Afghan Box Camera

3 12 2012

Well, I’ve got a week off work at the moment, due to having a pile of holiday to take. So there’s a week now, and a fortnight in February during which J and I will be visiting Berlin. Pretty excited about that, just got to decide which camera/s to take along!

This week, however, is largely dedicated to Creative Things. It’s got off to a great start, with some wall space for my Floriography work at my favourite local coffee shop, a 5×4 pinhole nearly completed, and a joint effort (although it’s J’s baby, really) construction of an Afghan box camera.

The main bulk is constructed from 9mm MDF, with some thick cardboard as a (maybe temporary solution) to make the moving parts. We hijacked the lens from an old, cheaper model Kodak Brownie Junior (a 620 camera I could never be bothered respooling 120 for – although now it’s lensless, I’m considering making a pinhole plate for it; I find I have much more motivation to do fiddly things, like respool film, where pinholes are concerned).

This has been a couple of days worth of cutting, drilling and sanding in a freezing cold workshop (although the gluing time wasn’t so bad – we just clamped the lot together and buggered off back into the warm house for a few hours).

Making the focussing system:

Gluing the parts together:

Pretty much finished!

Now all that’s really left is to find some trays for the chemicals, and test her out. Hopefully tomorrow.

The 5×4 is pretty much in one piece now, all that’s left is to cover it in vinyl leatherette (entirely for aesthetic purposes – the wood is cheap pine, so got a bit tatty whilst planing and sanding, then I managed to cover half of it in paint whilst spraying the interior flat black) and add a hinge, lock and shutter. Maybe a tripod mount. I’m determined to finish it by the end of the week, so I’ll write more about it then.

Lastly, a small picture of my work up on display 🙂



6×6 Cherry Pinhole

15 10 2012

Following on from a post a couple of weeks ago, where I posted some progress photos of a medium format pinhole camera I have been constructing from wood (thin cherry boards), this is my progress with the camera so far.

The test roll showed some major faults with the design of the camera.

1. The clasp I used wasn’t well suited to the design, making opening and closing the box difficult.

2. The film winding mechanism is far too loose, resulting in the film winding back on itself periodically. I managed to counteract this to some extent by use of gaffa tape, but clearly that’s not an ideal solution, nor is it very pretty.

3. The film itself was given too much room to travel, resulting in a curved film plane, and also making it difficult at times to view the frame numbers in the window.

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One Thing Leads to Another

1 10 2012

In this case, it’s photography leading to DIY. Honestly, I’m now nearly as excited about new power tools as I am about new cameras.

For a while now, my interest in pinhole photography has led me to pretty much seeing any light tight, hollow object as a potential camera (and to demonstrate what I mean, let me tell you that I’ve been eyeing up a top hat for just this purpose for a while now).

I’ve also been ogling various premade pinhole cameras, such as the Zero Image lovelies, and the gorgeous Noon Pinholes available on Ebay. But I can’t quite bring myself to spend £100 on a pinhole camera, no matter how beautiful, since pinhole to me is very much all about doing things yourself, from scratch – learning photography from the absolute ground up, as it were.

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