Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A moderately telephoto pinhole camera in a plain brown wrapper


I kind of liked the images from the moderately telephoto pinhole camera I made a few months back, but the look of the camera was kind of odd, and it was made by modifying a camera that didn't transport film as well as I'd like. So I edited the template, and made a classic 6x6cm 120 Populist 120mm long.

Link to directions    Link to templates

Because the inner box template is so big, even on tabloid paper, it's printed in two parts and you have to glue them aligned with each other on your cardstock. (It should just barely fit printed on A3 paper - make sure to print 100% and not fit to paper)

I had to go across folds of a 24 can beverage carton to get a piece of card big enough. I'm so over making cameras with random package printing on them, so I made this one with the plain side out.


In the classic Populist scheme, the front and rear boxes are the same depth, but when I got this together, it was almost impossible to get apart, even with the thumbgrips.

I realized I could get a much better grip if I could just grasp the whole box, and I didn't need that much overlap to make it light tight, so I cut it back to where one of those folds from the original carton made a slight ridge. It slides apart quite easily now.

I've edited the template to reflect that.

The viewfinders aren't complete triangles, although I had cut them out before making this decision and it had a neat Spaceman Spiff look, the pointy tips were a snagging risk and I went with William of Occam's recommedation since the shorter line segment defined the angle of view just fine.


You may recall some discussion of the size of the pinhole.  The old camera had a .3mm, much too small for the distance to the film, but with the new camera I drilled a .33mm, a little closer, but still smaller than the mathematical ideal of .462mm. Look at the pictures below and tell me it would be sharper with the bigger pinhole.

This pinhole looks a little ragged at first glance, but if you look the actual edge of the hole, it's pretty smooth and round.

Because the camera's so long and I can't get my hand down to the front, I made a little part to attach the pinhole to and then push to the front of the camera.  It also makes it easy to change the pinhole if I did want to experiment with Lord Rayleigh's equations.


I think it works pretty well. Here's a roll of Lomography 400.

An oak leaf which had attached itself to the side of our house.


Three pumpkins on the bakers rack. Technical note: It's often said that limited depth of field to isolate an object in the foreground is a technique not available to the pinhole photographer.  However if the foreground is still (inside or too heavy to blow around) and the background is "blurry," it's pretty much the same trick visually.  Is it still bokeh when it's caused by motion and not out of focus?


One big pumpkin. More mōshonburā there in the background. Bokeh is kind of a refractionist term.


A small pumpkin and a lemon on the kitchen table.


An enthusiastic potato.


Can you believe I've never photographed the garden at the Paine with a pinhole camera before?

A tree near the entrance to the woodland path.


A pair of chairs on the lawn.


A bench in the event area.


A sculpture fountain in the brand new formal garden.


and, one of the little water features.


I expect I'll be using this camera again.

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