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Thread: Foam Core 8x10 still needs work

  1. #1

    Foam Core 8x10 still needs work

    The short version is that I made a foam core f/230 pinhole camera. I still have a light leak or two to deal with and the film needs some stabilization, but in principle it works. The long version can be found HERE.



    Kodak CSG @ iso 80
    7sec exposure in late afternoon sun
    dev in Adonal 1+100 x 4.5min

    Three-Trees by James Harr Photo, on Flickr

  2. #2
    Administrator Tom Persinger's Avatar
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    you're getting there! keep going

  3. #3
    500+ Posts Ned.Lewis's Avatar
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    Great first image, 8x10 pinhole is wonderful! I'm sure you'll get the light leaks and blockage sorted out.
    I like to play around with old folding cameras and sometimes the bellows or seals have light leaks. A "quick fix" that works pretty well is to wrap the camera in a black teeshirt... when you make your photo, just open up an arm hole or neck hole just enough to uncover your lens ( or pinhole ). If you are using your cameras "1-shot" this is hardly any extra trouble, and you can get to use your camera while still working on the leaks/details. I absolutely love 1-shot cameras... it focuses the mind and makes each one special.
    Some photos: Ipernity
    ( pinholes and solargraphs mixed in among the rest)

  4. #4
    Thanks for the encouragement guys. I made a 6x12 f/217 one-shot and I really like using it. This one, while bulkier is going to be BIG fun! I was a bit surprised at the quality and detail I got with this .5mm pinhole on x-ray film. I am excited to make some more images while working out the kinks.

  5. #5
    Great first results. I too love one-shot cameras, they do instill a bit of discipline in one's shooting. It is also surprising how much detail can be eked out of an 8x10 image, even for pinhole.

    Ned, that tip about the black tee-shirt is a neat idea.

    I've also been thinking about sacrificing a dark cloth by building a storage-compartment camera into it, using the sleeves for reloading out in the field, so I don't have to keep zipping/unzipping the bag every time to change out film. My idea is to just cut a hole in the bottom or side of the changing bag, and gaffer-tape it around the pinhole shutter area of the box camera, permanently encapsulating the camera in the changing bag. The only time the bag needs to be unzipped is for changing out the entire load of film, back in the darkroom. A large enough changing bag should permit enough room to open the box's lid and swap out negatives. More thinking is needed ... hmm.

    ~Joe
    Last edited by JoeVanCleave; 09-17-2013 at 10:04 PM.
    "There was just that moment and now there's this moment and in between there is nothing. Photography, in a way, is the negation of chronology."-Geoff Dyer, "The Ongoing Moment"
    My Writing Blog: Joe Van Cleave's Blog
    My Pinhole Blog: Obscure Camera
    Visit my F295 Gallery

  6. #6
    500+ Posts Ned.Lewis's Avatar
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    With the entire camera permanently inside a changing bag, it changes the purpose of the body of the camera itself. It no longer needs to be light tight, but only hold the film/paper in position, and provide some way of keeping the fresh and exposed pieces out of the way during an exposure. It could be just a frame if dust and lint don't become a problem. Hmmm....
    Some photos: Ipernity
    ( pinholes and solargraphs mixed in among the rest)

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeVanCleave View Post
    I've also been thinking about sacrificing a dark cloth by building a storage-compartment camera into it, using the sleeves for reloading out in the field, so I don't have to keep zipping/unzipping the bag every time to change out film. My idea is to just cut a hole in the bottom or side of the changing bag, and gaffer-tape it around the pinhole shutter area of the box camera, permanently encapsulating the camera in the changing bag. The only time the bag needs to be unzipped is for changing out the entire load of film, back in the darkroom. A large enough changing bag should permit enough room to open the box's lid and swap out negatives. More thinking is needed ... hmm.

    ~Joe
    Ned/Joe, I like the 'bag bellows' camera idea. You could make it modular so that you could change the pinhole and the focal distance while keeping the same front and back 'standards'. You would just change the support structure between them. I could imagine a wide, normal, tele sort of set of braces and you would just change those parts and possibly the pinhole if you care to optimize for focal length. I have a blackout curtain panel that has just been waiting for a project to belong to. Time to haul out the sewing machine and make a camera!

    James

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Ned.Lewis View Post
    With the entire camera permanently inside a changing bag, it changes the purpose of the body of the camera itself. It no longer needs to be light tight, but only hold the film/paper in position, and provide some way of keeping the fresh and exposed pieces out of the way during an exposure. It could be just a frame if dust and lint don't become a problem. Hmmm....
    I was thinking the same thing, but then realized that you would need to open the arm sleeves to gain access to changing the film while out in the field, which would permit light to enter the bag. So something like a light-tight inner foam core camera box would still be needed, with a removable lid for access. It would also help to keep dust and debris off the film.

    When I've reloaded my foam core cameras into a changing bag while out in the field, I typically am in a seated position (I take a small, lightweight folding 3-legged camping stool as a seating surface, if nothing else is available), where my lap forms a work surface. There's enough extra room in the changing bag to pull off the lid and stow it along one side of the camera, to gain access for changing out the film/paper. With my 5x7 format camera, the lid is on the top surface of the box, therefore I have it positioned inside the bag on my lap top side facing up, so I can pull off the top lid, place it adjacent to the front of the camera and change out the film/paper. With my 8x10 box, the lid is on the right side of the box, so in this case I have it in the changing bag right side up to change out the film/paper.

    I can see cutting a reasonably small, square hole in the bag, then making a square gasket of foam core, plywood or similar material to clamp the bag permanently around the pinhole shutter area.

    For mounting to a tripod, I'd most likely use the method of a tripod platform using a plywood board, the size of the box's base, with a tripod nut, attached to the tripod, then using bungee cords to secure the camera to the platform. In operation out in the field, just loosen the bungee cords, remove the box from atop the tripod platform, find a place to sit down, place the bag/camera in your lap and go to work changing out the paper/film.

    Alternatively, if the tripod is sturdy enough, and at the right height, you could perhaps change out the paper/film while the camera is still atop the tripod.

    ~Joe
    Last edited by JoeVanCleave; 09-18-2013 at 12:16 PM.
    "There was just that moment and now there's this moment and in between there is nothing. Photography, in a way, is the negation of chronology."-Geoff Dyer, "The Ongoing Moment"
    My Writing Blog: Joe Van Cleave's Blog
    My Pinhole Blog: Obscure Camera
    Visit my F295 Gallery

  9. #9
    500+ Posts Ned.Lewis's Avatar
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    I do like the idea of sewing a camera! Perhaps some kind of fabric baffle could be sewn or more probably glued into the arms so that light can't get through. You'd push your hand through after the elastic "cuff" was already on your arms... All of these are neat ideas and food for thought!

    My 8x10 pinhole camera is fussy to load and I use a safelight to load paper.... I'd have trouble loading it with my eyes closed, or in a changing bag. I have a 5x7 camera that copied Joe's idea of a rear "storage area" and that one is quite easy to swap paper in a changing bag. There is also a difference in weight and amount of sag or warp between 5x7 and 8x10, at least for paper. It's harder to hold the 8x10 flat, especially if it's bouncing around in a knapsack while you hike. So my cameras would need a better paper/film holder design before I could even think of trying something like this!
    Some photos: Ipernity
    ( pinholes and solargraphs mixed in among the rest)

  10. #10
    Well, I did a little work on the camera last night. I figured the simplest solution to the film sliding around was to put a 'stop' on either side where the film curves up the inside wall of the camera. Just a little ledge to hold it in place.



    Then the light leaks... This one is a little trickier since light is so slippery and it comes in those tiny little packets! So I just continued with the same idea that I used on the other two edges, which was to make a little curtain out of gaffer's tape that would cover the seam where the front and back come together. I added some rubber bands around the corners to hold them down against the body of the camera. It is hard to see in the photos.





    I'll post another photo a little later.

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