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  1. #11

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA
    Shooter
    Pinhole
    Posts
    53
    Chiming in late... I've used the plan that is in Nick Dvoracek's book "guide to teachers" making cameras out of black mat board. They are simple and make an excellent image. They are 4x5, though, which may or may not be OK with you. There can be a lot of work involved if you make the kits ahead of time, which is what I did and recomment. I got lucky and found an art supply store that had 4-ply black museum board pre-cut to 5x7 which made cutting the kit pieces easy and accurate. The cost per camera with the black mat board was under $1.50 for each camera.

    An alternative is to find a tin can with a lid that slides on top. These are fast to make. You'll need to drill a hole in the side of the can. Use a step drill bit. Then the inside of the can needs to be (sanded and) painted ultra flat black. The cost of these cameras depends on what you can find locally. I've found can for less than $1 each; but they are usually more like $3 - $4. You can find cans that will take 4x5 or 5x7 sheets of photo paper. the curved film plane make it necessary to use matte paper or to enjoy the stripes or banding in the image from the light bouncing off the glossy paper surface.

    Either a 4x5 or 5x7 paper negative will work great for contact printing.

    One last alternative is to use black 35mm film canisters. With the demise of film, these are getting harder to find; but camera stores still give them away for free. It is easy to cut a hole in the side with an exacto knife. One downside is the small negative.

    For making the apertures, the best material I've found is an aluminum lid for a disposable steam table tray. These are available at Party City and similar stores for $1 or less. They are a nice thickness to work with and you can get 25 or 50 or more pinhole blanks from one lid.


    Hope this helped.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Providence, RI
    Shooter
    4x5 Format
    Posts
    27
    I would suggest empty paint cans. They are easy to adapt, have lids, are somewhat stable and are somewhat foolproof.

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