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  1. #11

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA
    Shooter
    Pinhole
    Posts
    53
    Roughly half of the pinholin' I do is with potato chip cans that hold 11x14 paper negatives. They have a push-on lid, which I prefer to the pry-off lid on a paint can. One advantage of a matte-surface paper negative is that it will not pick up light bands in a wide-angle cylinder camera. I've tried film in the cynlider cameras, and didn't care for the light banding. The banding will happen when the negative wraps more then 1/3 of the way around the inside of the cylinder.

    My guess is that a five-gallon paint can could hold an 8x10 film negative without banding. You could throw away the metal lid and make your own out of black mat board, which is lighter and still light-tight. Plywood might work as well, but it is heavier than mat board. An easy first or last resort is to use a lot of black electrician's tape to seal the lid onto the can.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    775
    For the cost of a large can of pretzels or popcorn...

  3. #13
    Roger Thoms's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, CA USA
    Shooter
    4x5 Format
    Posts
    851
    Images
    7
    Paint can work great, I have a quart and a gallon. My quart can is very simple drilled a hole in the side of the can with something like a # 72 drill bit, painted the inside flat black, and grabbed a flexible magnet of the frig for a shutter. I use paper negative which fit the curve of the can. Give some nice distortions to the photograph. Here's a link to a an image from the quart camera. http://www.pinholeday.org/gallery/2007/index.php?id=394

    On the one gallon camera I fitted a wood panel in the back of the can to hold the paper flat. Other wise the construction was the same as the quart camera. Here a link to a one gallon image. http://www.pinholeday.org/gallery/2008/index.php?id=382

    One note on paint cans, quality varies, I like to find the ones that are painted grey on the inside verses the ones that unpainted. I have also been told that the metal on a paint can is to thick for a pinhole, and that I should drill a larger hole and then make a pinhole in a thinner material. Not true a pinhole directly in the paint can works and fits with my goal of quick and dirty.

    Roger

  4. #14
    Rick A's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    north central Pa
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    5,814
    Images
    31
    I made a pinhole camera from a leftover Christmas popcorn tin.The pinhole is on the side. Its an 8x10 panorama. I use magnets to hold the paper, and another for the shutter. Exposures are painfully SLOW, as in 10-15 minutes for paper negs. I haven't tried it with film. I have been contemplating putting a pinhole on the end, with the inside of the lid used for the neg. This would give ne a 5x7, or round photo. Calculations for this setup shows even longer exposures though.
    Rick

  5. #15
    Joe VanCleave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
    Shooter
    Pinhole
    Posts
    482
    Cylindrical wrapped film or paper can exhibit reflection lines in the image. I think the critical wrap angle is around 120 degrees, IIRC; any wider and you'll get reflection lines in the image unless you're using matte/pearl finish paper negatives. Most every sheet film also has this problem, since you can't get matte/pearl finish film.

    I tend to favor using paper negatives for most all of my pinhole work, but others get great results using 120 rollfilm and sheet film. The big decider for 8 x 10 format is the cost of sheet film vs paper.

    Also, VC/MG paper has issues with excess contrast in daylight, which activates its high contrast emulsion. Some people take to using a yellow filter over the pinhole to compensate, whereas I simply use grade 2 paper. The neat thing about graded paper is it's the only silver gelatin B/W medium where you can select the contrast grade ahead of time. With actual film your development (and to a lesser extent your exposure) determine contrast.

    Others have used APHS ortho graphic arts film, since it's less expensive than regular sheet film, but you can't select a contrast grade. There have been some successful developers with APHS that control its otherwise lithographic contrast; see Jim Galli's website and posts for more info on how he does it.

    ~Joe

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