Three Things; Works in Progress – DIY LF Update

DIY Large Format Camera Update

Today we have an update from a previous blog post about Laura’s DIY Large Format Pinhole Camera. The camera is now ready to go and if the rain would hold off for half an hour we may even get to capturing some images this weekend. Exciting!

Inside LF pinhole camera showing paper negative storage

The basic idea came from this blog post by Udi Tirosh his version uses lenses and a moveable focusing feature, Laura’s is a fixed focal length pinhole. Since the last post Laura has made a flip-down paper holder from black foam-board. The foam-board back has a gaffer tape loop so it can be pulled down inside the box through the arm hole in the back. The camera uses paper negatives and should be able to produce some wonderful A4 contact prints, but we will have to wait and see.

Loading paper into LF camera

Here is the paper holder flipped down for paper loading. There are two guides down the side of the paper holder that the paper tucks behind and a ‘stopper’ bar at the bottom to stop the paper from simply sliding out of the bottom. The guides were made from thick card with two layers sandwiched together the lower layer (which is glued to the paper holder) being thinner than the top layer so that there is a gap for the paper to fit in.

Paper loaded in the DIY LF pinhole camera

This is the view from the front showing paper loaded and the pinhole plate at the front of the camera. The paper in shot here is just a scrap of A4 that Laura had used to calculate the f stop of her pinhole and some possible exposure times. When photo paper is loaded into the camera it is done with the box lid in place and is in total darkness. The armhole in the back being covered by a light tight sleeve that Sue helpfully made from some blackout fabric for Laura.

DIY LF pinhole

Here is the box, sorry camera, ready to go. The lid is quite tight fitting anyway but Laura has added four strips of draught excluding foam tape to the inside to make a good snug light tight seal. The shutter is a simple piece of gaffer tape opened by peeling up and closed by re-sticking!

The pinhole was made by a size 10 beading needle into some heavy foil from a tomato purée tube pierced then sanded on both sides.

The calculated f stop is 334 which gives rough exposure times for paper negatives as 44 seconds for bright clear sky, 88 seconds for a hazy day and 174 for an overcast sky. Obviously in use one can take a light meter reading and adjust using one of the many apps, calculators or tables out there.

Can’t wait to get out and give it a try. Being cardboard I think we’d better wait for the rain to stop.