quart/gallon pinhole?

Discussion in 'Pinhole Photography' started by BimmerJake, Jul 18, 2009.

  1. BimmerJake

    BimmerJake Member

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    has anyone used the paintcan style of pinhole camera? if so, do you have any finished prints? if these work, could you use a 5 gallon pail to make a "large format" pinhole camera that might take 8x10? :confused:
     
  2. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    You can use anything light tight to expose anything that fits. You will likely need to devise a way to make the pail light tight, and will be limited to one shot at a time, unless you rig a way to allow it to take film holders. Sounds like fun to me...
     
  3. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    You can buy premade paintcan pinhole cameras with magnetic "shutters" and printed exposure tables from some website. The gallons can't quite hold an 8x10 sheet of paper (7x10 maybe) but they're a lot of fun.
     
  4. BimmerJake

    BimmerJake Member

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    the 8x10 would go in a 5 gallon bucket. bucket's easy enough to acquire, i would just have to figure out how to secure the film and calculate the hole size. as far as light tight, i could easily paint the inside flat black, and the rubber gasket seal at the lid should be adequate.

    is it better to expose a negative, or to just expose a sheet of paper? i know the exposure would take much longer on the paper, but it could be interesting. i'm sure this topic has been discussed many times, i'll look it up. :smile:
     
  5. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    Painting the inside black may not be enough! May need to paint a lot on the outside too. Maybe try the chrome paint on the outside as this might block more light than a black paint. You could also glue aluminum foil to the outside to make it light proof.

    As far as calculating the hole size, Pinhole Designer will do that once you know the length from front to back if flat or side to side if using the rounded edges to get that kind of effect. Just google for it.
     
  6. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    I've made a pinhole camera from a cylindrical tea tin, essentially the same as a small paint tin, although it does have a nice push on lid, rather than the pry off caps of a paint tin. I painted the inside matt black & poked a small hole with a sewing needle. I got lucky & have a very sharp hole that gives me approx f/180. My camera takes 4x5 film easily; the film doesn't need to be secured in any way, it curves itself to the interior. I've used paper & film and both are interesting. If you have a B&W darkroom it's easier to start with paper negs to sort out your exposures. My camera can take paper negs sized 5x8 inches, so I've just started cutting some 8x10 film to 5x8 inches to see how that looks. I don't see any need to paint the exterior.
     
  7. GJA

    GJA Member

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    Try and find a metal five gallon drum. Normally paint comes in translucent plastic, as does drywall compound, but metal is used normally for asphalt sealant, roofing tar (we have a can at work, filled with asbestos no doubt but your welcome to it) and hydralic oil which we buy often in metal five gallon drums (i might try this myself).

    Find a construction site, or better yet an excavating contractor and ask for a metal five gallon drum.
     
  8. FM2N

    FM2N Member

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  9. BimmerJake

    BimmerJake Member

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    i work for sherwin-williams, any variety of bucket or drum is not a problem, up to 55 gallon anyway. the hesitation i have with the metal 5 gallon bucket is the lid. it's not easily closable the way the plastic buckets are. but obviously metal would be better for total darkness. these are details i'm still pondering, but i'm becoming fairly determined to have a 5 gallon pinhole in the somewhat near future.
     
  10. GJA

    GJA Member

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    IMO, the most enjoyable part of a pinhole camera is making it yourself. Buying one seems to me like cheating yourself out of a lot of fun.
     
  11. Tom Miller

    Tom Miller Member

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    Roughly half of the pinholin' I do is with potato chip cans that hold 11x14 paper negatives. They have a push-on lid, which I prefer to the pry-off lid on a paint can. One advantage of a matte-surface paper negative is that it will not pick up light bands in a wide-angle cylinder camera. I've tried film in the cynlider cameras, and didn't care for the light banding. The banding will happen when the negative wraps more then 1/3 of the way around the inside of the cylinder.

    My guess is that a five-gallon paint can could hold an 8x10 film negative without banding. You could throw away the metal lid and make your own out of black mat board, which is lighter and still light-tight. Plywood might work as well, but it is heavier than mat board. An easy first or last resort is to use a lot of black electrician's tape to seal the lid onto the can.
     
  12. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    For the cost of a large can of pretzels or popcorn...
     
  13. Roger Thoms

    Roger Thoms Subscriber

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    Paint can work great, I have a quart and a gallon. My quart can is very simple drilled a hole in the side of the can with something like a # 72 drill bit, painted the inside flat black, and grabbed a flexible magnet of the frig for a shutter. I use paper negative which fit the curve of the can. Give some nice distortions to the photograph. Here's a link to a an image from the quart camera. http://www.pinholeday.org/gallery/2007/index.php?id=394

    On the one gallon camera I fitted a wood panel in the back of the can to hold the paper flat. Other wise the construction was the same as the quart camera. Here a link to a one gallon image. http://www.pinholeday.org/gallery/2008/index.php?id=382

    One note on paint cans, quality varies, I like to find the ones that are painted grey on the inside verses the ones that unpainted. I have also been told that the metal on a paint can is to thick for a pinhole, and that I should drill a larger hole and then make a pinhole in a thinner material. Not true a pinhole directly in the paint can works and fits with my goal of quick and dirty.

    Roger
     
  14. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I made a pinhole camera from a leftover Christmas popcorn tin.The pinhole is on the side. Its an 8x10 panorama. I use magnets to hold the paper, and another for the shutter. Exposures are painfully SLOW, as in 10-15 minutes for paper negs. I haven't tried it with film. I have been contemplating putting a pinhole on the end, with the inside of the lid used for the neg. This would give ne a 5x7, or round photo. Calculations for this setup shows even longer exposures though.
    Rick
     
  15. Joe VanCleave

    Joe VanCleave Member

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    Cylindrical wrapped film or paper can exhibit reflection lines in the image. I think the critical wrap angle is around 120 degrees, IIRC; any wider and you'll get reflection lines in the image unless you're using matte/pearl finish paper negatives. Most every sheet film also has this problem, since you can't get matte/pearl finish film.

    I tend to favor using paper negatives for most all of my pinhole work, but others get great results using 120 rollfilm and sheet film. The big decider for 8 x 10 format is the cost of sheet film vs paper.

    Also, VC/MG paper has issues with excess contrast in daylight, which activates its high contrast emulsion. Some people take to using a yellow filter over the pinhole to compensate, whereas I simply use grade 2 paper. The neat thing about graded paper is it's the only silver gelatin B/W medium where you can select the contrast grade ahead of time. With actual film your development (and to a lesser extent your exposure) determine contrast.

    Others have used APHS ortho graphic arts film, since it's less expensive than regular sheet film, but you can't select a contrast grade. There have been some successful developers with APHS that control its otherwise lithographic contrast; see Jim Galli's website and posts for more info on how he does it.

    ~Joe