Monday, October 3, 2016

A Populist for Oshkosh

I ride my bike around Oshkosh a lot, and the primary impression is that it's really flat. The chamber of commerce emphasizes that Winnebago is Wisconsin's most level county.  On top of that I doubt that there are more than 10 buildings that are more than three stories high. So it seemed to me that a Panoramic camera of some sort might have some utility.


I've done this before.  A few years back on f295 someone posted about a camera they had made with a dominoes box with a format of 24 x 96 mm. I don't remember the distance to the pinhole, but it was fairly short.  So I made a Populist at 24mm with that 24x96mm format.  I occasionally got a picture with the full format, but mostly the image only covered about 72mm before fading to black.

This time to increase the image coverage, I increased the distance to the pinhole to 35mm, and made the format 24x72 mm. Mr. Pinhole says it only covers 67mm, but with burning and dodging, I thought I could get a fairly uniform exposure all the way out to the end.  It covers a hair over 90 degrees.


Instead of the folded internal structure, I just made two little boxes attached to the ends for the film bays, raised up to the height of the camera with a couple pieces of foamcore.  I put foamcore on the top and bottom of the image chamber to keep it stiff. But otherwise it's a Populist.  Again, I hand drilled a pinhole, this time .26mm.

The first roll through, the clicker failed and I overlapped most of the images.  I've often mentioned that the clicker was the trickiest part of making a Populist. It can only extend above the divider about 1mm or it just folds over when you push the back of the camera on. It occurred to me that I could put a piece of card stock in the back of the camera with a little cutout to give the clicker a little more room. That seems to have worked. Funny story: When I went out to test the camera it was sunny and I needed a piece of black card stock to cover the pinhole with until the camera stopped moving from opening the shutter with these short exposures.  I just picked up an old piece from the workshop cameras and cut off a bit with a scissors.  When I went to make this layer for the clicker space, this piece turned out to be exactly the right size!  (Not exactly Ripley's Believe-it-or-not, I guess)

I only got several blocks from my house before I found an appropriate subject: the apartment complex at Fairacres which has one of the the storm water runoff wetlands behind it. This is only the middle about 60mm of the image because of the overlap problem.


Got the full frame with these doors at the partially torn down factory next to the railroad tracks, but it was kind of overexposed and there was some flare from the sun just over the roofline.


About the best was the north wall of Kolf Sports Center.  I specifically chose the composition because of the dark tree in the center and the relatively bright walls and lawn that would reduce the vignetting somewhat.


I was trying to keep the camera level not only horizontally, but also up and down, but setting up at the edge of a busy street to photograph the offices of Meritor Corp, I guess I pointed it up a little.  (This plant was where North American Rockwell began.  They no longer have anything to do with it.  It's still an active heavy industry plant right at the edge of the University)


I think this camera has some potential and I've got it reloaded and ready for another bike ride.

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