I wasn’t going to make a 6x9cm Variable Cuboid. My relationship with the 6x9cm format has been rather lukewarm, maybe because my early experiences with it coincided with the development of the 35mm Populist. I was besotted with the pinholey image quality from the smaller negative, which has the same aspect ratio. The 6x9s seemed a little dull. Looking back on those pictures, they’re not bad and lately 6x6cm has gotten to be an obsession so maybe another try is warranted.
One other thing that discouraged me is with 6x9cm format there is the option of choosing a vertical or horizontal format. In order to have a rising front (another infatuation) in both orientations, there has to be a third pinhole and shutter. That's how it is with the Pinhole Lab Camera with tape shutters and with Reality So Subtle cameras with precision engineering and manufacture. It's been done with flaps that swivel away on a screw to uncover the opening. Except for tripod mounts, metal fastener technology isn't part of my repertoire. The flaps might catch on something and bend and they seem a little fussy to open and close for a quick exposure. My standard cardboard sliding shutters are too big to be close enough to operate for three holes without making the rising distance a little too far up for normal use on that third pinhole.
Not to mention it would need another identical pinhole drilled.
The two pinholes have to be offset from the center because the on‑axis pinhole has to be, well...on‑axis so it’s in the middle whichever way it’s rotated. The top sliding shutter gets a little wiggly when it’s opened because the channel is now shorter on the top but it’s OK if you’re half-way careful when opening it.
Putting some stops at the 90 degree positions would make it really quick and easy to get it square when you turned it from horizontal to vertical, but then it occurred to me that it could now rotate all way over for a falling front in case you were high in a building and wanted to keep the verticals parallel on the building across the street. Oh well, it’s pinhole, so taking a few seconds to line the shutter up with a mark isn’t out of the question.
I made a 55mm stereo front. For view finding it has a line of black card stock to define the image plane and beaded pins in the front to mark the pinholes. Something with depth makes view finding easier for me than just drawing lines on the camera.
For the whole 6x9 format with the rotating shutter I made a 70mm front.
First up was the 55mm stereo front and the back loaded with Arista.edu 100.
The following stereo pairs are set up for crossed eyes, which is really easy because the negatives can be scanned together just as they come out of the camera, left image on the right and right on left. If you don't think you can do crosseyed stereo viewing, check out this exercise. You probably can learn to do it right away.
Here's an Amarylis in front of a mirror portrayed with the on‑axis set of pinholes. Try to line up the flowers.
Well, this is interesting. You'll note the left image is wider than the right.
You can still get it into stereo with crossed eyes, but it distracts from the 3D effect and I don't think it would work with a stereo viewer or anaglyph.
Next, the 70mm full frame front for this close up with the on‑axis pinhole.
With the camera oriented vertically and the shutter rotated, here's the First National Bank building with the rising pinhole.
Just down the block, the Oshkosh Public Library with the camera horizontal, again with the rising front which of course required the shutter to be rotated back.
Later the 55mm stereo front went back on to try out the rising pinholes. The divider didn't bend as much this time, but the left image is still a little bigger than the right.
The great oaks at the Merrill Soccer Field.
The passage between Merrill Elementary School and Gym.
The shutters operated well, the film transport was smooth and it was easy to change the fronts. I'll have to see what can be done about keeping that divider straight and give it another try.