Sample Images!

We’ve compiled some of our favourite images to give you an idea of what the camera is capable of.
Please bear in mind the resolution of the images is dependent on the scanning system used and ultimately the film stock the image was shot on.


Premium f8 lens example images

Single element f8 meniscus lens example images

Pinhole lens example images

Zone Plate lens example images

Premium lens news

Lens Design Upgrade!

Exciting update on the lens design.

This just in from our Lens designer Jason Lane in the US.

Alfie TYCH + Premium Lens is no longer a 2 element periscopic lens design, it’s getting a major upgrade!

Here’s a summary of what the lens upgrade means

The Alfie TYCH+ Comes with a premium 33mm F8 glass lens.
Designed around a classic Aplanat or Rapid Rectilinear design with 4 Elements in 2 groups. A modern higher index, lower dispersion glass replaces the two outer glass-types, and helps to correct over the wider spectral range (400-700nm) required for modern photography. A single-layer anti-reflection coating on all optical surfaces provides a balance of high transmission with a classic ever-so-slightly warm colour rendering.

And for those of you that love the detail here is the full design notes.

The Premium TYCH Lens is a nice little performer which represents the practical balance of cost and quality that modern American optical designers and design teams produce today. Worked out over the course of July-August 2022, the simplicity of the layout belies the challenges of space constraints and desired price point that the lens had to meet.

This design consists of 4 elements in two groups, with front and rear groups being the exact same doublet.  The layout appears to be that of a classic Aplanat or Rapid Rectilinear, but the design corrects more like a 6/2 Double Anastigmat. A modern higher index, lower dispersion glass replaces the two outer glass-types of the classic D.A., and helps to correct over the wider spectral range (400-700nm) required for modern photography.

Design symmetry corrects distortion, coma, and lateral colour. The shape, position relative to the stop, and thickness of the lenses help correct spherical aberration, astigmatism, and field curvature. Limiting the aperture stop to f/8 also helps spherical aberration and field curvature, and provides acceptable depth of focus over a wide range of object distances as well as helping to balance higher order residual aberrations against the third order.

A single-layer anti-reflection coating on all optical surfaces provides a balance of high transmission with a classic ever-so-slightly warm color rendering. Applied using modern deposition equipment in a state-of-the-art optical shop, the surfaces will stand up to cleaning methods as commonly practiced by the equipment-conscious modern film photographer.


Focal Length 33.3 mm (50mm equivalent on half frame)

f/# 8.0 at street photography distances 7.7 at   infinity

Field of view (half frame; 24 x 18 mm) 40° x 30.55°

Corrected spectral range  400-700 nm


We’ve got to make some shutter mounting adjustments to help minimise vignette with the lens, things are looking pretty good on paper even without the tweaks we want to make. Once the prototypes are in we’ll be excited to share some images with you all. It’s a 6-8 week lead time on prototype optics, but with this upgrade the wait should definitely be worth it.

You Tube live advert

Live YouTube product tour 29th September

We will be Live on YouTube on Thursday 29th September 2022. Join us to find out more about the TYCH cameras. We would love to see you all for a guided tour around the features of the camera and an insight into some of the engineering that goes in to making the product. There will be plenty of chance to ask questions during the live stream and we will be sharing some of the latest example photos from the beta prototypes.

You will only be able to post questions if you have subscribed to the channel so head over to YouTube, subscribe and bookmark us for the live show.
YouTube Live

New circuit boards are in

New PCBs are in

New PCBs have arrived, these represent a significant upgrade to the previous alpha version. Circuit errors have been corrected and most importantly the light meter has been integrated into the board. Normally the components on these circuit boards would be placed by robots, as we are at the prototype stage still we are hand soldering all the components. This means working with tweezers under a magnifying glass and double checking everything before applying power to the circuit. It can be pretty easy to fry a board if you don’t do things in a methodical manner, so we are taking our time to get things right.

Once the key components are on board we can power up and run a few tests. Then the main chip, the “brain” of the TYCH can be programmed and full board functionality tested out. We’ve got 10 to build up into Beta units plus a few extras to allow us to continue development whilst people are testing the cameras for us.


3D printer

The rise of the machines

I have used 3D printers in my professional career for over 20 years now, the technology at the time was amazing and it has continued to develop at a phenomenal rate. The range of materials and printing processes available is simply mind boggling, you can print plastic parts, metal parts even carbon fibre reinforced parts. Traditionally the printers have been expensive to buy and difficult to get good results from without a bit of knowhow. This has led to a proliferation of bureau services which allow you to upload a model for quoting in different materials and then order for subsequent delivery. Unfortunately this slows down what could otherwise be a rapid design iteration tool, not much but enough to be frustrating.

One notable development in the past 5 years has been the availability of printers for home use. From early models with basic capability and poor reliability we are now at the point where you can purchase a reliable 3d printer for £100. I have watched with keen interest as a specific type of 3d printer, the resin printer, has gradually come down in price and now it seems is within the grasp of mere mortals. We took the plunge last month at alfiecameras and decided to invest in a shiny new resin printing machine, a Flashforge 8.9 to be precise, coupled with a Creality wash and curing station they can churn through a camera print in about 5 hours. Not just any old print either, we are talking high resolution dimensionally accurate parts which allow us to assess fit and function of design changes. I have been seriously impressed by what the machine can do.

The machines are currently helping me re-design the main housing of the camera to improve the light seals ahead of printing our beta testing units. We can even print the parts in clear so I can see what’s going on inside the camera and iron out any issues before we manufacture pre-production batches. If you have been on the fence about owning one of the cheaper machines I can recommend it, with a little bit of time invested in understanding how to get the best from the machine you can make a big saving on bureau services in both time and cost.

Disposable cameras ready for recycling

Disposable? not any more

When looking for lens options for the TYCH I found an old disposable film camera and this set a few wheels in motion. Whilst the high street labs send their disposable cameras off for recycling, the smaller labs are left with a challenge of what to do with loads of plastic and electronic waste. I got in touch with the wonderful people at Analogue Wonderland and in no time at all a large box of sad looking cameras was landing in my workshop.

There’s clearly some differences between cameras but most have a fairly standard meniscus polycarbonate lens. Thankfully the most common disposable has a reasonably high quality version with a nice helping of “character”.

The plan is to re-cycle the lenses in the 1st instance, but I do have plans for other parts of the cameras, just need to get the TYCH off the ground 1st.

USB Power

One of the down sides of buying old second hand film cameras is some of them have strange battery sizes, it can be frustrating if you can’t track the right replacement down. Even when you do they can run out at the most awkward moments. We wanted to combine the benefits of new battery technology when designing the TYCH, we crammed in as much capacity as we could and combined with the low power requirements of the camera you can shoot reel upon reel of film without needing a re-charge.

When you do need to re-charge all you need is a USB C cable and a suitable charge socket, the TYCH will recharge in just a few hours if switched off. You can even use the TYCH tethered to USB power if you are planning on some crazy long exposures!

Light Leaks

Light leaks and focus woes

It’s fair to say I wasn’t expecting the first few rolls of film to be perfect. I was very pleased to be getting recognisable images from the 1st working camera. Turns out there are a few issues to resolve. The focus is out of whack for all but the pinhole lens, pinholes have this lovely habit of always being in focus (albeit a slightly dreamy focus). For the meniscus polycarbonate lens things are clearly a little bit off. Images from my 1st 2 films taken with this lens have all been a little out of focus. I have a plan for fixing this issue, essentially it boils down to getting the lens positioned at exactly the right distance from the film. Solving that problem was going to need a special bit of kit, more on that later.

The other problem was a nice selection pf light leaks. My 1st black and white film was taken on an overcast day and I didn’t really notice anything unusual. Once I ran a colour film through the camera however the problem was a bit more obvious. If you are ever trying to track down light leaks there are a few things to bear in mind;

  • Red light leaks on colour negative typically come from the back of the camera as the light is filtered through the film base.
  • White light leaks are most likely from the lens side of the camera.
  • Any leaks that span the whole film from top to bottom are very likely due to rear door light leaks.

Turns out I had all of the above! Under strong sunlight the camera had more holes than a broken sieve.
The process for tracking them down involves close examination of your negatives, a good torch and some black tape. I am working on a redesign of the rear door labyrinth light seals (I had cut a few corners on the 1st design) which is now looking good. Also I spotted a rather large hole in the shutter mechanism which only shows up in strong light at certain angles! I’ve got a solution in the works for this as well so the next films should start to show the true potential of the TYCH.


Pinholes are in!

Turns out making pinholes is harder than it looks. You need a clean edge to avoid strange artefacts on your image whether it be flares or blurriness. A thin material is essential as you don’t want to create a light tunnel for reflections, not too thin mind as assembly becomes a challenge.
We looked at laser cutting, CNC machining and photo etching for our pinholes and in the end decided photo etching was the best option for the TYCH. This week we took delivery of our 1st batch, one a4 photo etched sheet of brass complete with nearly 300 pinhole plates on it! That should keep us going for a while.
If you are looking to make your own pinholes there are loads of resources available on the web with tips and tricks for making a one off pinhole. We make extensive use of Mr Pinhole for calculating pinhole sizes, focal lengths and f-stops.