Saturday, May 27, 2017

Pinhole MG Filter Adapter

A few months ago a friend gave me an old set of Ilford multigrade filters he used in college. He thought I would get some use out of them in my home darkroom. It's nice to have this set. They are good for a couple of really cool contrast techniques in darkroom printing on multigrade paper. It can really save your bacon with a difficult print.

I wanted to also use these filters with my pinhole camera and multigrade paper. The contrast with the paper negatives can be a little extreme and these filters can tame contrast. However, my filters can't easily be taped to the front of the camera. I had to devise a method to hold them.

The 3 inch filters are designed to go under the lens on a darkroom enlarger. Each filter is mounted in a plastic holder that slides into a corresponding mount attached to the enlarger. I pulled out my calipers, did a little measuaring, and crafted a design in Tinkercad. A hours later and I had this design:

I decided to print it in two pieces on my Monoprice Mini Select and use a fair amount of cyanoacrylate. The grippy bits were printed with the flat side down and the larger filter holder was printed standing up. Because of the tight tolerances required in the filter holder, I didn't want to deal with internal supports. There would be too much friction when I try to install the filter.

This camera has a 90° angle of view and several iterations didn't take this into account. In the end I guessed about the diameter of the cut-outs. The corner of a sheet of paper was a perfect tool to see if there was any obstruction in that 90° angle of view. It looked good.

All of the filters slide nicely into the holder and the fingers grip the bezel around the pinhole. It's sturdy and easy to use.

The next step is to try out the filters with a paper negative. Maybe I'll be able to tame some contrast.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Typewriter Mentor

Last Thursday, my student teacher graduated and I gave him this typewriter as a gift:

Oooh boy, that's a shiny typewriter.

With Marie Kondo whispering in my ear, I stuffed my heart with steel wool and tin foil and made some decisions about my many collections. A few weeks ago I culled the typewriters, keeping the ones that brought me the most joy. Before that, I decided how many slide rules you need to have a collection, but not an obsession. Days before that, I asked myself if I need three of the same Swiss army knives?

The process continues, but I am sure that Joe (my student teacher) will enjoy this typewriter as he begins his journey in teaching.