My 5x7 and 8x10 pinhole cameras, plus photo

Discussion in 'Alternative Techniques & Photo Gallery' started by Dick Sanders, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. Dick Sanders

    Dick Sanders TPF Noob!

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    Here's a photo I made with my 8x10 pinhole camera of the Albert Frey designed "Flying Wedge," which was a gas station in Palm Springs, CA for many years. Today, it's the Palm Springs Visitors Center. At the time I made this photo, it was an art gallery and the owner had a collection of Japanese fish-net floats he spaced around the grounds.

    [​IMG]

    Here are the 8x10 and 5x7 pinhole cameras. Both are 4 3/4 inch focal length. Note the sight lines for framing. And also the orange filter that adds contrast, and lens cap for shutter (8x10).

    [​IMG]

    Note the hinged back frame that drops away for 8x10 sheet filmholder insertion. When closed it's held firmly in place by two small tapered dowls that squeeze into latches on the sides. Just pull the slide, pull the cap, and expose. The 5x7 uses two big dowls that slide into an angled track and press on the filmholder. When no film is in use, the filmholder is replaced by a flat wooden pressure plate (shown here). My cabinet maker made these cameras for me. Both have tripod sockets (and sight lines) for vertical and horizontal orientation.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the inside of the 5x7. The Flying Wedge photo is pretty sharp because the pinhole is the optimal size for 4 3/4 inch focal length. I have a 4 x 8 foot print in my living room and people can't believe it was made with just "a pinhole." I always have to drag the camera out and show them.

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for looking. Comments welcome, questions gladly answered.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
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  2. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Wow -- beautiful! Thanks for posting.
     
  3. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That is awesome. I had to read it twice to make sure I understood that this is, indeed, a pinhole shot - very sharp, indeed. Wow! Beautiful cameras - I bet you have a lot of fun "proving" you used a pinhole.

    Would love to see more of your work.
     
  4. pm63

    pm63 TPF Noob!

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    I love the shot at the top. Very abstract. Lovley cameras too.
     
  5. Dick Sanders

    Dick Sanders TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the comments, guys. And Terri, here's another Flying Wedge photo made with the same 8x10 pinhole camera, from the other side of the yard. It's also black-and-white, but I did some selective coloring in PhotoShop here. By the way, I checked out your Beaten Path web site. Nice work. And I love your collection of older cameras and what you wrote about them. Very enjoyable presentation.

    [​IMG]

    If you look closely in the middle-left rear of this picture, you can make out the balls (fishnet floats) that appear in the top picture. They look pretty tiny in this photo, and pretty big in the other one. Remember 4 3/4 inch on 8x10 is very wide angle -- about a 20mm lens on 35.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
  6. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Very nice shot.
    Great composition.

    Hmm ... and the rest of us are spending $$$'s on high quality optics ... to get something half as good.

    Ah, I miss large format film.
     
  7. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Another beautiful photo!

    The idea that one needs the latest whiz bang camera and lens to create a
    great photo is the height of ignorance! :lol:
     
  8. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Beautiful pictures. I once tried to make a 8x10 pinhole camera that would accept double dark slides out of an old wooden box. I used paper for my trials. The pictures came out OK (fairly sharp) but the camera suffered from severe light leaks. Your great pictures made me want to go back to the camera and fix those light leaks. It would be great to see a close up of the device you use to close the back on your 8x10 camera; that could help me to cure the problems on my camera.
     
  9. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Steph: You have a great imagination - I'd love to see you overcome the light leak issues and see what you could do. :thumbup:

    Dick - I really appreciate your comments on the site and my work. Thank you!

    This colorized version now boasts a Polaroid look (which from me is meant to be high praise). ;) I love this building and imagine it gets photographed alot. So many possibilities!
     
  10. Dick Sanders

    Dick Sanders TPF Noob!

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    These pics are for Steph and everyone else who would like to see in closer detail how the hinged back (and filmholder slot) on the 8x10 works. Please excuse the quality of these pics. They are snaps from my wife's digital P&S and are over bright deliberately to show detail.

    In this first picture, showing the back of the camera, note the black foam weatherstripping that also serves as a cushion and light lock when the filmholder is pressed against it.
    [​IMG]

    In this second photo, showing the hinged back pulled open, note the black photo tape around the perimeter, discouraging any miscellaneous light that might creep in. Also note how the back is built, with a pocket to precisely hold the 8x10 sheet filmholder.
    [​IMG]

    This third pic shows the bottom of the camera, and the hinges that allow the back frame to drop open (for filmholder insertion).
    [​IMG]

    The fourth pic shows the sheet filmholder being inserted and the back closing on it. Once closed it will press firmly on the foam weatherstripping. Note also the latch (one on each side) that will close it tight.
    [​IMG]

    The last photo shows the latch being closed and a tapered dowl being inserted downward until it's squeezed in tight -- that holds the back frame tightly against the back of the camera. Low tech, but it works really well. This camera has no light leaks.
    [​IMG]

    Hope these pics did the trick for you. Good luck with your own camera.
     
  11. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thank you for the reply and pictures. They perfectly illustrate how the closing mechanism holds the DDS perfectly in place. I'll see if I can try something similar on my camera/wooden box. Hopefully, I'll find some time soon: so many things to do and so little time for photography at the moment...:(
     
  12. windrivermaiden

    windrivermaiden TPF Noob!

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    Wow, what a thoural exploration of the subject/cameras.

    Bring more photos. :)
     

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