View Full Version : 10 x 15 inch, 5-pinhole camera

Ralph Y.
10-25-2005, 12:48 PM
The inspiration for this camera came from JoeVanCleave's wonderful 8x10 grid cam. *I liked Joe's idea of in-camera composition of multiple related photos. *Joe's camera used 9 pinholes, but I was a little less ambitious and went with 5 pinholes.

The camera is 10x15 inches, 90mm f260 with three 5x5 inch cells and two 5x7.5 inch cells. *I chose the larger format because I have two 250-foot rolls of 10-inch wide black and white paper that I'm trying to use up. *There are tripod mounts on all sides because I thought that any orientation might produce a pleasing composition from the asymmetrical design. *The front and back are held tightly together with strong rubber bands cut from a truck tire tube.

The negative in the photo is the test shot that I made this morning. *I'll post it in the black and white forum when I scan it later today.

Ralph Attached files http://f295.f295.org/uploads/10x151_6509.jpg (http://f295.f295.org/uploads/10x151_6509.jpg) http://f295.f295.org/uploads/10x152_3707.jpg (http://f295.f295.org/uploads/10x152_3707.jpg)

10-25-2005, 01:03 PM

that is a nice camera!

10-25-2005, 03:05 PM
Truely wondeful camera and results.

Ian M

10-25-2005, 06:00 PM
Nice construction job, Ralph. The joinery has that simple yet elegant effect. I like the detail of the brass screws securing the rotating shutters in place. It also looks like you've opted for model aircraft plywood for the divider walls, as evidenced by the uniformity of the borders in the resulting images.

In my camera, I had lots of 1/8" masonite to use up, so I opted for a solution that doesn't give as even of a border between the cells, although it still works, in a pinhole sort of way.

I, too, had initially used an elastic device to secure the box together, a small bungee cord. I finally got around to mounting small brass jewelry box clasps to the sides. I'll post images of the finished product soon.

For exposures, I find it important to make the same exposure time for all cells. This, and uniform lighting between exposures helps guarantee even density in all cells.

One interesting result of using a grid cam I find is the way in which one's shooting style is changed by the nature of having to make a grid of related images. Instead of individual, random shots, perhaps done in a stream of consciousness style, I find it necessary to think about the theme, location or concept I want to document, then find various visual settings that will be appropriate for each cell. It opens up a whole new world of pinhole image making, of which I've just pierced the surface.

10-25-2005, 06:56 PM
That's a beautiful camera, Ralph, as well made as the 4X5 that I have had the privilege to use for the past couple of weeks. I like the conceptual purity of making multiple images on one sheet; I don't know if I could make myself do attractive work this way. I think that I would find it impossible to open just one shutter at a time, and I might think it necessary to make multiple exposures in each frame. I might even want the dividers to be removable, and then use the multiple holes either one at a time or some or all at once.

I might have just talked myself into trying something similar - maybe in a round format instead of square. And maybe there will be multiple focal distances. And the holes might not all point the same direction. But the first one will certainly be made of foamcore and mattboard and toilet paper tubes and Coke cans, as is my construction style.

Ralph Y.
10-25-2005, 09:23 PM
Thanks, all. This was an interesting project.

Joe: The divider walls are 3/16" finished plywood. I opted not to use hardware closures because I wanted to be able to place the camera on a flat surface in any orientation. I agree with you about the change in shooting style. I'm trying to think of themes that would work with this format.

Earl: I like your ideas for modifications to the design - particularly the removable dividers. I hope you get a chance to put something together.


10-26-2005, 05:23 PM
Earl, that's a neat idea. Regarding the removable dividers, my initial conceptual sketchs involved a box enclosure with removable dividers, so various grid layouts could be used.

Then, as ccnstruction proceeded, I realized you'd need dedicated pinholes and shutters for each grid cell, regardless of the layout. Then, the front of the box would need apertures cut for each possible pinhole position. You can see the complexity increase. So it ended up being easier just to build one dedicated layout into a box.

Perhaps someone crafier than myself can figure out how to make grid cams with removable/interchangeable cells. You could use individual box cameras for each cell, with the rear open. You stack these into your larger box frame, lay the sheet of paper or film over the open rear ends of the stack of boxes, then close the lid to the outer box frame. But you'd still need to figure out how to seal up the gaps between the individual cell boxes, especially along the front of the camera.

Also, regarding the round format, I've been interested in not only a round camera (not necessarily a grid cam), but displaying the finished prints in a round frame. Not sure how easy it would be to cut round matte boards, or make such frames, but the idea is interesting. Given a big enough film plane, all pinhole apertures end up projecting a round image.

10-27-2005, 01:07 AM
All your cameras look nicely made (& work well!), Ralph.