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Thread: composing shots

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    composing shots

    I'm new to pinhole and was wondering if there was a way to view your shot before taking it for composition purposes? Has anyone made a camera with a viewing screen? And how would you go about doing that with such a small aperture? I quess pinhole photography is mainly guess work and experience. Thats the attraction right?

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    John Bartley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by medformatjunkie
    I'm new to pinhole and was wondering if there was a way to view your shot before taking it for composition purposes? Has anyone made a camera with a viewing screen? And how would you go about doing that with such a small aperture? I quess pinhole photography is mainly guess work and experience. Thats the attraction right?

    My pinhole camera is a wooden box with a pinhole aperture on one end and a 4x5 film holder on the other.
    To get an idea of the coverage I can expect to see, I drew three lines on the top and three on the side. The lines all begin at the centreline of the aperture and one goes to each corner of the the film that will be exposed when the slide is pulled and one runs along the centre line of each axis (vertical and horizontal). To get an idea of what I'm shooting, I just use the pencil lines as "sight lines. There's no such thing as focussing, so a ground glass approach is not needed.

    cheers

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    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    One of my pinhole cameras has a simple method of doing this: a Tessar.

    I made a pinhole lens that fits one of the interchangeable shutters on my 250/7 Ideal plate camera; I can compose on the ground glass at f/4.5, then in fifteen seconds switch one shutter for the other and have an f/300 pinhole -- still mounted in a shutter, so I can easily use the cable release to operate it, or even (with fast film in bright light) use the timed shutter speeds down to 1 second. And yes, on the 78 year old shutters (actually, that's the newer of the two), the one second is accurate.

    If I'm working at a different focal length than the 135 mm that my Tessar can handle, I can just remove the pinhole from the shutter and stop down to f/45, as a "viewing pinhole" -- the image will be very, very fuzzy, but bright enough to compose with under a dark cloth. Pop the hole back in when ready to expose.
    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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    Ok, so I see now, you have to use a "viewing pinhole". Thanks, makes sense. Now off to experiment!!

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    On my Zero Image 6X9 I set my shot up using my Olympus OM with a 21mm f2 Zuiko, which gives me the approximate field of view and then I hold it in about the same place as the pinhole camera to see approximatly what I'll get. I do usually use a small level with my pinhole, although many could care less as it is so much more "artistic" for the horizon to not be straight. I may sometimes do that, however it is general intentional. When using a pinhole body cap on my Olympus e-1, I can actually look through the viewfinder and make out objects. That helps. Bill Barber

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    ldh
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    Pinhole viewing

    Many different ways to "actually" optically view and compose with pinhole heres a short list:

    -Use a pinhole bodycap on your SLR or rangefinder...view and compose with the "normal lens of whatever format you are using, then replace the lens with your bodycap and expose...the frame wont be 100% accurate but very close.

    -use a combination of both a pinhole and a zoneplate bodycap for your SLR ...compose with the zoneplate cap (which allows for much more light transmition) and then swap for the pinhole cap and shoot.

    -Convert a camera dedicated for pinhole...I have done this very sucessfully with the following: An old yashica TLR that I removed the taking lens/shutter and replaced it with a homemade pinhole shutter with an optimun diameter for 80mm....Another method which is My current setup that i use for almost all of my pinhole work is a converted Linhof 6x9 Supertechnika III (with a rollfilm back). It incorporates the use of an apogee pinhole/zoneplate shutter mounted to a standard lens board. I compose in one of two ways with this camera (1) I use the built in Rangefinder/viewfinder to compose with and then shoot away....with the rollfilm back I have the luxury of bracketing for difficult images. (2) I use a right angle prism back with a large bore viewing aperature (on the apogee) and I can actually view (if somewhat dim) the frame (re-inverted) and compostion as it will be on film. You could do this with any LF field camera. Its an elaborate way to go, but for someone like myself whose personal work is at least 50% pinhole its the only way to go...I simply could not do my work without actually seeing what I am composing for....others like the surprises, but that doesnt work for me with what I am trying to acheive.
    -finally you could use a pinhole body cap on a digital SLR...then you really get immediate feedback...and hours of work spotting the image in Photoshop...dust is a nasty enemy of digital pinhole.
    s ledem prosim



 

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