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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Victoria BC
    4x5 Format

    Crazy 12-shooter 4x5 pinhole project

    I picked this up in sort of half-finished condition on ebay recently; basically it arrived as a black box with an elegantly designed but poorly executed (light leaks!) mechanism to hold the film holder in place. I've hacked together a temporary usable pinhole camera out of it, but I have a bunch of ideas for making this a really slick & usable machine once I have the materials and time. Here's the ghetto, electrical-tape to fix light leaks, ~75mm 4x5 pinhole camera 12-shooter based around the Graflex "bag mag". The magazine holds 12 shots of 4x5 film and seems pretty easy to use once you learn to work with its idiosyncracies (which involves carefully sliding individual holders out into the attached leather bag, then re-inserting them at the rear of the stack).

    Front. The back is centered in the box, I just shot it slightly offset accidentally so it looks asymmetric:


    And rear, opened up, with a film holder "septum" in hand:

    Oh, and it's got a red window for checking the numbers on the back of the film septa:

    The tripod mount is just a tripod plate with the thumb-screw removed, attached to the bottom with wood screws. Fortunately I have another plate for my other cameras.

    The modifications I envision are:

    1. Slide-in film back & matching ground glass (right now it's semi-permanantly attached)
    2. Zoom & focus mechanism
    3. Pinhole turret with a big hole (blurry but bright) for composition and different taking pinholes
    4. A better lens board holder. I just taped my pinhole board on so that I can go try out the graflex back tomorrow.

    And maybe, just maybe, a provision to use a small light glass lens as well. I had one that would have been perfect but sold it last month before I picked up this project.
    The universe is a haunted house. -Coil

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Medium Format
    That's a good little project. I'm making a bunch of 5X7 p-holes out of those styrofoam medical coolers they use to ship transplant organs in. I'll post a picture or two once they have some paint on them.

  3. #3
    Bobby Ironsights's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
    Nice. I think the red window is called ruby or ruby lith.

  4. #4
    DKT is offline

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    i don't have any pictures of them, but I've made a couple of similar cameras out of grafmatic backs--6 shot 4x5. the first one was pretty low tech. I took a couple of 100 sheet Kodak film box lids and cut them apart on the sides in various places, and covered the opening of the grafmatic. I taped them all together with black gaffer tape, and cut an opening to hold the pinhole. used a flap of black paper--actually part of an old polaroid pack film packaging--as my "shutter". It had about a 2 inch focal length I guess. I made a tripod mount of sorts by using one of those metal shelf bookends. I drilled a hole and put a 1/4 20 bolt in there and screwed part of a nut on it. I held the camera to the bookend using a rubber band....I made the same camera another time using a 405 back also. A couple of years later, I got more grafmatics and began making the cameras out of black gatorboard. Last year I made one for WPD--it has a 4 inch focal length and I glued a graflok back to the camera to hold the grafmatics and polaroid holders. I have a better tripod mount--one of those 1/4 20 threads set in this time. the pinhole I made for that one wasn't as good as the earlier cameras, but I kept taking them apart as I went along so, it's a work in progress I guess....



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