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  1. #1
    hoffy's Avatar
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    Thinking of a summer project - Some general questions about pin holes

    Howdy all,

    I have been thinking about a summer project to use up some of the piles and piles of MDF I have sitting in myshed. Well, last night, I read through many of the posts through here and have decided that a pinhole might be a nice project and possibly a good intro into camera buildign (somethign I want to do, but maybe in the distant future).

    So, with this in mind, I have questions!

    • Camera size - I have been thinking of doing an 8x10 - from what I can see, this shouldn't be any different to any other 'single shot' pinhole. Am I deluded? Or is 8x10 OK for a first build?
    • For a start, I would prefer to play with paper negatives. While I found a few hints in relation to using them (I.E., shoot on an overcast day, ect), I am a little unsure about a few specifics. Would I process a paper neg in the same way as a print? Will this be sufficient to get started? As I have exclusively printed on Ilford in the past, this will be where I will start, but is there a specific paper that people recommend?
    • I had a quick look at Mr Pinhole last night and his camera design page. From what I saw, if I made a camera with a Focal length of 170mm and a pinhole of 0.55mm, I should get an 8x10 done OK. Are these calcs correct?


    I am sure I will have many more questions. At the moment, I am thinking of a design that is not reliant on Film holders, but having a removable back, that if I got clever with, could take a dark slide and then ultimately I could create multiple holders.

    Any advice is more then welcome!

    Cheers

  2. #2

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    Great project...I'm thinking of 4x5 or 8x10 pinhole myself. I'm leaning more towards 4x5 as I don't have an 8x10 enlarger. However, 8x10 contact sheets would be nice to work with.

    1. 8x10 isn't too big. It actually is probably easier in terms of handling the materials to build it than say a 35mm panoramic pinhole.
    2. Yes, definately start with paper to see if your design is flawed and if you're getting the characteristics you want.
    3. I would personally build one for holders. If you ever wanted to get into negatives, that's the only way to go. Getting them flat would be a pain and it would take you forever to bracket a particular scene. At least with holders you can shoot 4 photos in 10 minutes as opposed to 4 photos in a few hours. It will save you time in the end. Not sure if his calculations are perfect, but from what I've read, that seems pretty close. Others might have different experiences.

    Good luck -keep us posted on how the project is going.

  3. #3
    hoffy's Avatar
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    OK, where is a good resource for film holders? They are not too common on the ground where I am..... Even if I could get the dimensions for a common holder, I could at least still build the camera around that, but also build the MDF back for now.

    Also, I don't have a 8x10 enlarger either (I can only go to 6x7cm), so the intention was to contact print. That was another question. How fuzzy would an image get contact printing paper on paper?

  4. #4
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    I reckon an 8x10 would possibly be easier to build, but holy cow 8x10 film is expensive. I would personally go for 4x5 with a slot to suit the normal 4x5 double-sided holders. The bonus there is that if you do it right, you could even put a rollfilm back on. Or maybe 5x7 since that's a common paper size and a reducing back for 4x5 won't look completely silly on it.

    I would seriously consider making it a zoom, i.e. have a simple sliding-box arrangement (or bellows if you're extremely keen) so that you can change the position of the pinhole wrt film and therefore field of view. Of course the pinhole itself needs to be quickly replaceable to deal with size changes. And if you get that far, you've built a complete LF camera - replace the pinhole with a shuttered lens and there you go (GG for focusing optional).

    Obviously you want a tripod thread in the bottom.

  5. #5
    tomalophicon's Avatar
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    For a holder you could use an 8x10 speed ezl if you were using paper negs. They are fairly common as far as I know.
    Check out Blanco Negro Supplies' website. They have cheap 8x10 film at the moment.

    Contact printing paper is fine. I wouldn't be worried about fuzziness using pinhole cameras

  6. #6

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    8x10 pinhole camera is my size of choice. Love the look and feel of the 8x10 negative over 4x5.

    Have fun!!!
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photography/index.html

  7. #7
    hoffy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by polyglot View Post
    I reckon an 8x10 would possibly be easier to build, but holy cow 8x10 film is expensive. I would personally go for 4x5 with a slot to suit the normal 4x5 double-sided holders. The bonus there is that if you do it right, you could even put a rollfilm back on. Or maybe 5x7 since that's a common paper size and a reducing back for 4x5 won't look completely silly on it.

    I would seriously consider making it a zoom, i.e. have a simple sliding-box arrangement (or bellows if you're extremely keen) so that you can change the position of the pinhole wrt film and therefore field of view. Of course the pinhole itself needs to be quickly replaceable to deal with size changes. And if you get that far, you've built a complete LF camera - replace the pinhole with a shuttered lens and there you go (GG for focusing optional).

    Obviously you want a tripod thread in the bottom.
    Hence why I wanted to start with paper!!!! I have to admit that I hadn't seriously thought about film usage, but was just trying to cover all bases, in case. When I started looking last night, I had thought about the Ilford direct positive paper, but I see there are supply problems with the RC variant, but that is something I could look at in the future.

    As for the sliding box, yes, that was going through my head (at around 2am this morning....dammit. Have I ever said I over think things!), but I thought for a first off, I would keep it simple. Bellows is another project (for another time).

    Tripod mount - yep, that was a given and shouldn't be hard to cater for.

  8. #8
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    Make it with possible lens mount so wet plate isn't outta the question. Or is that just me?
    K.S. Klain

  9. #9
    hoffy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klainmeister View Post
    Make it with possible lens mount so wet plate isn't outta the question. Or is that just me?
    No, it's probably not just you. But as above....another project, another time.....

  10. #10
    X. Phot.
    8x10 is a good size. Contact prints from that size are respectable. Optimally if you could acquire the 8x10 film holder, you can design your camera around it. A simple lightproof box used as a single-shot camera could do this job also. My experiments show if a 2x yellow filter is used for contrast adjustment, normal RC VC paper, fl=14"-15" or so, pinhole ~ .65mm, on a bright sunny day you could expect exposures of 6-8 minutes or even longer. Having a camera that is solid, and that doesn't move around in a breeze is important.
    Last edited by X. Phot.; 12-14-2011 at 11:29 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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