What happened to shoeboxes?

A pinhole camera is a box with a tiny hole in it. A box of any size. A shoebox works well. You know, the kind you get at the shoe store when you buy a new pair of shoes? Yes, that cardboard box. Punch a hole in one end using a small needle. In the dark load a sheet of photo paper on the opposite end to the pinhole. Seal the box with tape. Cover the pinhole. Turn the lights back on and take the box to where you want to make your picture. Remove the tape from the pinhole. Wait a while. Cover the pinhole. Take your box into the darkroom and process the photo paper.

It may take several attempts before you get a decent exposure; it’s all trial and error.

Nowhere near as fast as shooting with a digital camera, but fun, nonetheless.

If you want to work at it, try using a piece of brass shim stock as your aperture; you can make a much finer hole, for a sharper image on the photo paper. You’ll have to tape the shim stock to the box into which you’ve made a larger hole.

This is low tech, and low cost.

Titan pinhole camera

So Harman has announced the Titan Pinhole Camera, part of the Ilford Pinhole Photography Kit.

The camera has been designed in conjunction with, and manufactured in the United Kingdom by Walker Cameras, manufacturers of Titan large-format film cameras. The body is made from injection moulded ABS plastic, finished with a very durable non-slip coating. All fittings are made from stainless steel.

The robust camera can be used with any photographic film or paper. It will take a 4 x 5-inch film holder and features tripod mount positions, built-in spirit levels, and an accessory mount.

The kit comes with a 72 mm wide-angle pinhole cone, which is interchangeable. Separate cones of 110 and 150 mm, which is the same focal length as the standard lens on a 4 x 5 camera, are planned as optional extras.

The camera is supplied in a kit that also includes 10 sheets of 4 x 5 Harman Direct Positive photo, 10 sheets of 4 x 5 Ilford Delta 100 Professional film, 10 sheets of 4 x 5 Multigrade IV RC pearl finish photo paper, and a pinhole exposure calculator.

A Christmas gift for the photographer with everything?

Kits are expected to be available from photographic dealers from early December, with a list price of . . . wait for it . . . $245 excluding tax.

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