8x10 Pinhole Camera Size

Discussion in 'Pinhole Photography' started by aaronmichael, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. aaronmichael

    aaronmichael Member

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    Hello All,

    First of all just wanted to say thank you to everyone for being so friendly. I've posted a couple threads and have gotten FAST and wonderful responses.

    In my other thread, I asked about 4x5 ortho litho film to use in my pinhole camera in order to make positive enlargements (8x10 or larger). One user suggested that I skip the step of using film and simply use 8x10 paper negatives. I've been using paper negatives for my 4x5 pinhole. This leads me to the dilemma of building a camera that takes an 8x10 sheet of paper. Would there be any way to get around the sheer size and weight (I would probably want to build it out of plywood) of this camera due to the dimensions? Attached are a couple photos of my 4x5 pinhole that I built from plywood. It's quite heavy despite its size. I also attached the dimensions I drew up for the 8x10 camera. The back of it would obviously have to be 8x10 inches. I got it's length and pinhole diameter size from mrpinhole. Anyway, any information or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Size and weight depends entirely on the materials used. Personally, being eccentric as I am, I would just find a shoebox and get to work. It would certainly be interesting enough.
     
  3. Hikari

    Hikari Member

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    Ditto. I would say you can easily design a camera that is far lighter. Even view cameras use non-structural bellows. You only need to hold the hole and film plane steady.
     
  4. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    How about black Foamcore with some small wooden cleats glued into the inside corners for reinforcement? (I assume this isn't being built for a three month backpacking expedition to the tropics.) I haven't done one that way, but don't see why it couldn't produce a pretty sturdy box.

    It could even be tapered toward the front, but I suspect that would make the joinery pretty tedious.
     
  5. mabman

    mabman Member

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    f295.org has a whole sub-forum devoted to building pinhole cameras - might want to search/ask there as well.

    Also, jnanian (John) has been making some of these LF box cameras lately in various sizes for sale out of foam core - not specifically pinhole, but a pinhole could be fitted in place of the (basic) lens. The foam core ones he's made are not terribly expensive and include some basic film plane movements - might be worth sending him a PM, even if you don't want to have him make you one, he's a nice guy and generally quite helpful and may be willing to share some construction tips :smile:
     
  6. aaronmichael

    aaronmichael Member

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    As always, thanks for the responses everyone. My first pinhole camera was a shoebox. The only thing I didn't like about it was that I couldn't mount it onto a tripod, it didn't have any weight to it, and it could easily rip, fold, or tear if I dropped it. My plywood 4x5 is nice because it's has weight to it and it feels very stable, not too worried about if I drop it. Like I said though, an 8x10 camera with plywood would be quite heavy. I'll definitely give foamcore a try. Or try to brainstorm on other materials that are study and lightweight at the same time.
     
  7. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

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    If you going to incorporate a 8x10 film holder then use wood, something like 6 or 8mm MDF is not that heavy when you use a bit of 3mm MDF on the front. Foamcore is OK but I find its to light and can get blown away in the breeze.
     
  8. aaronmichael

    aaronmichael Member

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    I doubt I'll be using a film holder. I'll most likely just end up taping the paper onto the back of the camera like I do with my 4x5. I'll look into the MDF though - is that cheaper than plywood? I wouldn't need that much.
     
  9. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    Black Ultraboard 3/8 in thick.....like foamcore but with plastic outer skins......with black duct tape at the corners and a wood block at the bottom for the tripod mount. I built a sliding box camera like this that accepts a ground glass and standard holders. It works quite well and I haven't broken it yet....and it I did, it would be easy to fix.
     
  10. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I built an 8x10 out of a holiday popcorn tin(variation on the oatmeal box), it worked better than expected, very light weight and easy to load.I used strip magnets to hold the paper in place.
     
  11. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    cameras out of foamcore work great !
    you can glue a sheet of plywood to the base
    to mount your tripod.
    you might consider a holder of some sort
    to put your paper into ( or film ) so you can expose
    more than one sheet each outing ...
    i made a few book style paper holders that work great.
    i've made them for 2x2/4x5/5x7 as well as 11x14 cameras ...
    a sleeve to stick your arm into, and an exposed / unexposed folder inside the camera
    works well too ... ( but takes more effort to make )

    have fun !
    john
     
  12. aaronmichael

    aaronmichael Member

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    Thanks everyone. Having a film or paper holder would be very nice, but I have no idea how those work. Looks like I'll have to do some researching.
     
  13. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    if you can get a bunch of quaker oatmeal boxes you don't need to bother with paper holders

    the cool thing about pinhole or any camera is you can make them any way you want,
    and as long as the inside is dark and light comes in one end you are golden ---

    have fun :smile:
    john
     
  14. aaronmichael

    aaronmichael Member

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    That is a very good point - hah. I already get strange looks on my school campus when I have (what it seems to people) a wooden box on top of a tripod. I can't image the looks I'd get walking around with 5 quaker oat oatmeal containers and then pointing them at things for 5 minutes - hahah.
     
  15. Hikari

    Hikari Member

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    Just say you are from the FBI and that you would rather they don't stare and draw attention to your activities. Hand out tin foil hats while you are at it--in for a penny...
     
  16. erikg

    erikg Member

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    I second what Rick suggested, get the holiday popcorn tin. You can almost fit a full sheet of 11x14 in it. You can use magnets if you want, but the curl of the paper will hold it too. A curved image plane will give you less fall off than a flat one. Oatmeal canisters aren't what they used to be, they have these plastic tops that you have to tape all to hell to make it light tight, and you have to paint the inside of the whole thing completely. The metal can holds up better and is easier to load and unload. Don't bother with the tripod, just get a brick.
     
  17. aaronmichael

    aaronmichael Member

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    Ahaha -thanks for the laugh.

    Awesome, I'll be on the look out for one of those next time i'm in the store.
     
  18. aaronmichael

    aaronmichael Member

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    I finally just went for it and made the camera out of the plywood that we had sitting around. This is the final product.

    http://static.zooomr.com/images/9741456_70a782fdb5_b.jpg

    I cut the plywood up with a circular saw then it was hand nailed together since I didn't have a pneumatic nail gun. Spray painted the inside black and then used caulking to fill in the cracks, then added another couple coats of spray paint. Used a couple cheap brass hinges for the back. Rope on top for handle and a rope in the back to keep it closed when titled upward. Got to finally use it today and here's the best result I got.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Joe VanCleave

    Joe VanCleave Member

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    That's a great image. And I like your camera, especially the worn, rugged look of the plywood. I'm assuming your camera's a one-shot affair, where you load paper or film one sheet at a time?

    ~Joe
     
  20. JudyS

    JudyS Member

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    That's a fantastic image and I love the camera. That knot in the "lens board" just adds all sorts of personality to the box. Congratulations. Do more of those in different focal lengths. Judy
     
  21. mjs

    mjs Member

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    My 5x7 pinhole camera is foam core with a plywood bottom. There's a tripod socket in the plywood and the weight of the wood helps keep it stable while the rest, being foam core, makes the whole thing very light. I screwed an old kitchen cabinet handle to one end of the plywood and it's darn near perfect!

    Mike
     
  22. aaronmichael

    aaronmichael Member

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    Yeah, unfortunately a one shot affair. Ends up being a bummer because if I want to take (lug) the camera anywhere, I only have one shot and then I'm done. The photo that I posted was taken at my school and that building is actually the building the darkroom is in. I'm getting tired of shooting at school though.

    Thanks! I specifically chose that piece of plywood for the front because it had the knot in it, I like the character it adds. I'll definitely make some more with different focal lengths.

    Hmm, multiple materials - that's a great idea. I might just have to try that out for my next one. Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  23. Joe VanCleave

    Joe VanCleave Member

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    Perhaps a large enough changing tent could enable the camera to be reloaded in the field. Depends on the cost of film holders (used) versus a changing tent.

    I built a portable processing box (with arm sleeves) for processing 4x5 paper negatives, something like this could perhaps be adapted for reloading smaller cameras in the field without the expense of film holders, especially given the inexpensiveness of materials when building it by hand.

    I had an idea once for a box camera with storage compartment behind the film plane, accessed by the side of the camera being removable via a lid, with the camera inside a changing tent, where the film at the film plane would be swapped out by one from the rear film compartment, by hand, inside the tent, then the lid reattached. The problem is the changing tent needs to be big enough to permit the film to slide out, without being touched and/or scratched. There's always things about these DIY ideas that remind me why film holders were such a great invention.

    I have successfully built three pinhole cameras that use a falling plate mechanism, where a stack of film plates is at the back of the camera; after the front one is exposed, a lever or knob is slid, and the camera tipped forward, making the front plate fall face-down into the bottom of the box. The two problems with this design are: 1) the focal length has to be longer than the height of the film plate, ruling out wide angle designs; 2) if the box camera is excessively jiggled or tipped upside down the whole mechanism is jammed and quits working.

    ~Joe