Absolutely brand new to pinhole. Building a few ... how do I load my film??

Discussion in 'Pinhole Photography' started by ascariafraser, Jul 22, 2014.

  1. ascariafraser

    ascariafraser Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2014
    Shooter:
    Holga
    Afternoon all.
    I have been saving up various nifty items so I can spend a weekend building a couple pin hole cameras. It's one of those projects you just push off and off ... and ...
    I do have a Holga and a Diana with pin hole options, which are neat. But I want the satisfaction and disappointment and small successes that come with cameras that I built by hand.
    I am using a couple little tins (Altoids-style) and I want to use 35 mm film. I am not a professional and I have no access to darkroom equipment which I would need if exposing photographic paper.

    Here's the big question. I have seen TONS of users with little squares of 35mm film taped/magneted etc inside their cameras. But I cannot for the life of me determine how you do this? From cutting, to loading and unloading the film since it cannot be exposed to any light.
    And I am right that red light/dark room environment doesn't work with unexposed film?

    So ... how do I trim, load, unload and process these wee pieces? :D
     
  2. winger

    winger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,900
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    southwest PA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This - http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/253370-REG/Paterson_PTP125.html - is what people without darkrooms can use. It lets you pull out enough film and cut it (carefully, so you don't cut the bag) and tape it into the tin. If you want to get fancier, you might be able to figure out how big a piece you want and make a guide for cutting to that size. Then you can have clear photo corners (like for scrapbooks) already stuck into the tin. That might be easier than having a roll of tape in the changing bag.
    Good luck and HAVE FUN! As for developing, you'll need an option for that because you can't usually take an altoid tin to a lab (though some might be fine with it). I'd advise using B&W and learning how to develop it yourself.
    And the changing bag can be used to get your film from your Holga and Diana into a developing tank to do those yourself, too.
     
  3. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,959
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  4. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    11,925
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Welcome to Apug!


    Watch this video (no darkroom required, films (35mm) from the fleamarket, look for a photofinisher for processing):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ejgmq2T75_4

    (Don't bother with the text, it's selfexplanatory.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2014
  5. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

    Messages:
    2,015
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Location:
    rAdelaide
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've got a darkroom, and I've loaded up to 11x14" paper into my home-made pinhole suitcase.
    But then I went down to the shack and took a shot, but I wanted to take another one. Didn't even wait until night, just drew the curtains and shut the door, put myself in between the cracks of light coming around the curtains and the paper, and just worked fast. Open suitcase, pull out paper, put in Jobo drum, close lid, open packet of paper, put in suitcase, stickytape on, close lid, less than 30s overall.
    Of course, paper is a lot slower than film. But if you're using film anything smaller than 8x10, then a $5 darkbag will be big enough.
     
  6. polyglot

    polyglot Member

    Messages:
    3,472
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    South Austra
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    35mm pinhole? Pre-cut frames? That is a world of really bad pain that you don't need to cause for yourself.

    Can I suggest that you buy a couple of 4x5" film holders (Fidelity or Lisco; the double sided things, they're about $10 each) and make your camera with a slot in the back that takes the film holder? That way you get a decent sized neg that can be contact printed without an enlarger and it's easy to load in a changing bag without having to cut and tape anything; the film just slides under some rails in the holder. That would allow you to make high quality (contact) prints, using only a couple of trays/icecream-buckets (for developing film and paper) and a sheet of glass (to press the film and paper together when printing). No enlarger or scanner required, and you get real silver prints.

    If you're cutting up roll film, you're going to have hell developing that - it'd need to be done in trays and it can't be under red light. You can't just hand over a box full of 1" squares to a lab, they'll laugh at you or charge you $5 to develop each one.

    If you want to load or develop under red light, you must use ortho film. Normal film will be fogged. I think Freestyle has some pretty cheap ortho at the moment, but it might only be sheets, I'm not sure. The drawback to ortho film is of course that red things in the scene will be rendered black, and you can't use a red/orange/yellow filter on your image to get dramatic skies. I'd suggest HP5 instead as having a really good balance of features and price.

    A more-expensive option is to buy an RB67 120 back; should be maybe $50ish. They have a very simple method to be affixed to your homemade camera (some sliding metal strips), and it gives you a darkslide and ability to use rolls of film with 10 exposures each, that can be developed by a lab or in a common Paterson tank - much easier than trays. Your exposures will be cheaper than using 4x5, but about half the area (still 4x the area of a classic 35mm frame though). No darkbag required (the back is designed to be loaded in daylight), unless you are going to do your own developing.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2014
  7. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

    Messages:
    3,425
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Much of what you say is strictly true, polyglot, but an alternative take would be that all of the difficulties outlined are also opportunities for a great deal of fun and learning, and it would be a shame if the OP went away with the idea that s/he is embarking on something unworkably difficult, or worse is "doing it wrong".

    At the moment, amongst other daftness, I'm working with paper negatives and lith film negatives about 45x40mm using a Rollei double film canister as the (pinhole) camera. It's a bit of a faff, but I'm getting some nice results. They can be developed in small pots or glass jars under safelight, and I might yet try it with ordinary film, where all I'll have to do is switch the light off.

    It's not hard to make a small room dark enough for this sort of work, even with pan materials.
     
  8. wilper

    wilper Member

    Messages:
    44
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2012
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  9. Arctic amateur

    Arctic amateur Member

    Messages:
    234
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2011
    Location:
    Ringerike, N
    Shooter:
    35mm
  10. polyglot

    polyglot Member

    Messages:
    3,472
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    South Austra
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Oh, by no means is it wrong and I don't want to discourage anyone. It's just that if you're starting out from scratch, I assume you don't have development stuff available, which means you probably want to use a lab. Which means whole rolls or whole 4x5 sheets are going to be much simpler.

    If I had never developed film before and started with some cut-up 35mm, it probably would have severely discouraged me. I would hate to see that happen if a slightly different solution would remove some roadblocks to easy processing of the images.
     
  11. ascariafraser

    ascariafraser Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2014
    Shooter:
    Holga
    Matchbox camera! I think I can adapt this! Perfect. Thank you all so much. I am severe budget girl, so bags and all your other awesome ideas are, well, awesome. But I definitely need to start with as little expense as possible.
    I can do this. Superb! thank you!!!
     
  12. analoguey

    analoguey Member

    Messages:
    1,088
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Location:
    Bangalore, I
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I am curious why you say red (safe) light is harmful to regular film? Or do you mean only in the case of pinhole photography?
     
  13. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

    Messages:
    3,425
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    "Normal" film is panchromatic and thus sensitive to red light. Try taking a strip of any old 35mm and keep it in a safelighted darkroom for a few minutes and then develop it. It'll be fogged.
    Safe lights are only safe for those materials which are insensitive to the spectrum being emitted by the light.
    Black and white photo paper and ortho film are insensitive to red and are thus ok to be handled for a short period in red light
     
  14. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    11,925
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If one has no chance of self-processissing or even -printing than the model from my link would be the best overall choice.

    Models that produce panoramic images necessitate a lab that returns the film strip uncut. It also likely would yield problems when ordering prints.
     
  15. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

    Messages:
    3,425
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Those two look brilliant!

    Although it's a bit of a shame the first one has taken down his instructions on how to do it, in favour of selling you a book about how to do it or selling you one he's made :sad:

    As if I don't have enough distractions already, I think I might make something similar to the matchbox version ...
     
  16. ascariafraser

    ascariafraser Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2014
    Shooter:
    Holga
    I figured something else out! Maybe?

    If I use the two canisters as shown on the matchbox pinhole build ... I am thinking about sacrificing the first two? maybe ... shots ... with my camera open so I can learn how many 'turns' it will take to center the film properly. That way, I will not have a whole series of half-shots or double exposures.
    Does that make sense?
     
  17. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    11,925
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you use the cassette I indicated you have the backing paper that indicates proper film position, without having to bother with turns.

    With some Initial hassle you could reload the cassette with type 135 film of today. But that would necessitate a dark room (not darkroom...) or a bag.
     
  18. polyglot

    polyglot Member

    Messages:
    3,472
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    South Austra
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    The number of turns per frame reduces through the roll as you get more film on the takeup spool; as its diameter increases, one turn of the spool will pull more film across. Calibrating that is hard and 35mm film is pretty cheap (especially if you buy a 100 foot bulk roll) so don't worry about it. There will be bigger gaps towards the end of the film.

    In a manufactured/commercial camera, there's a little gear (or photointerrupter) which counts the sprocket holes and therefore gets even spacing. If you use 120 film (medium format), there is paper on the back with numerical markings for various different distances of winding-on.
     
  19. Arctic amateur

    Arctic amateur Member

    Messages:
    234
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2011
    Location:
    Ringerike, N
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Winding by counting the number of turns is trickier than it sounds, because there will be a fair amount of "slack" in the film that's spooled into the takeup cartride.
    The matchbox pinhole design has a "clicker" that pokes into the sprocket holes and makes a clicking sound for each hole. Measure how many sprocet holes one frame has, add one for good measure, and count the clicks when winding the film. The Populist has a similar design, and I find it works quite well. It should be easy to copy to other pinhole camera designs. Good luck!
     
  20. polyglot

    polyglot Member

    Messages:
    3,472
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    South Austra
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
  21. ascariafraser

    ascariafraser Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2014
    Shooter:
    Holga
    You guys are brilliant. Brilliant. Thank you so much.