Film Can Pinhole Cameras

Discussion in 'Pinhole Photography' started by htmlguru4242, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    I was bored this afternoon, so I thought it would be fun to make a pinhole from one of the many 35mm film cnas that I had ahgning around. So I made a small hole in the side witha thumtack, taped a piece of tinfol over as a shutter, and taped a piece of tinfoil in the front as a shutter, and put some Lucky SHD 100 (cut down from 120 format) inside. I exposed for 4 seconds - ish (was just a guess on my part). The image, once developed (5m 30s in D-76 at 21ºc, right in the can) and fixed was a quite thin (longer exposure next time), but surprisingly sharp, considering that it was taken with a film cat, with my knee as suport instead of a tripod.

    Has anybody else tried this, or anything else cool for pinholes? I think that its amazing that decent (and sometimes absolutely incredible) pictures can be made with such unbelievably primative equipment.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    We used to do this on occasion when I worked at the Daily News in my hometown. We'd roll up some paper cylinders and tape them to the sides to make legs and set them up like alarm clocks. We used print paper in them instead of film though.
     
  3. tpersin

    tpersin Member

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    Ann Hamilton did an entire series (Face to Face) of pinhole photographs using film cannisters, you can see more here: http://www.pbs.org/art21/artists/hamilton/clip2.html

    if you're looking for more pinhole information (camera making, viewing images, etc), may I suggest the f295 pinhole photography forum... f295.tompersinger.com

    cheers!
    tp
     
  4. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    There's someone on Ebay who sells something called a Pancake lens with aperture settings up to f/64. Using one you can use your slr as a pinhole camera.

    Not quite in the spirit of a film can pinhole, but interesting none the less.
     
  5. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Andy's find is really more of a simple lens than a pinhole, as is appears to have plastic or glass optics and apertures from f:5.6 to f:64. Still could be interesting. Some APUG sponsors sell a true pinhole made by Finney mounted in a lens cap. See http://www.freestylephoto.biz/sc_main.php?cat_id=2201

    I assembled a pinhole lens cap with one from a set of 12 pinholes made by Eric Renner at the pinhole resource. www.pinholeresource.com I used one that gives about f:130. If you supply your own body cap it's a lot cheaper to buy the set, and it gives you sizes appropriate for MF and LF pinholes as well. Then in truer pinholing fashion, you could make your own pinhole and mount it in any body cap.

    The attached is a body cap pinhole shot on 35mm film at about 29mm fl and f:130.

    Lee
     
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  6. John_Brewer

    John_Brewer Member

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    Yes, when I was studying A level photography. Our lecturer was Justin Quinnell who is pinhole mad. Amazing we all passed the exam really.

    Use an alluminium can (easier to pierce than steel) and thin the area with fine wet and dry paper (600 grade is fine) where you want the hole to be. Use a sewing needle in a drilling motion with very little presure. When a bump appears inside your can rub down until a hole appears. About 1/3 mm is what you're aiming for.

    The advantage of using a can is that you can use large format film and the film plane is curved giving wacky results. I have also used Cibachrome for colour prints.

    Here's a good book 'Adventures with Pinhole and Home-made Cameras' by John Evans ISBN 2-88046-714-4

    J
     
  7. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    The aluminum can is a good idea. The curved film plane does seem to give interesting results, from the two that I've shot, though I think it would be a much more pronnounced effect with larger format. It'll also be easier to load, as its a bit of a pain to line up a little piece of film with the pinhole in a 35mm can.

    I'll grab some LF film or photo paper and try that. By the way, how did the pinhole prints on Cibachrome paper that you mentioned come out?
     
  8. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    There is also the Pintoid camera.
     
  9. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    I like the pintoids idea. Finally something to do with the Altoids tin that's occupied the space next to my mouse for the past week...

    I'm also going to shoot some film in my plastic coffee can pinhole camera.

    Maybe when (and if, very big if) I get my Autochrome plates working, I can shoot some of those.

    If anyone hasn't been able to tell yet, I love shooting around ideas, which isn't a bad thing though. So here's another : has anyone ever tried UV or IR pinholing. The exposures I'd imagine would be LONG, but that'd be half of the fun.
     
  10. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    If you like exploring ideas and techniques, then you should also look at slit photography and zone plate photography ...

    jandc order just hit the front door. gotta go... :wink:

    Lee
     
  11. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    I haven't done 35 mm cans yet, but I have a bunch of the nice black ones accumulated for future conversion. I've seen setups with either steel plates (for magnetic attachment) or 1/4-20 nuts expoxied on the bottom, film guides inside to simplify film positioning, and sliding or rotating sleeve shutters, which make them much easier to use. I don't know that I'd want to develop right in the can, because I'd have to fill and dump in the dark (at least through filling the fixer), but I wonder if I couldn't make a daylight fill cap for these cans.

    Oh, and they're not quite tall enough to use the 120 width, so you must be cutting the film the other direction, or both ways, to get it to fit. I'd be about as happy loading them with clips of 35 mm; the film (inserted endwise) will hold itself by tension and maintain a curve that's close to centering on the pinhole, so little or no distortion, and the frame size won't be far from the standard 24x36 mm.

    Say, I might have to make one from a 120 can -- those are long enough to give a panoramic angle with 35 mm film...
     
  12. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    Yes, I was cutting the film both ways, as its a bit too tall (cutting film in hte dark is not fun). I just did not hav enough 35mm film hanging around that i was willing to cut up (HIE in the camera, and a roll of Efke KB25 (too slow), and some Neopan 400 & TX400 (too expensive for initial testing)) so I cut up the 120 stuff. I like the idea of 120 cans, if I had any of them...

    I'm trying some 120 in an altoids tin as well.
     
  13. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    The wisdom, for Altoids, is 2x3 sheet film; it's the *perfect* size to just hold itself in the tin by its corners, and no cutting in the dark. There's an article here on APUG showing how to process the film right in the tin, too, even in daylight. You'll need HC-110, rapid fixer concentrate, and a bottle of household clear ammonia. And you'll want/need to eat a bunch more Altoids to get more tins...

    And while you're at J&C ordering a box of Classic 200 2x3 for not much money, grab a dozen of the 25 cent 120 film cans and a few rolls of Classic 200 or 400 or Lucky SHD 100 or 400 in 35 mm to go in 'em (will you look at those prices?!)...
     
  14. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    The fact that you can pick up 35mm 36exp. rolls of ISO400 film that makes really good images is qure surprising. But it's good for experimentation as well. The $8.00 sheet film is quite cheap as well; I might just have to get some. I don't think that the tiny pinhole will cover the whole sheet. It's worth it for $0.32 per sheet, though, whatever happens.

    I'm assuming that with the Ammonia, HC-110 syrup a Rapid Fix., you're referring to a monobath developer, yes?
     
  15. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Yes. See the "Pintoid Processor" article here on APUG for the details -- pretty simple addition to a Pintoid that makes it almost a Pintoidaroid... :wink:
     
  16. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    "Pintoidaroid" - wow that's pretty bad....

    I'll try that out once I have a chance, though, becasue its quite a cool idea.

    I'm also going to give the monobath a try on some regular film, shot im my 35mm camera. Maybe there are some improvements that can be made.
     
  17. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    By all means, the formula I put up was after two tries with 400TX, one with almost invisible negatives (too much fixer, not enough alkalinity = too slow development; halide fixed away before the image could be developed), the second with a pretty normal look except for loss of shadow detail. More fine tuning would have allowed determining the correct EI to preserve shadow detail and amount of ammonia (which tailors developer activity against the fixer working rate, which is constant) to get normal contrast at that EI -- and this is a process that ought to be done with each individual emulsion, anyway (and may vary considerably with temperature, since developer activity is affected a lot more than fixer working time).

    The point, at the time I announced that formula, was to show that a workable monobath could be made with stuff many/most photographers would have on hand and use for other things, rather than having to be mixed from scratch; also, that a monobath using rapid fixer was practical. The monobaths of the 1960s always used plain hypo added directly to a fairly normal developer formula, but were either mixed from raw chemicals or sold as a powder and mixed at time of use. Mine could be mixed ahead at HC-110 stock solution strength and stored for up to 2-3 months (just like stock solution), then diluted at time of use; storage could even be in premeasured vials, 2 ounces of stock to make 8 ounces of working monobath for a single roll of 35 mm film. Developing on the road? Throw a half dozen vials of monobath stock in the suitcase (in a zipper bag, just in case) along with the tank, and you're ready to go. Pretend you're a roving PJ from the pre-Viet Nam era...

    Er, you'd prefer "PolaPintoid"? :wink:
     
  18. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    I'm going to order some HC-110 and some 2x3 film to give this a try. I was playing with some of my developers yesterday, trying to see if it was possible to mix up a monobath from what I had (some D-76 and Koadafix, out of other developers as for now). I don't remember the exact proportions (didn't measure), but it was about 30ml water, 250ml D-76 (mixed at a high concentration), and a very small amount of fixer. The solution was made slightly more alkaline with some Sodium Carbonate. I tried it out with some RC paper, placed in my altoids tin with a pinhole, and exposed for about 2.5 minutes in bright sunlight. After 3min in the developer, the image appeared, but the contrast was REALLY poor, with tones ranging from a light grey to dark grey, nothing even close to black or white, though detail was good, and the grain wasn't noticeable at all. Film (lucky SHD 120, ISO 100), had terrible contrast, and were not clear at all, with very little detail. I have not tried to print them...
     
  19. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Monobaths need tweaking to match the film type. Low contrast and poor shadow detail (aka loss of speed) indicate either too much fixer or too low pH -- add a bit more carbonate, in this case, or add some vitamin C and carbonate (half a tsp. of carbonate per gram of ascorbic acid seems to work well). The problem is that the fixer is dissolving the halide even as the developer is developing the exposed grains, and it's a race -- if the fixer is too fast, you lose shadows or, in extreme case, contrast; if the developer is too fast you get excessive contrast. And the balance is different for each film.

    Given that D-76 stock solution normally works at 5 to 9 minutes, depending on the film, you'd want to use little enough fixer that you're close to capacity limits -- from film strength, you can probably use 1/6 to 1/8 the amount of fixer that would cover the film, and with hypo fixer rather than rapid should get decent results if you can manage the pH. If Kodafix is a rapid fixer (I don't recall), D-76 can't work fast enough to do the job -- try Dektol at about 1+4. :smile:
     
  20. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    BTW, I think I have an idea for how to make a light-trapped filler in the cap of a 35 mm film can; this would greatly facilitate developing in them. Gotta make a trip to the hardware store, hopefully when I'm out on Thursday...
     
  21. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    A light trapped filler cap would be nice, as it would facilitate developing quite a bit. I develoepd another can testerday (in the dark), only to discover after the final wash, that the film had slipped out after the developer step ... argh.

    I may re-do the monobath with D-76 that's mixed more strongly than what I have, plus just Sodium Thiosulphate instead of pre-prepared fixer.

    Let us know how you do with the light-fill cap
     
  22. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Well, the (paying) excursion that was scheduled for Thursday got canceled Wednesday evening (including cancelling the paycheck), so I haven't been to the hardware store yet. Worst case, I'll be stopping there to get more tee-nuts and some other hardware for pinhole camera building next weekend, but I might manage a trip over there tomorrow -- we'll see.

    BTW, I've been developing the 60 mm chips from my GumPintoids in little plastic rings that came as spacers in a plastic shelf kit; those are a nice slide fit into the 1.5" ABS pipe that forms my sheet film developing tubes, and three will fit into the 5" tube plus caps. Not very efficient of developer, but they're daylight fill, the film can't go anywhere, and as a bonus they're loose enough in the rings that I don't see any residual dye as I often/usually do with 9x12 cm and 3x4 sheet film in those tubes.

    Check my gallery, the last upload on 14 October is from a GumPintoid, developed as above in HC-110 Dilution H.