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  1. #1

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    Absolutely brand new to pinhole. Building a few ... how do I load my film??

    Afternoon all.
    I have been saving up various nifty items so I can spend a weekend building a couple pin hole cameras. It's one of those projects you just push off and off ... and ...
    I do have a Holga and a Diana with pin hole options, which are neat. But I want the satisfaction and disappointment and small successes that come with cameras that I built by hand.
    I am using a couple little tins (Altoids-style) and I want to use 35 mm film. I am not a professional and I have no access to darkroom equipment which I would need if exposing photographic paper.

    Here's the big question. I have seen TONS of users with little squares of 35mm film taped/magneted etc inside their cameras. But I cannot for the life of me determine how you do this? From cutting, to loading and unloading the film since it cannot be exposed to any light.
    And I am right that red light/dark room environment doesn't work with unexposed film?

    So ... how do I trim, load, unload and process these wee pieces?

  2. #2
    winger's Avatar
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    This - http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...on_PTP125.html - is what people without darkrooms can use. It lets you pull out enough film and cut it (carefully, so you don't cut the bag) and tape it into the tin. If you want to get fancier, you might be able to figure out how big a piece you want and make a guide for cutting to that size. Then you can have clear photo corners (like for scrapbooks) already stuck into the tin. That might be easier than having a roll of tape in the changing bag.
    Good luck and HAVE FUN! As for developing, you'll need an option for that because you can't usually take an altoid tin to a lab (though some might be fine with it). I'd advise using B&W and learning how to develop it yourself.
    And the changing bag can be used to get your film from your Holga and Diana into a developing tank to do those yourself, too.

  3. #3
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    Here's a useful resource for making pinhole cameras.

    http://www.mrpinhole.com/calcpinh.php
    "Photography, like surfing, is an infinite process, a constantly evolving exploration of life."
    Aaron Chang

  4. #4
    AgX
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    Welcome to Apug!


    Watch this video (no darkroom required, films (35mm) from the fleamarket, look for a photofinisher for processing):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ejgmq2T75_4

    (Don't bother with the text, it's selfexplanatory.)
    Last edited by AgX; 07-22-2014 at 09:10 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #5
    Dr Croubie's Avatar
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    I've got a darkroom, and I've loaded up to 11x14" paper into my home-made pinhole suitcase.
    But then I went down to the shack and took a shot, but I wanted to take another one. Didn't even wait until night, just drew the curtains and shut the door, put myself in between the cracks of light coming around the curtains and the paper, and just worked fast. Open suitcase, pull out paper, put in Jobo drum, close lid, open packet of paper, put in suitcase, stickytape on, close lid, less than 30s overall.
    Of course, paper is a lot slower than film. But if you're using film anything smaller than 8x10, then a $5 darkbag will be big enough.
    An awful lot of electrons were terribly inconvenienced in the making of this post.

  6. #6
    polyglot's Avatar
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    35mm pinhole? Pre-cut frames? That is a world of really bad pain that you don't need to cause for yourself.

    Can I suggest that you buy a couple of 4x5" film holders (Fidelity or Lisco; the double sided things, they're about $10 each) and make your camera with a slot in the back that takes the film holder? That way you get a decent sized neg that can be contact printed without an enlarger and it's easy to load in a changing bag without having to cut and tape anything; the film just slides under some rails in the holder. That would allow you to make high quality (contact) prints, using only a couple of trays/icecream-buckets (for developing film and paper) and a sheet of glass (to press the film and paper together when printing). No enlarger or scanner required, and you get real silver prints.

    If you're cutting up roll film, you're going to have hell developing that - it'd need to be done in trays and it can't be under red light. You can't just hand over a box full of 1" squares to a lab, they'll laugh at you or charge you $5 to develop each one.

    If you want to load or develop under red light, you must use ortho film. Normal film will be fogged. I think Freestyle has some pretty cheap ortho at the moment, but it might only be sheets, I'm not sure. The drawback to ortho film is of course that red things in the scene will be rendered black, and you can't use a red/orange/yellow filter on your image to get dramatic skies. I'd suggest HP5 instead as having a really good balance of features and price.

    A more-expensive option is to buy an RB67 120 back; should be maybe $50ish. They have a very simple method to be affixed to your homemade camera (some sliding metal strips), and it gives you a darkslide and ability to use rolls of film with 10 exposures each, that can be developed by a lab or in a common Paterson tank - much easier than trays. Your exposures will be cheaper than using 4x5, but about half the area (still 4x the area of a classic 35mm frame though). No darkbag required (the back is designed to be loaded in daylight), unless you are going to do your own developing.
    Last edited by polyglot; 07-22-2014 at 09:21 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #7

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    Much of what you say is strictly true, polyglot, but an alternative take would be that all of the difficulties outlined are also opportunities for a great deal of fun and learning, and it would be a shame if the OP went away with the idea that s/he is embarking on something unworkably difficult, or worse is "doing it wrong".

    At the moment, amongst other daftness, I'm working with paper negatives and lith film negatives about 45x40mm using a Rollei double film canister as the (pinhole) camera. It's a bit of a faff, but I'm getting some nice results. They can be developed in small pots or glass jars under safelight, and I might yet try it with ordinary film, where all I'll have to do is switch the light off.

    It's not hard to make a small room dark enough for this sort of work, even with pan materials.

  8. #8

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    Perhaps you could build a camera that lets you keep the film in one piece? A bit more complex construction, but a lot easier handling once you are about to develop it.

    http://petapixel.com/2011/10/29/35mm...pinhole-camera

  9. #9

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    There are plenty of pinhole designs that take 135 and 120 roll film. Have a look at the Populist pinhole and Matchbox pinhole camera designs, for example.

  10. #10
    polyglot's Avatar
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    Oh, by no means is it wrong and I don't want to discourage anyone. It's just that if you're starting out from scratch, I assume you don't have development stuff available, which means you probably want to use a lab. Which means whole rolls or whole 4x5 sheets are going to be much simpler.

    If I had never developed film before and started with some cut-up 35mm, it probably would have severely discouraged me. I would hate to see that happen if a slightly different solution would remove some roadblocks to easy processing of the images.

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