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Thread: A camera everyone can make

  1. #1
    500+ Posts dvoracek's Avatar
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    A camera everyone can make

    Whenever Iíve given a pinhole photography workshop, at the end I always get asked where the materials can be acquired and how the partipants can continue. Because of the difficulty and expense of acquiring photographic paper and chemicals and the necessity for a safe-lit darkroom, very few actually follow through.

    This summer, I set about to create a camera design which any one could make from commonly available materials using standard 35mm film and processing, and step by step directions for doing it. I finished the directions last week and immediately thought of improvements which solved several problems. The original document, The Populist, is posted, as well as A long discussion about clickers which follows as an addendum. I intend to redo the directions including the improvements, but this will have to do for now. Iím posting it this way for peer review about the project before I do the final version. I'd be interested in seeing if I've met my objectives and if anyone can suggest improvements.

    It also probably makes a nice Christmas present.

    The file is available at http://idea.uwosh.edu/nick/pinholephoto.htm

  2. #2

    A camera everyone can make

    I know that 35mm has limitations, but to get to the masses there is a clear need for cameras that use this film. Excellent idea, I'll read it over and see what I think (not that I'm any kind of expert).

  3. #3

    A camera everyone can make

    Note number one:

    There is a strange embedded font on page 20 that can not be extracted.

    edit Font is Gillsans

    Add instruction for printing to set "page scale options" to none.

    I would really like a rewind knob, this will make it much easier to get processed. You could put a short leader on the empty film spool and then attach the film to that leader with tape. Rewind until it stops and just peel the tape off and process.

  4. #4
    500+ Posts dvoracek's Avatar
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    A camera everyone can make

    There is a strange embedded font on page 20 that can not be extracted.

    edit Font is Gillsans
    Yeah, I get that error too, but it does read and print correctly, but with some funny font substitution so I'm not too worried, This is the result of moving the file back and forth between home and work, but I'll definitely fix it in the final versions

    I would really like a rewind knob, this will make it much easier to get processed. You could put a short leader on the empty film spool and then attach the film to that leader with tape. Rewind until it stops and just peel the tape off and process.
    I thought the final "clicker" solution allowed rewinding into the original supply cassette. See p.17-18.
    The problem with attaching the film on the take-up side to a cassette with a bit of leader sticking out, ala Alspix, is that then the knob which extends out of the cassette is going up on one side and down on the other, which makes it move through the camera at an angle unless you correct for the disparity with spacers. I think it's just easier to turn the spool on the take up side so it's knob down, place the cassette over it for some protection from the rewind hole, and when finished, rewind into the supply cassette.

  5. #5

    A camera everyone can make

    OK, I probably threw that idea out to early. I just noticed that on the plans it only had a single knob and thought that you may not have provided a solution.

    I'm going to look for some paper tonight so that I can eliminate the glue to card board step. I found that if I print the backside of 60 pt card stock with black, it make a noticeable improvement. Still not enough, but much improved. There must be something out there that is thick enough that simply printing the back side would do the job. All I did was make a large black rectangle in MS paint that was close to the correct aspect ratio, then in the Windows image and fax viewer I selected a mode that would fill the page, check the borderless print option and go.

    If I find a good paper, I'll let you know.

  6. #6
    500+ Posts Longbow3's Avatar
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    A camera everyone can make

    I've used your clicker idea on my latest 35mm camera, the gildercam. The camera is made of wood so I simply drilled a small hole along the sprocket track. In the hole I put a small strip of clear plastic from a soda bottle that sticks up into the sprocket holes. I have allowed enough room for the plastic to bend both ways as in your lastest iteration. The plastic is held in with a section of toothpic and a small dab of glue. If the plastic wears or breaks I can just drill it out and insert a new one. It is not veyr loud and I have to put my ear to the camera but it works very well. It makes rewinding easy. Thanks for your idea.

  7. #7
    500+ Posts dvoracek's Avatar
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    A camera everyone can make

    There must be something out there that is thick enough that simply printing the back side would do the job.
    I tried this on 90lb cover stock. (see p.19) The problem was not with the light-tightness. I didn't get any light leaks. The problem was with the structural integrity of the box itself, which as pretty easy to crush in the area between the film cassettes, and with the internal dividers, primarily on the supply side which bowed out as the film advanced across it, make the rilght edge of the frame curved instead of a straight line.

    Love to see somebody experiment with other materials though. The idea is to be as simple as possible, yet reliable and easy to use.

    Nick

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    500+ Posts earlj's Avatar
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    A camera everyone can make

    Nick:

    As a successful Dirkon builder, I can say that this looks like a good design. And this design is much wider - good for most people. I will have to give this a try before I can comment definitively, but I applaud the work that you have done. You are contributing to making pinhole photography accessible to anyone who wants to do it - this is good.

  9. #9
    500+ Posts dvoracek's Avatar
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    A camera everyone can make

    making pinhole photography accessible to anyone who wants to do it - this is good.
    Yeah! Pinhole to the People, man!

  10. #10

    A camera everyone can make

    I have some 110 pound stock that I bought last nigt, and I'll be printing shortly. I plan on trying this over the holiday. I also bought some cheap poster board stock and cut that to fit my printer. Both of these are nearly the same in the flashlight test, hopefully they get better after printing on both sides. I'll let you know what I come up with.

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