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Thread: Simple Instant Film pinhole camera

  1. #1
    500+ Posts Ned.Lewis's Avatar
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    Simple Instant Film pinhole camera

    Hi All,
    I said I'd upload some photos of my instant film pinhole camera.

    This is a simple and quick conversion of a polaroid colorpack camera to pinhole I made a few years ago. Nothing pretty or fancy, just some black matboard and tape. Sort of an ugly duckling really, but it's fun to use and makes fun pictures.

    I got the idea originally from Ross Togashi, who was around f295 a little for a few years. His version looks great, mine is only functional.

    This is actually the second colorpack camera I've converted to pinhole. The plastic door on the first one failed, and this time around I wanted an even wider angle view, so I cut off even more of the front of the camera. I think I used a dremel tool on this one, but a hacksaw worked too. Then I traced the pattern and cut three pieces of black matboard to fit. Two of them have windows and one has a U shape cut out to make the sliding shutter.

    I often use metal tape because it is perfectly opaque and sticks well. I'm sure black gaffer's tape or duct tape would work fine too.
    This camera has been re-taped once.

    pinholaroid1.jpg

    The viewfinder snapped off so I filled the recessed area with epoxy and let it set around a tripod socket.

    pinholaroid2.jpg

    You can see I've hacked away at the outer window several times with a pocket knife. Originally it was made neatly with a mat cutter, but it needed to be bigger. The tab for the shutter has a little notch carved on one side so that you can tell when it is pulled out far enough to uncover the window.

    pinholaroid3.jpg

    Here's what it looks like ready to use. It is used upside-down from the original colorpack camera.

    pinholaroid4.jpg

    These cameras are often available from the goodwill auction site for 5 or 6 dollars. It is good to remove the metal part that is used to squeeze the instant film and soak it in warm water and make sure it is perfectly clean. The film pack for Fuji FP-100C is very slightly thicker than the original polaroid film, so the first couple of frames come out a little stiffly and it might take a little practice. Grip the white tab firmly in the center and pull it straight to avoid tearing. Have fun!
    Some photos: Ipernity
    ( pinholes and solargraphs mixed in among the rest)

  2. #2
    Hi Ned,
    in fact, really simple camera conversion. I like it. I made some Polaroid film backs based pinhole cameras, but i'm not familiar with vintage Polaroid cameras. Is that any Colorpack camera suitable for this conversion ( i mean to use with Fuji FP-100 film load)?

  3. #3
    500+ Posts Ned.Lewis's Avatar
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    Yes, I think there were 4 colorpack cameras, colorpack, colorpack ii, iii and iv. All can use FP-100C and all are similar ( they had different extras, like a little device you aim at the feet of your subject to estimate the range... ) Some had glass lenses and some had plastic. I actually bought a colorpack iv to convert, and it came with a nice case and was in such good shape that I kept it and bought another one to convert instead.

    If you google there is a document called the "land list" which has all the different polaroid cameras and which film they took. That would be valuable for seeing if a particular camera might be a good candidate for conversion. The colorpack cameras were very common, and they can be had nearly for free, so that's what drove my choice.
    Some photos: Ipernity
    ( pinholes and solargraphs mixed in among the rest)

  4. #4

    Smile

    Ned said:
    I got the idea originally from Ross Togashi, who was around f295 a little for a few years. His version looks great, mine is only functional.


    Aloha Ned!

    Great job!

    i still drop by f295 now and again - yes, not as often as I'd like, but I do when I need inspiration or ideas from all you "pinhole masters". I recently retired, and as long as my health allows, may have more time to make more pin-cams.

    I can't take all the credit for my polaroid colorpack pin-cam project as I got the idea from Michael C. Pastur who has some great YouTube videos on making that conversion. I basically copied his idea and made a few minor improvements. A link to his video is on the Flickr photo you mentioned in your original post. Highly recommended for those interested in doing a colorpack conversion.

    As you may have heard, Fuji has decided to stop all production of peel-apart pack films this year. Prices for remaining FP-100C stock are already reaching prohibited price levels. We still can use Fuji's Instax and Impossible Project's integral instant films, though and I've created some other pin-cams that can use these films. Sadly, there is nothing quite like peel-apart film. I look forward to seeing more of your pin-cam projects.

    Keep on pinholing!

    ross

  5. #5
    500+ Posts Ned.Lewis's Avatar
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    Hi Ross,

    Great to hear from you, I hope retirement is treating you well!
    Have fun on Sunday!

    Ned
    Some photos: Ipernity
    ( pinholes and solargraphs mixed in among the rest)

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