Every so often I like to have a play with pinhole photography – not with the commercially available holes and attachments but things I make myself. I’ve had a crack at doing some with my digital camera, but to be honest, it’s more trouble than it’s worth. So I’ve tended to stick with film.
My original objective was to create a gizzmo that would fit on the front of my Rollei in such a way that I could attach/detach at will – thus I could drop a pinhole shot into the middle of a film if I wanted. I wanted use my Rollei as it has a significant advantage because using the waist level finder and a dark cloth over my head I can just about see the image of the subject I’m taking reasonably well.
As you may know, in theory, the pinhole can be any distance from the film plane, the further away the larger the image of the subject but the longer the exposure needs to be. Okay in theory, but practice? I had to give it a try. So I put a pinhole at the front of a parcel tube which I then attached to the front of my camera.
In the picture, the front of the ‘lens’ is supported by a lighting stand with a catapult taped to the top to give a u-shaped support. Trying to maintain the tube/camera/film plain was a real nightmare.
A couple of examples of the output.
‘Standard’ Pinhole to Film Distance
‘Telephoto’ Pinhole to Film Distance
Standard – the arrow points to the ‘target’
Kirk Deighton Church
I’ll leave you to consider the results, but the tube clearly exhibits a lack of contrast (in part I believe due to scatter in the tube). Also the Church picture is suffering from a slight light leak or glare.
I’m sorry I can’t give you details of exposure – I calculate each exposure using a meter and conversion tables, but the long tube ones will be pushing towards 15 to 20 minutes.
It’s unlikely that I will be making any more attempts, it’s just too much faffing about – trying to line things up, especially on uneven ground – the slightest out of alignment and the image quality/light level drops significantly.