MUSICEYES & EDGE

Kickstarter Pick: Duo

MUSICEYES & EDGE
Kickstarter Pick: Duo
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Who: Kevin Kadooka, a senior mechanical engineering student at the University of PortlandWhat: Duo, a DIY retro camera kitGoal: $10,000 by Feb. 20So far: ~$12,700His story: Ever since Kevin Kadooka received his first camera, he thought, “oh man, I want to build one of these.”Growing up, Kadooka’s habit of dismantling things and attempting to build them back together earned him the nickname “broke-chanic,” he said, laughing. In college, he continued tinkering with old cameras and photography and daydreamed about the perfect camera that he would want to use.He designed the Duo, in a sense, for himself. For the average photographer who uses point-and-shoot cameras, the Duo is a clunky whole-body process. Snapping a photo requires holding the Duo at waist-level and a look down a viewfinder. For the avid photographer like Kadooka, however, the large viewfinder, manual controls and vintage look of the instant Polaroid or roll film are all prized features.“It’s a little obscure, not something that’s found in modern cameras,” Kadooka said. “It was very common in the 60s and 70s. It’s a little bit of a blast from the past.”The camera became popular on Flickr and blogs, and people asked him if he ever planned to build more.Kadooka, who never expected his camera to gain such notice, made a second prototype with laser-cut plywood parts that fit together like a puzzle.The do-it-yourself kit is available through Kickstarter, but it’s up to buyers to find their own lens and Polaroid backing, Kadooka said. So far, he has orders for 45 kits, and he hopes to reach 50. Kadooka could also make the Duo for you, but the ready-to-use version costs more than twice as much.“A lot of Polaroids have really tiny viewfinders that are difficult to compose on,” Kadooka said. “Really, one of the big factors is actually being able to see what you can get. In a Duo viewfinder, you can see exactly that. You can see pretty close to what the actual photo is going to look like.”For a while, Kadooka was a freelance photographer, which he didn’t particularly enjoy. He views his Duo camera in much the same way, not as a career-making small business, but more like a pet side project.“There’s something about the business aspect that I didn’t really like,” Kadooka. “Some things I really enjoy, and some things that should really stay a hobby. This is one of them.”Written by: Dominique Fong//