With Worldwide Pinhole Day just a few weeks away, I decided to look at some new options for pinhold photography. Up till now I’ve been using a converted Kinoflex twin lens reflect camera, which was converted to a pinhole with a micro-drill. It is very nice and the TLR finder makes composing a breeze. However, the pinhole in this camera is not very small - based on exposure experience I estimate it to be in the f90 to f128 range.
There are loads of pinhole options on ebay these days, from holgas to dslr body caps to beautiful hand made wooden cameras. For me, having some sort of a finder is essential - I get too fussy about composition to just guess what is going to wind up in the frame. Many of the cameras out there have no finder, and that ruled them out for me.
While I was poking around, I found a nice pinhole body cap for the Pentax 6x7/ 67 /67II family of cameras. I gave this a test drive yesterday - here is the first shot I took with the camera, a 32 minute exposure:
The documentation says the aperture is f244, which would be about 8 stops from f16. To estimate the exposure I used a light meter to take a reading at f16, which showed a shutter speed of 15 seconds. I then doubled the shutter speed 7 times - 30s, 1m, 2m, 4m, 8m, 16m, 32m, each doubling being one stop. I decided to call it quits at 7 stops - if I went the full 8 stops we’d have an hour long exposure. I wasn’t sure if the battery on the 6x7 would hold the mirror and shutter open that long. The negative was definitely thin, but scannable. Film used was Agfa APX 100 developed in Rodinal, 1:50 for 17 minutes.
There is nothing particularly interesting about the radiator, but I like the tonality. This and the other test images look fairly sharp, for pinholes, which is what I was hoping for. With the pinhole on the camera the finder is way too dark to do any composition, but the standard Takumar 105mm f2.4 lens is pretty close in angle of veiw to the pinhole, just a little narrower, so composing with the lens and swapping it out for the pinhole works fine.
I’m looking forward to running this through it’s paces a little more in the next few weeks! While I bought my pinhole body cap on ebay, it came from the folks at pinholeedum.com.