Any opinions on the Lochkamera 6x6 or 6x9?

Discussion in 'Pinhole Photography' started by andrewmoodie, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. andrewmoodie

    andrewmoodie Member

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    I've wanted to take a crack at pinole photography for a while and I've seen this make online. Are they good for the price? Can someone make any other recommendations?

    Thanks.

    Andrew
     
  2. ElrodCod

    ElrodCod Member

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    Lochkamera is the German word for pinhole camera. Do you mean the Zero Image cameras. I build my own cameras but Zero Image owners really like them. If I couldn't make my own I'd buy one of those.
     
  3. andrewmoodie

    andrewmoodie Member

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    Hmm, it appears there's a couple of German makes that are 6x6 or 6x9, and on ebay they're listed as Lochkamera and there's no apparent brand name. They're certainly nowhere nearly as nice as the one you mention, these ones are plastic and metal. They look more like Holgas or Lomos.

    So, if anyone has any opinions on ANY mid-price German pinhole cameras then please pass them on.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2005
  4. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've got a low-price german pinhole camera, a cardboard kit. Folds together into three boxes, slide focus, "ground glass" for framing with cheap simple lens if needed, and a range of pinholes included. IMO worth it just for the nifty pinhole plate :wink:
     
  5. andrewmoodie

    andrewmoodie Member

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    Thanks Ole, where did you get it? Is there a website you could suggest?
     
  6. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I bought it on ebay.de, off a seller by the name of lochkamera-versand...

    There's one right now, at Item 7507470366 !
     
  7. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Dang, under nine Euro BIN and if I've deciphered the German correctly, it can use 9x12 cm film (which I already have on hand) as well as 9x13 cm photo paper. I wonder what it would cost to ship to the USA?
     
  8. rjr

    rjr Member

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    Donald,

    his stuff seems cheaper if you buy directly from his website:

    http://lochkamera-versand.de/html/bestellen.html

    His other items are pretty interesting, too - that monster pinhole looks nice. ;-)
    Allthough he doesn´t state the shipping costs to the US, I doubt they are much higher than the 8EUR he quotes for Europe.
     
  9. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Roman, that site would probably be much more useful to me if it were in English. My German (did I mention) is very, very thin.

    Oh, wait, found the English version, via the "Education" link...

    "Package and transport costs outside Germany, from 12 Euro" -- that makes it at least a $25 camera by the time I get it. Maybe not this week -- I have a sheet of black-core foam core and big sheet of shim stock; I can make one for a lot less than that.
     
  10. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    manufactured pinhole cameras

    If you have not already bought your pinhole, you might take a look at the Zero Image products. My 6X9 came from Calumet, which I think has an outlet in the UK. I've just purchased a 4X5 directly from Zero Image. It has not yet been used to expose any film, however the 6X9 is a dandy. Well made and easy to use. Pricing on both is, in my opinion favorable, but then we don't have a VAT in the USA. Both also happen to be beautiful works of metal and wood. Bill Barber
     
  11. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    For the ultimate pinhole, have a look at the Tortuga at Retrophotographic. If it weren't so expensive, I would buy one just for the experience - but how do you print those negatives?
     
  12. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Honestly, unless you're completely hamfisted with basic tools, it's probably simpler to make a pinhole camera than to buy one. If you want to use 120 film, you start by prowling second hand stores and eBay until you get a 6x6 or 6x9 folder with a bad bellows, cheap lens, etc. -- you'll use it for the film transport, which will save you a dozen hours or more building a film transport, frame mask, etc. and getting it all light tight. Use appropriate technology to remove the lens, shutter, bed/door, and bellows, leaving the film transport and frame mask naked, then fabricate a light tight structure on the front from thin wood (painted black -- thin wood isn't light tight on its own), black-core foamcore, black-core matt board, sheet metal, or sheet plastic (again, painted black for light sealing), depending on your preferences and comfort zone. Make the pinhole from the aluminum of a soft drink can or heavy duty disposable pie tin, brass shim stock, etc., and if needed fabricate a simple shutter from the same material as the camera body.

    Not much more work than assembling a kit, and you can pick your own focal length, get a roll film transport, etc.

    Or, if you have a folding camera with a good bellows, you can simply unscrew the front and rear lens glass from the shutter and replace it with a pinhole, as I've demonstrated here (my example was the easily removed, bayonet mounted shutter from a 1920s vintage plate camera, but the same process could be done as easily with the shutter still mounted in a roll film folder, or even a TLR). This gets you a "normal" focal length, so no super-wide shots, but it also lets you use a shutter that's reasonably accurate on short times, which can be helpful if you shoot faster film in bright sun; ISO 400 with an f/250 pinhole requires about 1/4 second in full sun, which is a little short to time with black tape over the hole...
     
  13. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    I'd suggest you should be able to contact print them easily enough; it looks like the format runs in the 6x12 range (can't be wider than 6x17, or the camera would be impossible to load; there isn't enough leader on 120 for a wider frame). What I'd like to know is how you read the red window to advance film... :smile:
     
  14. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Donald, I think it's 6x24cm, and two (!) frames on a 120 roll... I assume you load in darkness?
     
  15. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Hmmm. To be 6x24, with 224 degrees coverage, it would have to have a center core a bit more than 8 cm diameter. It didn't look that big to me, compared to the 120 spools shown in the interior picture. 6x17 would have a core a bit over 6 cm, which is close to what this looks like, while 6x12 would have about a 4.5 cm core diameter. I'm thinking it's 6x17, now.

    Loading in the dark is a major pain in the arse with a common 120 camera (I've done it once, after realizing I'd missed frame 1; I unloaded and reloaded in my changing bag, and even with the film already caught on the takeup it was quite a chore), I wouldn't expect many folks to be very happy spending that kind of money on a custom made, hand finished camera and then finding out they have to load it in a changing bag. I've heard of people pasting extra leader onto the 120 backing paper to load 6x17, and I suppose that would work on 6x24 just as easily, but there comes a point at which the extra leader makes the roll bigger than the spool flange and you get edge fogging...
     
  16. andrewmoodie

    andrewmoodie Member

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    Zero Image Cameras

    This is the make I eventually went for, I got the 6x6 version and it looks great, I'm going to try it out today for the first time.

    If anyone's got any comments on this make, please pass them on.

    Andrew
     
  17. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    The images I've seen from the Zero line cameras are generally excellent, B&W or color. I think the exceptional smoothness and roundness of the laser-drilled pinhole makes for a sharper image with less halo than is possible with a handmade hole (or at least any one I've made), and I've never heard a complaint about the construction of any of the Zero Image units.