes pictures.