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  1. #1
    JessicaDittmer's Avatar
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    vintage MF box camera into a pinhole?

    thinking of converting a vintage (antique) camera into a pinhole camera and wondered about that red window commonly found on the back to see the roll frame #. I HAVE to cover that right? can it have a flap of sorts like my holga or do I need to fully cover the thing from the inside? If I do that, do I just use a test roll and memorize how many turns it takes to get to a new frame by practice then? I am new to pinhole photography and wanted to start "easy" by using a non-functioning camera that can still wind/function to hold film for me. I can process my own so it's okay that I use an old one even....thanks for any thoughts/info. I'm hoping to participate in the world wide pinhole photo day this year
    j e s s i c a | d i t t m e r

  2. #2
    JessicaDittmer's Avatar
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    oh, and I found this link to suggest a magnet over the window:
    http://www.creativegalleries.com/duc...intage-Box.htm
    j e s s i c a | d i t t m e r

  3. #3
    erikg's Avatar
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    So you are taking the lens out and putting a pinhole in its place, but otherwise using the camera as is? You can still use the red window, but a flap is a good idea. Sometimes overlapping frames can give you interesting stuff though. Have fun with it!

  4. #4
    DWThomas's Avatar
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    I was checking my Perkeo II folder for a possible light leak last summer, and among other indignities I visited upon it, I left the red window uncovered with mid afternoon sun shining directly on the camera back and into the window for fifteen minutes. The camera was loaded with Tmax400 and I expected I'd see something that looked like a blowtorch burn with maybe a number in the middle of it. To my amazement, I saw nothing on that frame! It was absolutely clear base. Of course, one might have the frame in place for 15 hours (or days!) instead of 15 minutes, and perhaps other makers' film backing paper isn't as opaque, but that was a pleasant surprise.

    Anyway, it's no doubt best to be safe rather than sorry when just carting the camera around, but I've not seen a problem exposing the red window while winding, such as with my Ercona II which has no automatic film indexing.

    DaveT

  5. #5
    JessicaDittmer's Avatar
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    hi! Yep, figured lens out but otherwise the same....I'll be sure to watch the red window then and cover it when not winding. I haven't settled on a particular model yet, just want 120 so I'm going to figure out one to use I can find cheap LOL! thanks!
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  6. #6
    JessicaDittmer's Avatar
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    thanks dave, wow, I'm glad your film was okay!
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  7. #7

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    I have modified a Lubitel TLR and an Agfa Clack into pinhole cameras. The Afga Clack was quite simple to modify- the Lubitel was more difficult to get all the lens elements out.

    A simple box camera with the B setting is easier to modify and you have the waist lelve viewfinder for framing / composition- i have a a Pixieflex and a Fodor just waiting to be " upgraded " to pinhole.

    Have fun finding and enhancing the old camera/s you choose.

  8. #8
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    The results of the conversion won't be too good -- the focal length will be too long for the film format. Pinholes work best as wide-angle 'lenses'. Look at commercial pin hole cameras.
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
    f-Stop Timers - Enlarging Meters
    http://www.darkroomautomation.com/da-main.htm

  9. #9
    Anupam Basu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Lindan View Post
    The results of the conversion won't be too good -- the focal length will be too long for the film format. Pinholes work best as wide-angle 'lenses'. Look at commercial pin hole cameras.
    For a seriously wide pinhole, try converting a Holga after taking out the entire lens unit!

    As for the original question - I don't think you need to do anything to the red window unless you are 1> planning to use 220 film, 2> leaving it in direct sun for prolonged periods.

  10. #10
    JessicaDittmer's Avatar
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    thanks! I do have a zero image pinhole camera somewhere in my wreck of an office that has turned storage here in the house but I've failed to locate it the last few days and am itching to play.....I'm looking at some that are 120 but more box shape or more of a rangefinder type so they aren't deep....hmmm...so many ideas.
    j e s s i c a | d i t t m e r

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