April 26th was worldwide pinhole photography day so I went out with the Edinburgh Lo-Fi photographers to shoot some images on a home made camera.
I made a simple bodycap pinhole lens for last year’s event to use on my DSLR, however this year I wanted to shoot some film and make the camera myself as well. I knew the lens was pretty good after a lot of experimentation last year to get a good pinhole in a piece of tinfoil taped to the bodycap, so all I needed was a camera box and a film holder.
I took a 645 rollfilm back from my Bronica for this, mainly because it would hold the film nice and flat, would be suitable light-tight and would let me wind the film on mechanically. I cut a series rectangular frames from mount board and stacked them in front of the film holder to give some separation to the lens. Keeping the lens close to the film would ensure a nice wide angle of view, but too close and i’d probably not get an image. I cut a circular hole in the front piece of card and mounted the lens into it.
The elastic bands keep the lens clamped in place.
I’m pretty pleased with the results.
The large film size produced nice sharp images from the pinhole lens and the slow black and white film recorded a nice range of dark and light tones.
The extreme wide angle of view required some creative framing to fill it all (a challenge when I didn’t have a viewfinder or an idea of actually how wide it was) but the unlimited depth of field you get with a pinhole lens meant I could bring the immediate foreground in without it just blurring. not having any kind of tripod mount I had to sit the camera on the ground most of the time, but this worked quite well.
These were exposed for around 30 seconds to a minute on ISO 125 film, which over-exposed them a fair bit but I was able to pull them back while scanning them in. Next time I’ll use some slower film or cut the exposure a bit to give me something more printable.