You can do a fairly simple calculation to let you know what size to make the hole for best-possible sharpness at a given film-to-hole distance and wavelength of light.
The red window's leakage will depend on the quality and condition of the camera, and the film used. (You are less likely to experience a problem with ortho films.) My Brownie leaks like a sieve through the orange window. My friend's Holga doesn't leak at all through its window.
It cannot hurt to tape over the window, and then put the camera into shade to peel the tape back and advance the film. Since I started doing this with my Brownie, the problem has disappeared, even with panchromatic film. I just put the camera into the shade of my body to advance the film. This will be more difficult with a pinhole, which will be more likely to be mounted on a tripod. I'd say to just bring a small umbrella or a dark cloth in your case.
I'd suggest 3M photo tape or electrical tape, though the former is preferable because the latter is a gummy sticky mess after a while; the 3M stuff is like masking tape: very low tack and will not gum up with age. If you use gaffer tape, use several layers, as it is not light tight IME. It also gets gummy when it gets moved a lot. I assume you have figured out the "fold over" trick to make a little handle on the piece of tape. It will make the tape easier to lift time and time again.
thanks! I use black electrical tape as a flap for my holga and have never had leak problems so I'll have to try it. I'm not a math person so the calculation part scares me LOL!
black masking tape works great too
with less "goo" from the sticky side ..
i never use my box cameras as pinholes
they are much too much fun to use as
regular old cameras :)
i think his name is "photobilly"
on e-boink .. he makes laser holes if you want "exact"
have fun !
If you are using a box camera you want to cover the window, but you only need a flap of electrical tape. With the older Kodak type cameras the problem isn't light getting through the window and striking the back of the film, the problem is that light gets in and bounces off the film and reflects off other parts and finds it's way around the film and to the front of it. In my Kodak cameras I have added a foam film backer, and bent the original springs (those long rails that hold the film to the frame) and I still needed a window flap.
I saw a guy turn an old box camera into a 35mm camera. What he ended up with was exposures the entire width of the film and about 3 inches long. Funky results. Of course he had to cover the red hole in the back. So if you do 35mm pinhole work with such a camera, you will also have to cover the hole. I have used 35mm in a Holga with a 120 mask in it, but Holga makes a solid back, one without the flippable red hole.
I turned a beat up Isolette into a pinhole --- The entire front of the camera-- bellows, lens, door, everything ends up being removed-- the front of the camera is covered with foamcore and a pinhole--- the size of the hole was f128, and covers 6x6 fine. I have a filter ring epoxyed to foamcore to put a lenscap on the outside and a brass pinhole in the center
--- You will need to do your own measurements and calculations on your own specific camera and construction job. Use sites like www.mrpinhole.com/ to help you with you calculations. There is no reason to need the red window to go away.
Thanks! I'm looking now at an ansco color clipper that takes 120 film and the shutter is shot. Winder still works so I think it may be a good start. it has a red window in the back too but I think it should be okay, we shall see! I will post if I go that route and then what I do to it...I'll also look up "photobilly" for drilling maybe...I have heard of mrpinhole but thought it wasn't for a mac computer, I'll look into it again. thanks for all the info!
what is "e-boink" upon googling I get some um...interesting results:blink:
Originally Posted by jnanian
Best way I found was to use a bit of the steel string off an electric guitar to poke a hole in very thin brass sheeting--- The E string off my Telecaster makes a perfect f128 hole.
And guitar stings can be bought in many sizes right around the hole sizes you will be interested in.
Have never tried that, Jeff! Good idea, as they come in precisely-measured sizes. Mine are mostly 11's or 12's, but 10's are the most common, and they will be available anywhere that sells strings.
I think most people use numbered sewing needles to make pinholes of a specific diameter.
I have ordered a laser-cut pinhole from Lennox laser. It was very nicely made, and totally reusable/swapable, of course. I used it on my wide angle 12x20 box camera.