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Old 19th April 2018, 09:53 PM
Svend Svend is offline
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Default Thinking of making a pinhole from an old 120 folder or TLR...

I am inspired to try my hand at pinhole photography, after seeing some very nice images on Flickr and elsewhere on the web (Steve Gosling's Lensless Landscapes are especially good).

Rather than drop a chunk of money on one of those wonderful hand-crafted wooden Zero or Noon cameras, I'd prefer to do it on the cheap (at least at first) to see how it goes. That said, I'm looking at getting either a junky 6x9 folder or box camera (Agfa Clack perhaps?), or perhaps even a cheapo TLR like a Seagull or Lubitel. My reasoning behind this is that I can use the existing shutter, as long as it still works on B mode, and simply remove the lens elements to be replaced with a pinhole either fore or aft of the shutter. That, and I would have a nice light-tight case with easy film winding (esp. if I use a TLR - no red window).

Has anyone here ever attempted such a conversion? And how did it work out? Any tips to share? If I get, say, a 6x9 folder, can I still use the bellows and mount the pinhole at the focal length of the original lens (e.g. 105mm)?

FYI, I will probably go with this set of pre-made pinholes: https://www.pinholeresource.com/inde...ole-set-detail. Lots of selection there to fit a variety of configurations.

Looking forward to hearing back about this.

Best regards,
Svend

Last edited by Svend; 19th April 2018 at 09:57 PM.
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  #2  
Old 20th April 2018, 07:47 AM
Paulographic Paulographic is offline
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I've thought about doing this several times using a cheap old 6x6 120 body but abandoned the idea.
I figured the best type would be those that used a collapsing tube rather than bellows as it might be possible to finely adjust the distance from pinhole to film plane. Basic models of this type were made by Agfa, Balda (I passed one of theirs to a FADU member a few years back), Braun and Goldeck. They turn up at camera fairs, car boot sales even, but beware of high prices asked on ebay, make a low bid as it's unlikely anyone else will want it.
I never managed to make a good pinhole and having one made seemed to defeat the idea of doing it on the very cheap.
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Old 20th April 2018, 11:47 AM
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PanFrank PanFrank is offline
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Hi Svend,

Pinhole photography is lovely. When I started, I did not have a darkroom, therefore I bought a ZeroImage for 120 rollfilm, which I am mainly using anyway. Today I would rather build a camera, at least 8x10" for contact printing paper negatives. This suits pinhole photography quite well, I think. There is a book called "primitive photgraphy", which includes everything one needs, though research on internet gives also plenty of explanations on how to build a camera. Something simple like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugy7rr8WTy0 or better Joe's own construction with the best shutter ever made. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-G3eI2kH8b8 :-)

Hurry up, WPPD is in nine days! :-) http://pinholeday.org/.

Cheers, Frank
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Old 20th April 2018, 12:49 PM
Svend Svend is offline
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Paul -- I still have a lot to learn about pinhole photography, clearly. From what I gather, and your comment seems to support this, is that for a given pinhole diameter the distance from the aperture to the film plane (focal length) is critical. Change the hole size, and the focal length needs to be reset. Is this correct, or do I have it all wrong? And does this relationship have to do with image sharpness, or is it a coverage thing?

My reasoning to purchase that set of various pinhole sizes (see link) is, in part, for that very reason - to allow me to put just the right diameter pinhole in for a given focal length. In effect, I would be going about tackling the problem you describe, but from the other direction -- i.e. don't change the focal length (in your case) with a sliding tube, but rather swap in the optimum pinhole size. Does this make sense?

Frank -- wow, an 8x10 camera! You must not shoot far from your car. Fifty paces, max, eh? As much as I would love to have a beast of a camera like that, I am looking for something I can slip into a backpack and take on a long hike or mtn. bike ride. A folder or small TLR would serve quite nicely, together with a compact tripod. Still, good on ya for going big. And thanks for posting those links -- Joe has some great pinhole videos there. The more I dig into this, the more I find that there is actually a wealth of information out there. It will take a while to take all those pieces and put them all together to get properly knowledgeable on this topic.

Never stop learning!

Cheers,
Svend
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Old 20th April 2018, 12:53 PM
Richard Gould Richard Gould is offline
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Firstcall do a pnhole thing for around £12, or several pinhole camera kits, everythimg supplied,myou put them together yourself, for £26 to £30, might be worth a look as the pinhole is the important bit, I have considered trying to convert a non functioning folder, I have a couple of non working ones,one day I will give it a go, pinhole photographs can be quite beautiful
Richard
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Old 21st April 2018, 02:43 AM
Svend Svend is offline
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Thanks Richard...I'll take a look at what First Call has. Certainly an inexpensive way to dip my toe into the world of pinhole imagery and see if I like it. Would save me a bit of work too, tearing apart an old camera and trying to insert a pinhole back in.

Lots of options here...

Cheers, Svend
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Old 21st April 2018, 08:13 AM
chefsteve chefsteve is offline
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Hi

For my pinhole I just used my Mamiya 645 and a front body cap. Drilled a 6mm hole in the centre, then produced a pinhole using an empty stella can, and a fine needle. Taped this to the inside of the cap.

Should be able to do the same for any SLR.

Steve
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Old 21st April 2018, 09:24 AM
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skellum skellum is offline
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Nice idea Steve. Now, where am I going to get an empty beer tin . . .
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Old 21st April 2018, 12:03 PM
Terry S Terry S is offline
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Yes, I'm sure there's some science in getting the 'correct' laser pinhole for a given focal length. BUT, the majority of my pinhole experiments in the past with both the above, and a bit of tin foil, poked with a pin badge needle to make a hole, gave very similar images to my eyes. Yes, they were all soft and looked like one would expect but the cost to me about one penny for the foil and a penny for the sellotape.

Also one doesn't need a spare camera, my pinholes have been made out of a variety of boxes of various sizes. My favourite one was about five inches cubed, and the box fitted exactly into the lid to make a cube, if you know what I mean? The best bit was, that I could pull the two apart slightly, I had a 'zoom lens' pinhole camera!!!

I think I'll have to dust them off, as they haven't been used for a while and hopefully get a print in the gallery.

Terry S

PS It turns out, having just watched the two youtube links, that my 'zoom' pinhole is just like in one of the links, but mine doesn't have a glass screen back, so my composing is a lot looser.

Last edited by Terry S; 21st April 2018 at 12:11 PM.
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  #10  
Old 23rd April 2018, 02:22 PM
Svend Svend is offline
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Guys - apologies for the late reply...out of town this weekend and not near my PC (nice for a change).

Steve -- that's a good idea, and so easy to do. I have several 35mm SLRs that I could do this with, and a Mamiya TLR. I just discovered that this place even sells pre-made pinhole body caps: https://www.pinholeresource.com/inde...ased-body-caps
It seems a good place to start, and no investment required. Great tip.

Terry -- yes, well, I suppose I shouldn't overthink this. It really isn't a precision craft, is it? Or at least it needn't be. It's just that the technical side of my brain can't let go, and wants to get everything in perfect order before I even start. Time to just get out there and experiment a bit and have fun with it.

Cheers,
Svend
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