Tuesday, July 25, 2006

New camera and more from Milner

My table saw is now finally set up and running. While I have used it for construction purposes already (I'm rennovating our deck right now) my first "project" using the saw was a new plywood camera for 5x7 film holders. I wanted to start using paper negatives (cheaper!) and 5x7 is a nice large size. It's also very convenient to use 5x7 paper - all that is required is to trim off about 2mm from one length and it'll slip right into the holder. Easy!

There are some very dedicated and excellent paper shooters on f295 - people like bino, JoeVanCleave and Steve Irvine (who makes pottery cameras!). I've been inspired by them to try this out.

The other advantage to paper negs (besides cost - where can you get 5x7 sheet film for 20 cents a shot??) is that you can develop by inspection under red light. One downside is that Multigrade paper (which most people use) comes out very contrasty when exposed with a pinhole - basically only black or white, with nary a grey to be seen. I had an idea to try circumvent this drawback, though: using a yellow filter to restrict the contrast. The low contrast Multigrade filters are yellow, so I thought a yellow camera (lens) filter might work too.

The new 5x7 cam: specs are as follows: 150mm FL, 0.50mm pinhole (f300), internal yellow filter over pinhole, threaded 1/4-20 tripod mount (landscape mode), wooden shutter with black paper wrap (old 120 backing paper). Exposures for paper are L O N G - so I felt no need for a cable release shutter.

The back is a simple "open box" design for now, but I will likely add a frame around the rim for the holder later. The rim is lined with black foam weatherstripping to create a light seal with the holder. The inside of the camera is lined with more 120 backing paper - future cameras will simply be painted flat black, but I wanted to recycle the paper...

The film back is held snugly in place with large elastic bands cut as cross sections from a motorcycle innertube.

A handy trick is to use a darkslide tucked under one of the bands as a "lens" shade before opening the shutter to make an exposure.

I've used this cam in my ongoing Milner project (see the previous post). The results are very encouraging, and the yellow filter seems to have done the trick! You can click on the pictures to see a larger version (recommended!).

Here's the farm feed store that the grain elevators from the first Milner post supply. Exposure was ~3 min in bright sun.

I wanted to try some double exposures - here's basically the same image but with a double exposure of the main street overlaid on it. Exposures were about 1.5 minutes each.

Here's another double take of the now derelict Harrington Grocery in Milner. Exposures were also around 1.5 min each.

There's still lots to shoot here, so there will be more to come in future posts!


Anonymous said...

Very cool! That's my cousin's feed store! Your pictures of Milner make me homesick! I lived there for the first 19 years of my life!
Keep those Milner pics coming!

Dennis Venema said...

thanks for the comment - it's always nice to know you're getting visited. Hopefully I'll have some more Milner shots to share in a while.