ULF Truck-mount pinhole "Camera"

Discussion in 'Pinhole Photography' started by EKDobbs, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. EKDobbs

    EKDobbs Member

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    I'm looking to build and operate a wooden pinhole camera, roughly the size of my truckbed. Needless to say, that makes the potential film size very large. I'm planning to use photographic paper instead, mainly to save money. Now, I have a few questions for those who have built large pinhole cameras.

    1st: What should the pinhole be made of? Due to the size of the camera, I'm not limited to a tiny pinhole, but from what I understand, material does matter.

    2nd: What's the best way to load/unload the camera without having to light-proof my garage? I'm thinking giant film holders, but I'd rather keep the design simple to avoid smacking my head against engineering flaws.

    Thanks in advance. I know this is unusual, but any experience from others is appreciated.
     
  2. Aron

    Aron Subscriber

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    Just a few quick ideas. If the camera is going to be large enough for you to fit inside (?), you could build a flexible tunnel (from textile, for example) with two light tight lids and take the paper with you in rolls, that you can tape then to the wall of the box inside.

    I'm not sure if the material is important with large pinholes where it's easy to make a round whole in the plate with more pedestrian methods. I'd personally go with black painted brass or bronze.
     
  3. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    someone in germany made pinhole cameras using paper in garbage bins -- google them and see how they did it. Freestyle in LA can also advise you -- they played a part in that project to make a pinhole camera out of an airplane hanger.
     
  4. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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  5. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    hi

    you might also consider making a lens from cells purchased at a place like the surplus shed
    single cells have a very large image circle ... you wouldn't need to have a pinhole lens, and still
    use paper negatives with exposures of a few seconds rather than minutes. you could cut light down
    by making your own fstops &c ...
    for the paper, i would make yourself a roll back.
    2 large dowels, with the paper running between them.
    when you make an exposure, you just roll it to the take up spool and make another one.

    you could make a dark-slide as well, so you could remove the back from the camera ...

    sounds like a fun project !
    john
     
  6. EKDobbs

    EKDobbs Member

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    What exactly is a cell? Is it a piece of glass? What will the focal length be?
     
  7. erikg

    erikg Member

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    Focal length would be the size of the box. But if this is a true pinhole camera you needn't worry about that. If the camera is big enough for you to get inside your options for reloading are broader, but either way you could consider a large light tight tent or bag that you could pull around the whole box during the swap out. I'm thinking of something like a magician uses, pulls up from the bottom. Mural paper comes in a square tube box that you can use for transport. Good luck!
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    a lens cell would be like a plano convex lens, a meniscus lens like in a box camera.
    they are very affordable at the surplus shed.

    you could have the lens so the curved part is OUT or IN depending on the effect you want.
    if you want to stop the lens down, just put your washer/fstop/waterhouse stop infront of your lens
    and it will sharpen things up as sharp as you want it. to figure out how big a hole you need to cut for
    f32 for example ... you will divide the focal length by 32 and it will give you the diameter of your hole
    ( check out this video for exact stuff : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIFNdfjem18 )
    as erik suggests the focal length could be the length of the camera box, truck bed from where the lens is
    to where the exposure plane will be. measure it in mm and poke around on the surplus shed website ...
    they have very large lenses ( like 150mm in diameter )

    you can make your paper plane move in and out of your camera-body by having it on a rigid frame that
    slides in and out of the box, have a big sheet of ground glass, waxed paper, scraped up plastic, window tint
    whatever you want to use ... and put your paper inside ontop of the focus screen.

    have fun!
    john
     
  9. AgX

    AgX Member

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    adelorenzo Subscriber

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  11. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    For long focal lengths, almost any thin metal works well. I prefer the ends of tin cans. They are strong, easy to drill, and the thickness doesn't really matter when the diameter of the hole is many times the thickness. For wide angle pinholes, thinner brass shim stock might be better. Accurate and clean holes can be drilled by tightly sandwiching thin brass between fairly hard material like tempered hardboard. For such large pinholes, this technique is faster and more accurate than the usual dimple and sand method.
     
  12. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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  13. AgX

    AgX Member

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  14. TimFox

    TimFox Member

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