This is the Hama Anti-Red-Eye Pen, and if it wasn't for the fact that someone gave me one as a gift - I wouldn't even have known that these existed.
The idea behind the pen is simple. It's designed to remove red eye from photographs through the use of a transparent dye. The pen has a choice of a thick and thin nib to suit every job.
Hama is a great manufacture and produce some fantastic equipment ranging from memory cards to some brilliant camera lens and filters. Why they would want to produce a anti-red eye pen is beyond me, as sadly I really don't think it would be much use to anyone.
Firstly if you know what you are doing with a camera you shouldn't end up with red-eye in your photographs (Google "How to prevent red-eye"). Secondly even if you do end up with red-eye in a photograph, there are countless software solutions of and red-eye removal tools, that will (normally) remove the problem area quickly and easily.
Nevertheless I had to try it out this pen first hand to see if it worked. It took a lot of searching through old photos but I finally found one with red eye. I followed the instructions, and while it did help to remove most of the red eye, it left behind a glossy and unnatural finish. The photo looked like it had been tampered with and as a result ended up worse than it was before hand.
From a digital photographers point of view it seems like a pointless solution. From a film point of view, it may be slightly more useful, but why not scan your prints into the computer and remove red-eye. This method seems very hit and miss, as you will have to manually touch up every photo with this pen. Because of the nature of being human, if you try to use the pen on two identical photos you'll end up with a slightly different result each time.
The fact that it can't be used on inkjet paper seems to automatically limit it market, as it means it can't be used on any of your home printed photographs.
You may say, that you've got photos from years ago that have red-eye, again I would say scan them into your computer, and not only remove the red-eye but you can restore the photos in so many other ways.
I felt like a kid, sitting there with what was essentially like a felt tip pen, colouring in parts of a picture.
While the pen itself is easy to use and comfortable to hold, and the lid fits tightly, I can't help think how many applications I would manage before the pen dries up.
To be completely honest I really can't see the point of this pen. Sadly it seems more like a novelty item than anything else.
(I'm a reviewer on Amazon, and some my reviews are copied from there to dooyoo. Please feel free to check out my Amazon profile under my real name of Mr Andrew M Kerr.)
In this digital age I cannot for the life of me believe that this method of red eye removal is still available but it seems even some very accomplished photographers in my club still use it from time to time. The product I speak of is the red eye removal pen, this one being made by Hama.
Now let's get it straight right from the start, Hama make hundreds of very, very useful photography products and they are a company I trust greatly but this Stone Age type of red eye removal should really be all but forgotten now.
The use of this red eye removal pen amounts to little more than colouring in your photo. I am sure you all know what red eye is in photo`s, it is simply when the normally coloured part of the eye comes out glowing red. What you might not know is why this happens, well you soon will.
Red eye is invariably caused by the flash being too close to the lens, this is most common in point and shoot digitals where the flash is little more than an inch or so away from the lens but even some DSLR`s with top mounted flashes still produce quite bad red eye. Most cameras these days have red eye reduction functions but these are no where near perfect and sometimes do nothing at all.
One of the few ways to eradicate it completely is with the top of the range flash equipment that professionals use but obviously this is not a day to day option for people. Without the use of this type of equipment there is two other main options, one is the use of this pen on to the finished photo the other is the much better option of using digital enhancement programmes such as Photo shop or Corel.
When using digital programmes to remove red eye you are taking it out before you get round to printing and in most cases you will be able to remove it with absolutely no trace and the good thing is little or no expertise is needed for this particular task.
When using this pen as I said earlier you are more or less just colouring in your finished article, ok it is a little more advanced than that but not much. The Hama pen is designed using special ink and has a thick and a thin choice of applicator. You simply dot the pen onto the photo from the inside of the red eye to the outer edge (usually no more than a few dots are needed).
The red eye will colour over successfully on most occasions but under close scrutiny the method of removal will be fairly obvious.
Now I am sure a lot of people will be thinking that photo enhancement programmes will be expensive and yes they can be but if all you want is a red eye removal tool you can download free ones from many places on line, some better than others.
You can also use the red eye removal tool in Nero if you have one of the later versions installed. Vista even comes with a red eye removal tool in its windows picture and fax viewer, so there are as you can see many better options than dotting ink onto the surface of your photograph.
Ok so what about those old photo`s you have lying around that were not digital and you only have the option of the pen if you want to remove the red eye. Well firstly with the scanners around these days every photo no matter how old can be scanned and therefore turned digital then be enhanced and re-printed. If you have no access to a scanner then yes this pen will remove the red eye and it is easy to use and very inexpensive to purchase.
You can pick this pen up for a little over a fiver in most photography related stores such as Jessop's for instance. I have seen it available on line a few places also as most things are and also like most things these days the price varies so if you do not want to pay over the odds be careful.
One thing I would say is that if you intend to purchase and use this pen then try it out carefully on an old print that you do not mind losing before you set about your precious print that you wish to restore because even though this tool is not difficult to use once you have used it, it`s effects are permanent, you do not have the security that you have with digital enhancement of removing it if it does not look right.
So over all if you have no other options then this will work but tread carefully and if the option of digital enhancement is open to you then choose it every time!
Thanks for reading!
© 2008 thebigc1690