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  1. #11
    Ole
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    For the ultimate pinhole, have a look at the Tortuga at Retrophotographic. If it weren't so expensive, I would buy one just for the experience - but how do you print those negatives?
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  2. #12
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Honestly, unless you're completely hamfisted with basic tools, it's probably simpler to make a pinhole camera than to buy one. If you want to use 120 film, you start by prowling second hand stores and eBay until you get a 6x6 or 6x9 folder with a bad bellows, cheap lens, etc. -- you'll use it for the film transport, which will save you a dozen hours or more building a film transport, frame mask, etc. and getting it all light tight. Use appropriate technology to remove the lens, shutter, bed/door, and bellows, leaving the film transport and frame mask naked, then fabricate a light tight structure on the front from thin wood (painted black -- thin wood isn't light tight on its own), black-core foamcore, black-core matt board, sheet metal, or sheet plastic (again, painted black for light sealing), depending on your preferences and comfort zone. Make the pinhole from the aluminum of a soft drink can or heavy duty disposable pie tin, brass shim stock, etc., and if needed fabricate a simple shutter from the same material as the camera body.

    Not much more work than assembling a kit, and you can pick your own focal length, get a roll film transport, etc.

    Or, if you have a folding camera with a good bellows, you can simply unscrew the front and rear lens glass from the shutter and replace it with a pinhole, as I've demonstrated here (my example was the easily removed, bayonet mounted shutter from a 1920s vintage plate camera, but the same process could be done as easily with the shutter still mounted in a roll film folder, or even a TLR). This gets you a "normal" focal length, so no super-wide shots, but it also lets you use a shutter that's reasonably accurate on short times, which can be helpful if you shoot faster film in bright sun; ISO 400 with an f/250 pinhole requires about 1/4 second in full sun, which is a little short to time with black tape over the hole...
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  3. #13
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole
    For the ultimate pinhole, have a look at the Tortuga at Retrophotographic. If it weren't so expensive, I would buy one just for the experience - but how do you print those negatives?
    I'd suggest you should be able to contact print them easily enough; it looks like the format runs in the 6x12 range (can't be wider than 6x17, or the camera would be impossible to load; there isn't enough leader on 120 for a wider frame). What I'd like to know is how you read the red window to advance film...
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  4. #14
    Ole
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    Donald, I think it's 6x24cm, and two (!) frames on a 120 roll... I assume you load in darkness?
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  5. #15
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Hmmm. To be 6x24, with 224 degrees coverage, it would have to have a center core a bit more than 8 cm diameter. It didn't look that big to me, compared to the 120 spools shown in the interior picture. 6x17 would have a core a bit over 6 cm, which is close to what this looks like, while 6x12 would have about a 4.5 cm core diameter. I'm thinking it's 6x17, now.

    Loading in the dark is a major pain in the arse with a common 120 camera (I've done it once, after realizing I'd missed frame 1; I unloaded and reloaded in my changing bag, and even with the film already caught on the takeup it was quite a chore), I wouldn't expect many folks to be very happy spending that kind of money on a custom made, hand finished camera and then finding out they have to load it in a changing bag. I've heard of people pasting extra leader onto the 120 backing paper to load 6x17, and I suppose that would work on 6x24 just as easily, but there comes a point at which the extra leader makes the roll bigger than the spool flange and you get edge fogging...
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  6. #16
    andrewmoodie's Avatar
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    Zero Image Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by nsurit
    If you have not already bought your pinhole, you might take a look at the Zero Image products. My 6X9 came from Calumet, which I think has an outlet in the UK. I've just purchased a 4X5 directly from Zero Image. It has not yet been used to expose any film, however the 6X9 is a dandy. Well made and easy to use. Pricing on both is, in my opinion favorable, but then we don't have a VAT in the USA. Both also happen to be beautiful works of metal and wood. Bill Barber
    This is the make I eventually went for, I got the 6x6 version and it looks great, I'm going to try it out today for the first time.

    If anyone's got any comments on this make, please pass them on.

    Andrew

  7. #17
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewmoodie
    (re: 6x6 Zero Image pinhole camera)

    If anyone's got any comments on this make, please pass them on.

    Andrew
    The images I've seen from the Zero line cameras are generally excellent, B&W or color. I think the exceptional smoothness and roundness of the laser-drilled pinhole makes for a sharper image with less halo than is possible with a handmade hole (or at least any one I've made), and I've never heard a complaint about the construction of any of the Zero Image units.
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

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