The following information is a brief and general description of how the MK-VR microdot camera is operated. MK-VR owners also receive access to our online Operation Manual. The MK-VR Operation Manual loaded with photos, videos and tutorials that are educational, interesting and insightful.
Using the MK-VR is actually quite easy. This is mainly due to the simplicity of it's design and function. It was designed for the everyday user with little or no film camera experience. You don't have the many settings to deal with that one encounters on cameras like the Tessina or Minox and other so-called "spy cameras". In fact there are no camera settings for you to adjust at all. When using the MK-VR, one loads the camera with film, aims it at the subject, flips the shutter open and closed. Now your finished with the first photo so you advance the frame and the protocol is repeated. It is possible to take 11 microdot photos on one film disc.
Even with the absence of any camera settings, there are still a few adjustments one can and must make. Those include the lighting environment, background, subject density, film speed (ISO or ASA), and exposure time. MK-VR owners with Interchangeable Optic Cannons also have the ability to adjust the aperture or F-stop. Creative users may experiment with other variables like lens filters or subject targeting and matting. Understanding how to manipulate these variables will allow you to "master" the use of the MK-VR.
As the MK-VR was developed, all empirical research was conducted as any well planned & executed experiment would be. There are a lot of controls to hold constant. A good experiment has but one variable, and though not always possible, you should try to work with your MK-VR as such. Make individual and subtle changes when learning to use the camera. Here are some helpful tips aimed at helping you become a proficient MK-VR user and quickly obtain the highest quality photographic results.
Start by selecting a film. Choose film by the quality or "fineness" of the emulsion and the speed of the film referred to as ASA or ISO. Contrast is another option to consider as some films are very high contrast, or more black and white, while others are called medium or low contrast and are more grayscale oriented. Once you select a suitable film, you've isolated one variable. You will want to always experiment using the selected film. You should strive to process your film identically each time.
Select a subject. Generally a document or photo is an excellent choice. We recommend using a black and white high contrast document, while using high contrast film. Now you've isolated another variable.
Set up your lighting. Choose a type of light to use. The camera will work well with most conventional bulbs and tubes. Good results can be achieved with incandescent or fluorescent units as well as led and halogen.
Keep in mind that certain spectrums or wavelengths can have adverse effects on the film you are using. Now you have one more constant for your experimentation.
Choose a suitable place and a background to use. It may be a gray cement floor in a basement or a brown carpet in your den or perhaps a few pieces of blank printer paper placed in an array on the bathroom floor. Select a location where the ambient light does not change.
It's difficult to control everything, but the above described practices will give you a good start to mastering use of the MK-VR. Now you can isolate more variables or start taking photos. Once you start photographing with the camera, it's a good idea to record the details of each and every shot you make. It's advised to make a separate sheet of information for each disc of film and carefully record the differences from one frame to the next. Soon you will be able to interpret how things like exposure or shutter speed will effect your results. Try to learn something from every frame.
Microphotography is much more an art form than traditional 35mm photography. A good microphotographer shares an intimacy with the tools of his craft. The MK-VR Operation Manual provides a battery of detailed information and is available online 24/7 for all MK-VR owners.