Thursday, June 15, 2006

Ansco Shur Shot Pinhole Conversion

Here's my latest pinhole project - converting an Ansco Shur Shot box camera. This was even easier than the Foldex 20. The shutter had a single speed and no B setting- but it was easy to install a metal rod that blocks the shutter from firing through - thus converting it to a "B" shutter. As long as you hold the lever down, the shutter stays open; when you let go, it closes. An easy, reliable conversion.

The camera back with exposure guide and cloth tape over the red window.

The inside of the camera with the film cone out. The pinhole is installed up in the recessed hole where the lens was. It's a 0.41 mm hole at ~ 100mm (f245). The pinhole is a beaut - I really took my time on it to make it a nice one.

The film cone with empty take up spool. The camera takes 6x9 cm images on standard 120 roll film, so 8 shots per roll.

Here's the shutter open and a view of the pinhole from the front. I had to turn the flash off, so it's a little blurry.

Here's how to hold the shutter open for long exposures: a rubber band wrapped around the camera and looped over the shutter lever. If you get the tension right you can open or close the shutter and it will stay where you put it- open or closed. Low tech, but the camera ain't exactly high tech anyway.

Here are some test pics:

An old flowerpot on my deck - 30min exposure on ~25 year-old Kodak Panatomic X 32 ASA film (I got two rolls in a mixed lot of stuff I bought locally - it expired in 1984!)

A shot off our back deck...

A blowup to show detail - the pinhole is working fine.

As with the Foldex, it's now on Ebay to fund the film habit... click the "Buy a pinhole" link in the sidebar to see the auction if you're interested!

Daniel's 35mm pinhole camera

Here's Daniel G's latest project: a Zeiss Icarex 35mm SLR now sporting one of my 0.25mm pinholes in place of the Zeiss optics. No comparison, of course! Move over, Carl Z! ;o)

This camera makes a nice companion to Daniel's Agfa Clack (see a previous post). Looks to have been a straightforward conversion. Nice work!

Daniel writes:

Hello, Here are 2 photos of my old IKAREX (Zeiss-Ikon) with your pinhole. The photo test, with a clock, is real size (384ko) : ilford pan-F film, exposure 5s with a spot-light 500w, revelator ilford ID11,1-0.

Très bon sténopé :-)

@+ Daniel

As always, I like to blow up test images ridiculously large to check pinhole performance. This one seems to hold its own just fine - a good pinhole is so important for smaller film formats like 35mm. You could get away with less on 4x5 (not that I do), but a pinhole for 35mm needs to be a good one if it's to handle any level of enlargement.

With all the pinholes I've sold, you'd think I'd get more images. Thanks Daniel! Tell you what - your next pinhole is free of charge! Just email me and tell me what size you'd like and I'll send you one gratis. Maybe it's time you built a 4x5 camera or something, or a tin can camera for photo paper, maybe.

And for all the rest of you with my pinholes out there- let's see your cameras and some shots! :o)

Sunday, June 04, 2006

4x5 wide angle pinhole camera project

Here's my latest build - an aluminum 4x5 pinhole camera for use with standard 4x5 cut film holders. It's a simple and reliable design, and very lightweight. It's made from a single piece of aluminum and joined together with my signature hockey tape construction. The shutter is the standard cable release-activated guillotene style. The camera back has a foam rim under a layer of cloth tape for a light-tight seal against the film back. The film holders are held snugly in place with large rubber bands cut from a motorcycle innertube. It's very low tech, but the camera functions very well. I've also mounted a standard tripod mount on the bottom side in the same way I did for my homemade folder.

The camera has a focal length of 60mm, which is very wide for 4x5 film - about 115 degrees of view (the 35mm equivalent would be an 18 mm fisheye lens). The pinhole is 0.30 mm (f200). I've tested the camera for light tightness with a 6-hour test in hazy sun with a darkslide pulled, and no light leaks were detected.

Here's a test image from the camera - this is the microscope I use when making pinholes. This is a 6 min exposure onto Ilford Multicontrast paper. The abililty to shoot with paper in a 4x5 folder is a nice option - it's cheaper than film, and you can watch the negs develop under a safelight. Then it's a simple matter to scan and invert using Photoshop.

Here's a large blowup of the above image to demonstrate how SHARP this pinhole is. You can see incredible detail and resolution. 0.30 mm is pretty much optimal for 60mm, and I took my time with this pinhole. Seems to have paid off!

This one's on the auction block too. I'll be building another for myself soon anyway. Click on the Ebay link on the sidebar to see my current auctions.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Daniel's other horseman

"Rampin Horseman" Daniel G, Agfa Clack / 0.35mm pinhole

This A M A Z I N G image came from Daniel G over in France - it's another shot from the Agfa Clack 6x9 he converted using one of my 0.35 mm pinholes. Do you really think a laser pinhole could do better? W O W ! Daniel, you need to join f295 and start posting your images there!

Daniel is now a repeat customer - soon he will convert a 35mm camera with one of my 0.25mm pinholes. I'll keep you posted.

Daniel writes:

Hello Dennis,

Rampin Horseman
Head of a horseman, known as the "Rampin Horseman".
It is a shot from a copy (Le Louvre), with the Agfa-Clack and your
0.35mm pinhole with a light-spot of 200w, exposure 45s, film
agfa-orto25. The pinhole is very very good :-)

Merci mille fois, Daniel! Ce photo est manifique!