Variations on the Pinhole

Discussion in 'Pinhole Photography' started by Poptart, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. Poptart

    Poptart Member

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    I know that the people who bother to make & use pinhole cameras tend to be divergent types so I thought I'd ask, what's the most "different" pinhole you've ever made? In the interest of science I'm posting a pic of mine: a pinhole "lens" that's the eye of Jesus.
     

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  2. Pastiche

    Pastiche Member

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    Shooting from a Christian point of view... heh (hahahah)
    That's one interesting way of "coloring" your images :wink:

    and if no one's beat me to it yet - WELCOME TO APUG!!!
     
  3. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Poptart, I don't know if this means you're genuinely righteous, or an evil blasphemer.

    Fortunately, I don't particularly care... :wink:

    The further off the beaten path I've gone to date is mounting perfectly ordinary brass shim stock pinholes in the lids of Altoids Gum tins to make super-wide angle 35 mm pinhole cameras. The images are remarkable...

    [​IMG]
     
  4. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    Donald Qualls,

    Your Altoids pinhole camera fascinates me.

    Did you center or off-center the pinhole?
    Did you put your pinhole in the lid of the can or through the bottom?
    What pinhole size did you use?
    What did you use to darken the inside of the tin?
    In total darkness, how do you determine and cut the length of film to put in the can?
    How do you secure the film in the can?
     
  5. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    I can give you some answers here...

    Did you center or off-center the pinhole?

    It doesn't matter except the Altoid can has round corners. Easier to put it in the middle.

    Did you put your pinhole in the lid of the can or through the bottom?

    Only matters in that the overlap is on the top so the bottom would be a better place to put the film to elimnate potential light leaks.

    What pinhole size did you use?

    Small very small. Only Donald knows for sure.

    What did you use to darken the inside of the tin?

    Paint. Black flat Krylon or Rustoleum would work.

    In total darkness, how do you determine and cut the length of film to put in the can?

    Can't you tell, Donald chewed it with his teeth. In reality, all you have to do is make a template out of shirt cardboard, line it up with the film s you pull it out of the cassette in total darkness, then cut.


    How do you secure the film in the can?

    Two ways come to mind. One is two sided tape. The other is to make the film just long enough to wedge into the bottom of the can.



    tim in san jose
     
  6. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Tim's pretty close -- the hole is .006" (two the same, in fact, for two tins), the hole is in the lid and the film in the bottom, held in place by a pair of strips of matt board, film curl over the convex bottom against the strips. The strips give about a 1/16 unexposed edge, covers about half the edge markings.

    These tins are especially nice for this because they're *exactly* the right width for 35 mm.
     
  7. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    I've been wondering what people use to block the pinhole with to prevent exposure?

    I could see carrying around 10 Altoids pinhole cameras, but I'd have to use 120 film if it would fit.
     
  8. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    No sure what everyone else used to block the pinhole, but I simply tape a piece of black cardboard over the pinhole. When I want to start the exposure, I simply remove it; simple, quick and easy.
     
  9. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    I've used black electrical tape on my GumPintoids, but you can also use a piece of flexible magnet strip, or a small ceramic magnet (easier to remove for exposure if you glue on a handle of some sort), or any sort of tape with a black piece of cardboard (matt board, poster board, etc.) to cover the actual pinhole. I've also used camera shutters, though so far only in converted cameras that already had a shutter...

    You should be able to put 120 film in a Pintoid -- lemme check...

    Okay, I have half a dozen Everest gum tins awaiting conversion; they'll accept 120 film of about 6x6 dimension; it's a snug fit for width and you'd have to trim corners to fit in a longer piece. I don't have a standard Altoids tin handy, but I've heard 2x3 sheet film just nicely wedges by the corners in those, which means they should also accept 120 if you get the length just right. I'd suggest cutting to 6x6 and using small rails to hold the film against the inside bottom of the tin; that way you don't have a major problem if your stop slips in the dark and you cut a roll a mm or two too long or short.

    BTW, the mini-Altoids tins accept 35 mm film, and are the basis of Marcy Merrill's "SpyPintoids" -- very tiny cameras using approximately square chips of 35 mm. I've got a couple Starbuck's mints tins here that also will hold similar film, but those are no longer available from Starbuck's.

    BTW, if you're shopping around for tins and like cocoa, Starbuck's currently has a 3-flavor pack of cocoa that includes *three* pinhole cameras -- 120 degree sectors of a cylinder, so the three tins pack like a single can. The tins look as if they'd hold 4x5 on the curved side with the pinhole in the center edge to make nice curved film semi-pano cameras. I'm still debating -- I'd never drink the cocoa, but my wife probably would; however, I'm about 15 tins behind on pinhole camera making and can't really spare $15. Maybe the tins will turn up at Goodwill... :wink:
     
  10. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    K Jupiter (tim in san jose) & Donald Qualls,

    Thanks for all of the great information on the Altoid pinhole.

    I had assumed that the mint and the gum were packaged in the same sized can. Soon after I started building a pinhole in an Altoid Mint Can, I became aware of the smaller Altoid Gum Can. I am now in the process of also building a pinhole camera in the 35mm sized Altoid Gum Can.
     
  11. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    There was once also an Altoids Mini-Mints, which (appropriately) came in a mini-tin. Marcy Merrill calls these her "Spy-Pintoids" -- they'll hold just about a 35-36 mm length of 35 mm film, and have a projection distance of about 6 or so mm. I've seen other mint tins in that size range, as well, and seen images made with as little as a 24 mm length of 35 mm film.
     
  12. celeborn

    celeborn Member

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    Pin holes

    I love altoids idea. I am teaching a group of 4th graders what little I know about film photography. One of the projects that I want to do in the class is make pinhole cameras and this seems like the perfect medium. I know exposure is experimental, but could you tell me approximately what the exposure factors were for the picture shown in the thread? How did you drill the hole? I have a source for drill bits of .16mm, but they seem like they are probably very fragile, not suitable for a hand drill. We would probably use 120 film and I thought small NIB magnets would work perfect for holding down the corners. What works best for making the small tin light proof? I thought maybe electricians tape around the edges and magnet tape for the shutter. Thanks for you help. I am trying to save film by demystifying it to the next generation of photographers. LOL. Next month we will be going to a comercial dark room and developing a roll of film and making prints. After that it we will turn towards pinhole cameras.
     
  13. Poptart

    Poptart Member

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    Hi, check out pinhole.org for camera-making.
    The best lens is made by dimpling the sheet metal with a strong needle or push-pin, then filing the hole through with a metal nail file and/or emery cloth.
     
  14. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    With my GumPintoids, I painted the interior of the tin black, covered the lid hinge openings with black masking tape inside and out (never use less than two layers of this stuff, it's not completely opaque), and put a gasket of black "Foamies" material around the inside of the lid to seal against single reflection leaks entering under the lid edge. I've left them with Tri-X in for a couple months without any sign of fogging.

    For those, I use black electrical tape for the shutters, because there's embossed lettering on the lid, too close to the pinhole to get a good light seal with a magnet, but on my next "tin" camera I plan to use the little black "craft" magnets that came, 8 for a dollar, from the dollar store. Each will get a small wooden handle attached with hot glue, to make it easier to remove from the camera face.

    BTW, a package of those still in the blister makes a dandy tool for retrieving a shutter spring that has sprung to an unknown location... :smile:
     
  15. Poptart

    Poptart Member

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    I have lately been using button neodymium magnets to create my pinhole covers ("shutters") and that seems to work pretty well although they are a little bit too strong on a tin unless you cover them with a bit of tape. I use a black flocked paper to cover any light leaks--just glue it on and go.
     
  16. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    my shutter is a blob of 'blu-tak'. It's not ideal as we all know that stuff doesn't actually work as described and can leave bits behind. especially when it heats up! However, that's what I had handy for my 1st experiment and I've never tried to improve on it! I usually 'tune up' my pinholes prior to use, so I haven't tried to take a shot through a chunk of it stuck in the pinhole yet!
     
  17. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    There was an interesting write up in last month's Black & white Photography on the Tortuga 5 pinhole camera. Yes it has 5 pinholes! You can see it on the Retrophotographic site here. You have to scroll down a bit.


    (It's a bit pricey though!)
     
  18. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    I have fitted a pinhole to a recessed Linhof Tecknica lensboard and attached it to my Linhof Kardan color. By racking the lens standard back and forth I have myself a zoom pinhole! Works really well and I can use it with double darks or polaroid type 55.
     
  19. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    I've got a similar setup with my Ideal plate camera -- 1927 camera, pinhole made in 2005, Tri-X Professional (ISO 320) film expired in 2004. Mine is set up to use the original shutter with the glass just unscrewed and stored away; quite handy to have a cable release socket with both B and T modes available. :smile:

    I'll most likely carry that ability over to my Speed Graphic when I get it, too... :smile:
     
  20. blokeman

    blokeman Member

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    My fave p/h camera has been in use for about 12 years, one of those cylindrical cardboard containers which the better brands of Port (the fortified wine) come packaged in. The first one I had utilised 5 holes, but the one I use constantly has 4 which is better suited & has no overlapping, I never use it as a "360 deg panoramic" too corny for me, instead as a four-shot camera.
    It's extremely wide & I use 120 film (I get 4 lengths from a roll) wrapped around one of those mini baked beans cans which is centred properly at the base of the cylinder. The lids they use are absolutely light-tight. I used to build these cameras but a trip to the supermarker will uncover many suitable containers for a p/h camera!! This has been an interesting thread for me, thanks! - David.