Skip to main content

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.


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. (:

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

How To: Cleaning Wrinkle Paint

You either love wrinkle paint or you put up with it hoping that a machine in shiny black comes your way. I happen to love the finish. It's very rugged, hides a myriad of metalwork sins, and can come in some very sober and serious colors. As great as I think this paint is, it is a magnet for dirt, grime, and crud. Dirt invariably make its way into the wrinkles and makes your typewriter look tired and grungy. However, the innate ruggedness of the paint makes it easy to clean. This is the process I use. Your mileage may vary. 
To start with you need some simple supplies. A couple of soft cloths, a small Tupperware container, a household laundry detergent without dyes or perfume, an old toothbrush, a utility spray bottle, and a blue Olympia SM3 (or whatever you happen to have). As with the other How-To, I recommend you dust/wet-dust your typewriter first. It takes a minute and "Water is the best solvent."


This process assumes that your typewriter is clean on the inside. There …

The Most Beautiful Typewriter

When the Olympia arrived in the mail, I immediately wanted one for myself. I began the process of looking for a light blue SM3. Surprisingly, I was able to to find one here in Phoenix in an identical color. It really is a very attractive typewriter. I thought this was, perhaps one of the most beautiful typewriters in the world. The color is blue like a summer sky. The chrome shines even on the grayest of days. The gentle lines are at once playful and very serious. It is a joy to look at.

But as lovely as the Olympia is, there's only one typewriter that I think truly deserves the moniker of "The Most Beautiful Typewriter" and that is the Olivetti Studio 42 designed in 1935. I know many will disagree with me. I would love to hear the disagreements.

I  do not have an Olivetti Studio 42, but I dream of owning one. If I found this machine (in good condition) I would stop collecting. It's that special.

To assist in proving that the Olivetti Studio 42 is "The Most Beaut…

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 Monopric…