Thursday, January 18, 2018

Pinhole Mania

Earlier today I was stationed over the Trotec laser cutter in our technology lab supervising the cutting of a project for my photography students. In fact, it looks like this:


It's a pinhole camera and I am exceptionally proud of the design. It takes the form of two nested boxes. The inner box holds the film in place and carries the pinhole. If you've ever looked a Kodak Brownie it's of a similar idea. 


 The film size is 4 x 5 and I have used paper negatives and litho film with some success. If you were curious about the specifications here you go:

Focal length: 87mm
Pinhole diameter: 0.39mm
f/221
Angle of view: 86 degrees.


The process of developing this product--for that's what it really is--has been challenging. I needed to keep in mind that this would be a kit for high school students to put together. When coming up with the design based on the material I wanted to use (3mm Baltic birch plywood) I was drawn to the nested boxes. Nice to see Ilford via Walker Camera beat me to the punch. 

The process of assembly had to be streamlined considerably. Everything is easy enough to assemble with a rubber mallet and patience. Even the pinholes are printed in very thin sheets of black styrene. This is upgradable to better materials in the future.

Ultimately, the goal was to have a rugged pinhole camera that students can keep for a lifetime. The outcome definitely meets that goal.

P.S. I am trying to gauge interest in this kind of thing as a Kickstarter or something. I think I could get the price down to $15-20 plus shipping. Would that be of interest to anyone?



P.P.S. Here is a shot using the camera kit. This is the black polystyrene pinhole.


2 comments:

  1. Nice design! (both camera and new layout on the site) We missed you at the Chandler Type-in. Hope you're feeling better. (:

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  2. Hi Ryan, I love the design! I'm a high school teacher in Canada and am wondering if you'd be willing to fabricate a few of these for our program for obviously the cost of materials, time and shipping. Thoughts?

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