View Full Version : Doing my own 4x5

05-05-2006, 12:13 PM
Hello everyone,

I must be one of many doing their own camera, good that there is so many creative people out there. I noticed the pinhole photo in 1997, but did not get into it right away... until now. I am making a wooden box around a unused Sinar back for film holder, the pinhole size is a mistery, but it looks like its around 0.40 mm I think, cant see it or measure it, too small. I am putting my horses on wide angle, at least I hope with a 60 mm distance from pinhole to the filmholder. Whoss, I hope it works out, been doing a long journey, from plastic Agfa in the 1969 (Christmas, OLAF !!! take a photo of your brother) into large format and now into the pinhole. I am a huge fan of Sir John Herschel, he is the top having invented the cyanotype and his friend Anna Atkins spreading the word.
Here is a photo of my construction, if you can give me advice please do so, or warn me about if my pinhole cam is not going to work or something.
Cheers :)
Olaf Attached files http://f295.f295.org/uploads/pinhole08web_8054.jpg (http://f295.f295.org/uploads/pinhole08web_8054.jpg) http://f295.f295.org/uploads/pinhole11web_8641.jpg (http://f295.f295.org/uploads/pinhole11web_8641.jpg) http://f295.f295.org/uploads/pinhole14web_5749.jpg (http://f295.f295.org/uploads/pinhole14web_5749.jpg)

05-05-2006, 12:31 PM
Why wouldn't it work? A pinhole camera is a light-tight box with a hole in the front and something light sensitive inside. It WILL work. You might have a light leak or two to fix, or decide you want a different sized pinhole for better sharpness, but you will get images. 60mm on 4x5 is fairly wide, but not extremely so. It should be fine.

For maximum sharpness 0.4mm is a bit big for 60mm (around 0.3mm would be a bit sharper), but don't change it now. Just mount it and start shooting pictures. There will be time for tweaking later.

And welcome to f/295!

05-05-2006, 12:52 PM
thank's for the advice and the welcome,
yes, I will not change the over all thing, just shoot this weekend, thought about the light leak, will tape spots that are likely to leak light, like the slits on back. hopefully I can make a selfportrait, so I can replace my avatar :)
Been reading the post's about the shutters, very helpful and interesting, will be snooping around for a shutter later, for now I will just use cardboard and tape.

05-05-2006, 06:21 PM
Hello Olaf...

Earlj & a few other people are probably within a reasonable distance of St Olaf College in Minnesota (I'm sure you're not).

Nice Avatar, Homie.

05-06-2006, 02:43 AM
my girlfriend say's I look like homer anyway, so I thought why not? :)
I am in old europe, going to try out my new camera today...., ,must remember to drill a tripod hole first in it.


05-11-2006, 07:50 AM
Tried out my homemade 4x5 camera last weekend, still have to develope the five sheet of film. I will develope them in a jobo drum for 35mm film, done it before, I can fit two sheet at a time and load the drum in a changing bag. Been through doing this in total darkenss developing the sheet film like one does to paper prints. But my triple audible digital alarm clock is ruined, fixer dripped of my finger on it so it got fried on the inside.
I tried one shot with a monorail Toyo 8x10 with a pinhole on it and then did another shot with a 210mm lens of the same view to compare later, see the difference beetwen pinhole and the normal lens photo. But I will have to find another alarm clock before I can develope those film sheets since the do not fit into the jobo drum.
In the meanwhile I have been reading and brownsing through the posts on the f295, like that I can ovoid asking some questions that have been asked. Lot of useful information only thing some posts older than 3 months do not show the pictures. I expecially liked the discussion on making panorama medium format camera, with or without curved back for the film. In fact I intend to build one like that when I figure out how to make the film rools mechanism. I will propably end up getting a throwaway MF camera and use some of its parts.

05-19-2006, 08:21 AM
Took my 4x5 box apart,
was not happy with using black tape for shutter so I put this copal 3 shutter on the box with the pinhole behind. Now I am ready to make some serious testing. Previous testing with the tape shutter where all shaken, pulling on the tape I guess.
I put this funny knob on top also, to have something to grab on and hold the camera still.
Well, I am out. Have camera, will shoot ;D
Attached files http://f295.f295.org/uploads/4x5box_01web_2435.jpg (http://f295.f295.org/uploads/4x5box_01web_2435.jpg) http://f295.f295.org/uploads/4x5box_02web_6974.jpg (http://f295.f295.org/uploads/4x5box_02web_6974.jpg) http://f295.f295.org/uploads/4x5box_03web_3721.jpg (http://f295.f295.org/uploads/4x5box_03web_3721.jpg)

05-19-2006, 09:01 AM
That's some serious pinhole hardware.

05-19-2006, 10:45 PM
Can you see an image in the ground glass? I would expect that you need a large viewing/framing pinhole to frame the shot, and then switch to the smaller pinhole when you put the film holder in. I am in the process of building an 8X10 field pinhole camera more or less from scratch, and that is my plan. With your fancy shutter, though, it might be harder to change pinholes.

05-20-2006, 12:36 AM
With your fancy shutter, though, it might be harder to change pinholes.

I don't have multiple pinholes for mine, but I have a shutter setup similar to that on my Ideal plate camera -- I can remove the pinhole from the shutter in about 10 seconds, maybe less, and if I had another one set up, could insert the alternate in the same time. I made it that way so I could easily switch between glass and pinhole in the field if desired...

05-23-2006, 01:59 AM
Just have one pinhole on it behind the shutter,
I can see a little glimpse on the groundglass, but not much. But it's a good idea to have two pinholes, one for framing other to take the photo, sort of pinhole on a plate to slide on and off. Maby on a circular plate behind the shutter and some way to move it from one pinhole to another.
Yes, nice shutter, quite heavy thought, I have a Copal 0, but its quite stiff and I plan to use it on a pocket4x5 pinhole camera that I have in making.
thank's for the feedback, gives me a lot of ideas and another way to look at what I am doing ;D
here is a pic of the pocket4x5, it's build just around the filmholder, so it look's also a lot like a ZeroImage camera. I would buy their camera, but have to go to London for that.
Attached files http://f295.f295.org/uploads/pocket4x5_19_7125.jpg (http://f295.f295.org/uploads/pocket4x5_19_7125.jpg)

05-23-2006, 07:01 PM
My "interchangeable" pinhole is mounted in the front of the shutter, on black posterboard (a flat sheet with a circular rim taped on, sized to a slip fit into the front threads). That makes it acessible from outside the camera.

Depending on the shutter and focal length, you migh get enough resolution from just the camera's aperture to use that as a "viewing" pinhole -- the plate camera shutter I use this way goes to f/45, but f/64 would be better (f/45, however, at 135 mm projection distance, surely will produce some kind of image, and with a good dark cloth, bright enough to compose, at least in full sun).

05-24-2006, 12:57 AM
Yes I did think about placing the pinhole in front of the shutter,
but I can't find a filter with the right circular rim to fit on it. The Copal 3 shutter seems to be 72mm, or 71mm but the problem is that the screw mount is far down in the ring edge, same thing on the backside. There is a photo equipment fair going up soon in Bièvre south of Paris, maby I will find some ring rim for it. It would be good anyway to get a UV filter to close the front of the shutter to protect it against dust. I am sure I could compose with a bigger aperture, allready I see something on the groundglass with the pinhole on if I use my black dust coat to shield off light.

05-26-2006, 01:01 PM
Hi, I'm new here, but I've been lurking for awhile. I've made a few 4X5 cameras and I'd still be doing it but I no longer have room to work, and time to do it. But I have a couple of pictures that show details of construction that may be helpful to some of the members. Problem is, I don't know how to size them or how to post them here. You can see the cameras at www.holgamods.com/snapdragon . My problem is the computer, can anyone help?