box camera pinhole?

Discussion in 'Pinhole Photography' started by Kevin Roach, Nov 14, 2005.

  1. Kevin Roach

    Kevin Roach Member

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    OK. I've seen lego cameras, film cans, paint cans, pepsi cans and sucrets boxes. Wood, foam core and plastic. But how come I never see old box cameras converted to pinhole? It can hold 120 film, might have a shutter that sets to "B" or "T," and can be bought for the price of a pepsi can.

    I'm thinking of trying pinhole and wonder if I'm missing something here. Is this feasable or is it just more fun to build your own?
     
  2. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    Kevin, where have you been? eBay is littered with Box camera turned pinhole sold by a guy who made it his business to turn every Agfa Clack into a pinhole camera. Actually, the ads are okay. I guess the product is too. (I consider Agfa Clacks to belong to the class of Box cameras, maybe you don't). Here is an example. He sells 6x6 versions as well.

    I think there must be thousands of old boxes converted to pinholes, can't think why you haven't come across one.
     
  3. tpersin

    tpersin Member

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  4. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    Everyone I know who has one got a 120 box camera and made their own pinhole camera from it. Go to http://www.pinholeresource.com/ and learn how to do it. Easy.
     
  5. Kevin Roach

    Kevin Roach Member

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    Yow! I guess I just didn't look very well. Thanks for the links. I think I'll buy a Clack and get to work.
     
  6. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Ack! Please, try to get a camera that's of less quality with its original lens than a Clack to convert -- the Clack makes such good images as originally sold, and requires so much hacking to make a good pinhole camera (you have to remove the front name ring or it vignettes).

    All the cardboard box cameras are easy to convert; most have B shutters and the rest are easy to convert to "permanent B", and they're usually cheaper to buy than a Clack anyway. I recommend the "no settings" class for this -- cameras like an Ansco Shur-Shot, Brownie Target Six-20 (if you don't mind respooling), or any of a dozen other simple cameras. I like to leave 'em looking original, but that's just me...
     
  7. Kevin Roach

    Kevin Roach Member

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    Donald!!

    Now I have to get a Clack just to try it out and see how well it performs. AND a brownie to make a pinhole camera. This is starting to get expensive. Maybe I better go in the basement and look for a paint can.
     
  8. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    You can make a pinhole camera out of damned near *any* camera -- get one of the Speedex Jr. folders that are on eBay all the time, remove the glass and put the pinhole behind the aperture, you'll get a FOLDING pinhole camera with a shutter (and likely not have to do anything to the bellows -- I've owned two, and had to fix one pinhole leak). Same goes for the lower end 6x9 cameras. If the bellows is shot, you can hack out all the folding mechanism and bellows, drill a suitable hole in the door, and mount the shutter directly into the door (light sealed and glued shut) to make a very-wide, still with a shutter...

    But you should be able to get both a Clack and a Brownie or similar 120 size box for under $20 plus shipping.

    And trust me -- until you have one that uses roll film of some kind, you'll never make as many pinhole images as you want. I've got a pinhole shutter for one of my plate cameras, and I've made a total of about 9-10 films, of 6 scenes, in the past 8 months. I've made three times that many in the past 6 weeks with 120 and 35 mm conversions.

    Heck, for a start, just drill a hole in a body cap to fit your existing SLR (assuming you have one) and mount a pinhole in that...
     
  9. glennfromwy

    glennfromwy Member

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    Donald is right, the Clack is too good to use for a pinhole camera. Most cardboard box cameras can have the shutter "fixed" to act as a bulb setting. I have a Shur Shot that I modified. Cameras can be made of virtually anything. I have formats of 6X9, 3 1/4 X 4 1/4 (Spam can), 4X5 and 5X7. I refuse to go so far as to make one out of a refrigerator, station wagon or outhouse, however.
     
  10. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Well, if you want to talk about *making* a camera, there are lots of nice foamboard and plywood cameras around that take standard 4x5 (or larger) film holders. And if you have a little skill with your hands and some tools, you can scratch build stuff like film transports and make your own roll film cameras, starting with the most basic box (or make the box, too).