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Thread: Pinholes

  1. #1
    Confidently Agnostic!
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    Pinholes

    Any tips on making or buying pinholes suitable for reasonably detailed 4x5 (or even 8x10) images? I'm going to just pinprick a hole in some tinfoil and see what I get (whenever I can find the time to get out for some shooting, probably on christmas vacation) but in the event it's not sharp enough (I've seen nice detailed pinhole images from large format before) I'd like to know where to go.

    I've given up on finding that cheap 65mm bargain any time soon (I maxed out at $500 on the last one to end on ebay today) so I figure a pinhole is the next best way to get ultrawide. Hell, I like the semi-soft look of a well made pinhole anyway.

  2. #2

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    Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
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    Re: Pinholes

    Google "Binary Box" - I got one a few years back in Vancouver from a photog who hand-makes his out of yellow cedar and brass. It takes regular 4x5 film holders! I've been happy with the pinhole images I've gotten out of it...you can get them wide angle (the one I purchased) or equivalent to about 85mm on the 35mm format.

    There are others who make 4x5 pinhole cameras, some pricey some not. Again, ask St. Google.

  3. #3
    Confidently Agnostic!
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    Re: Pinholes

    I should clarify; I just want to make a plate to install on my existing 4x5. Not that I need movements, but you know - just a couple of other options to throw in the camera bag (the pinhole plates).

  4. #4
    tim810
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    Re: Pinholes

    Hi,
    One option would be to use an apature iris from an old lens. This is the rout I am taking for my camera obscura project. I will be dealing with different sized rooms and need to adjust focal length acording to size of the room. I also like the ability to easily experiment with things to get my desired result. You could even mount it in an old cheep shutter so you can have acurate shutter speeds. I am just photographing the room with my 8x10, so I won't need a shutter. Good luck with your project.
    Tim

  5. #5

    Re: Pinholes

    Walter,
    see f295 website for lots of ideas concerning pinholes. Plenty of designs and some great photos too.
    I made my pinhole using brass shim stock, but others have used aluminum foil. Use a sharp pin and spin it between your fingers to "drill" a hole in the stock. It seems to work best if you just make an indentation, sand the stock with some 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper and repeat until there is a hole. Try to put the indentations as close to "on top" of each other as possible (this will give you a round hole). I then scan the hole to see how round it is and to size it. Google "pinhole designer" for an exposure calculator that is fairly accurate. Blacken the rear of the shim stock with a sharpie to cut down on reflections.
    I mounted my pinhole is an old shutter (you only really need the "B" setting to work), mount that on a board and you're ready to go. One bit of advice, the high values really seem to print up 1 to 1 1/2 zones, so meter your high values no more than zone 7 or they will block up badly. I don't know why this is, it just is. Good luck.
    Pihole photography is a lot of fun.

  6. #6
    Greg Lockrey's Avatar
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    Re: Pinholes

    The pinhole that I have was a lazer cut affair, and not all that inexpensive either if I recall. I had mine since the early 80's. F/295 site has a wealth of information. Camera movements??? There is no focusing, just "Hail Mary" pointing with a pinhole. Optimum pinhole size is determined by bellows extension if memory serves.
    Greg Lockrey

    Wealth is a state of mind.
    Money is just a tool.
    Happiness is pedaling +25mph on a smooth road.



  7. #7

    Re: Pinholes

    A couple of things I forgot,
    1. aim for a pinhole diameter of about 0.2-0.3mm, with a focal length of about 50mm your exposures will not get too short.
    2. laser cut pinholes are available for purchase (about $15-20 each) which are very accurate and very round. I've never had one so I can't comment on how easy they are to mpount in a shutter.
    Sharpness seems to fall off a great deal if the hole comes out oblong.

    Dick P.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    31

    Re: Pinholes

    Laser drilled pinholes are available from:

    http://www.lenoxlaser.com/pinholephotos/index.html

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Re: Pinholes

    Tinfoil is a lousy thing to work with for making pinholes... the poke, and sand, and poke again method that dpeterson mentions is the best for getting a clean homemade pinhole, but using a piece of metal from a drink can is probably the best way to go. (Guinness cans seem to work a treat, but any old fizzy drink will do.) They might not be as pretty as the laser-drilled ones, but I've had good results from these.

    If you don't want to go with homemade, then I would heartily recommend the santa barbara pinhole cameras which you can get from b&h photo from about 60-something dollars. I use the 75mm one for almost all my pinhole work, but they go wider too.

  10. #10

    Re: Pinholes

    Hello! I use the laser pinhole for 8x10 at 12 inches from the pinhole. It works great. The trouble is, at that distance, there is very little light fall-off. Sometimes, it looks like a blurred lens picture, and it looses the esthetics of pinhole photography. Best regards.

    Michael A. Heald

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