Tagged: pinhole


Today figured pretty high on my list of days I hope never to repeat.  We lost Noah unexpectedly. I will write in due course, but it’s too raw right now.

I’ve been frittering away the evening scanning negatives and watching YouTube.  These are taken with my new ONDU 6×6 pinhole on Portra 400 during my trip to Lakes of the Clouds back in June.

Gem Pool
Dining Room, Lakes of the Clouds
Portrait of a cold, wet hiker. 🙂

More later.

Week 35 – Pontiac

Skipping ahead a bit, here is the first shot from my Travelwide 4×5.  Shot on Tmax 100 using the pinhole because I don’t have a lens yet.

Central Ave, Dover NH.  Right outside Old School Photo Lab.

201511_Travelwide001Developed at home using D76 and a MOD54.

P6*6 mods

Todd Schlemmer’s P6*6 3D printed pinhole camera is tons of fun.  I’m continually amazed that it sprang from his mind though an I/O device into reality. We truly live in an amazing world.

3D printing lends itself to continuous improvement. One of Todd’s first additions was a clip to better secure the camera’s top plate. Prior to this it was prone to popping open when dropped. The extra thickness of the clip led to the creation of a counterbalancing shoe, so the camera can sit steadily on a flat surface. More recently he has developed a wide angle version of the lens barrel as well.

The original design suffered from one flaw though. The printed winding mechanism, a simple plastic paddle attached to a knob, was prone to failure if the film bound. Todd thoughtfully provides spares if you order the kit from him.

Predictably, I broke mine. Also predictably, I lost the spare parts.

I understand Todd’s desire to print as much of the camera as possible, but I felt something more robust was in order. Behold, the P6*6 (Mosquito Hill Variant):

The knob is a simple Radio Shack item. They are available in a variety of sizes and styles for around $1.99/pair. I chose a knurled Aluminum version with a 1/4″ shaft.

The film advance paddle began its life as a 1/4-20 thumb screw from the hardware store. I used my hobby mill to shrink it to the proper size, but you could achieve the same result with hand tools and patience. For that matter, you could grind and file a similar item from a plain bolt if you were sufficiently motivated. A simple rubber washer acts as a light seal on the shaft.

 The entire conversion cost approximately $2.50 and took 10 minutes of my time. I think I spent more time chucking the bolt in the mill than I did on the rest of the project combined. I won’t say it will never break again, but I suspect I’ll break lots of other things first.

ONDU Pocket Pinhole – results 2

For my second attempt with the ONDU, I used a roll of Fuji 400 color and a tripod. The results are much better. I also used the Pinhole Assist app on my phone to compute exposures.

The winding is still a bit stiff, but I can live with that.


From 2014-02-11 ONDU Pinhole
From 2014-02-11 ONDU Pinhole
From 2014-02-11 ONDU Pinhole
From 2014-02-11 ONDU Pinhole
From 2014-02-11 ONDU Pinhole

P6*6 – week 48 results

My experience with the P6*6 was a case of the good, the bad, and the not-so ugly.

First the good: as I mentioned in my earlier post, assembly was easy. I enjoyed carrying and shooting with it. I used the Pinhole Assist app on my iPhone as a combination meter/reciprocity calculator, and the exposure results were very good.

The not-so ugly:






I’m quite happy with the results, although you can see part of the bad here.  The images are cropped in one corner. They also only take up about a 44mm square instead of the expected 60mm.  At first I wondered if a corner of the self-adhesive velvet in the camera had folded over during installation.  I was able to run a knife blade through the film plane and verify that this was not the case.

Upon further investigation, I discovered that the pinhole was assembled off-center.  This would account for both the cropping and the undersized image.  I’m not sure if it slipped during assembly or subsequent handling.  Todd says the camera is designed for dis-assembly to facilitate pinhole replacement, but I haven’t tried to adjust it yet.

Todd also tells me that the film winder has proven to be a weak point for other people. I haven’t had any issues yet, but the kit came with a spare part if I do. If it proves to be a perennial problem, I’ll probably fabricate one from some spare brass stock.

Overall, I’m very happy with the P6*6. The images are some of the best I’ve gotten from any pinhole so far. The issues I’ve had are of my own creation and shouldn’t be too hard to fix. If you are interested in pinholes or 3D printing, I suggest you pick one up.


Week 48 – P6*6

This week’s camera is something very different. The P6*6 is a 3D printed pinhole camera by Todd Schlemm. He sells it as a kit, or you can download the designs and print it yourself. It has a 0.3mm pinhole, a 50mm focal length, and uses 120 film to make 6×6 exposures.

I purchased the kit. It arrived in a pair of ziploc bags, one each for the large and small parts. The instructions were very thorough, and were divided roughly into three parts. The first part covered printing the parts. While irrelevant to me, it was interesting. The middle section covered assemby, and the final chapter explained the basics of pinhole photography.

I found the assembly instructions to be striaghtforward. They were not arranged in a step by step format, rather using a narrative to cover the assembly and possible pitfalls. My biggest problem was securing the proper ABS cement. None of my local hardware stores carried it, but Amazon came to my rescue with two-day shipping.

Assembly was easy. I took my time in front of the TV and still finished in a single evening.

Todd tells me I’m his first ‘real’ customer, with previous kits all going to friends as prototypes. He has been incrementally improving the camera, with a new face plate design, a lens cap, and a retaining clip for the top.

I’m working on my first roll of FP4 now and will post the results as soon as possible.


ONDU Pocket Pinhole – week 47 results

My first impression of the ONDU Pocket Pinhole was that it’s beautiful. Finely crafted wood just has a look that no modern digital camera will ever achieve. It’s also simple. The shutter is a pivoting bar which covers the pinhole and his held closed by a powerful magnet. The wooden film advance and rewind knobs are attached to metal shafts and also held in place with powerful magnets. The back cover is held in place by 3 powerful magnets (I’m sensing a theme. . .) with a small cutout on one end to facilitate removal.

Therein came my first doubt. I was mildly concerned that if I dropped it, the cover could pop off and ruin my film. I soon realized the designers had accounted for this, however.

The film is wound from its cassette, across the film plane, into another reloadable cassette. If the back of the camera is opened mid-roll, only the currently framed shot will be lost. It’s an elegantly simple solution.

The camera came with a nicely printed set of instructions which included a primer on pinhole photography as well as a basic exposure table. This provides a good starting point, although you may want to do more research or use a pinhole app to assist with your exposures. The instructions advised to wind the film approximately 1 1/2 turns per exposure, but there are no markings on the camera. I placed a simple pencil mark on the winding knob. The only way to keep track is by memory.

In use, I found the ONDU a bit stiff to wind. I was using a home spooled roll of FP4, so the fault may have been mine. It was necessary to slacken the film by advancing the rewind knob a bit, then winding forward. It’s not a big deal, and it may change as the camera wears in. In spite of this I found it fun to shoot and finished my roll before I realized it. As I was shooting in bright light, I found it simpler to use my finger to cover the shutter and provide shorter exposure times.

If I were concerned about accidentally popping the back off, a pair of elastic bands would solve the problem. I can also see how the shutter could be knocked open during carrying, especially if you are using a camera bag. Another hefty elastic would easily solve the problem.

After playing with it a bit, I find myself wondering if I should have also bought one of the medium format versions (or maybe the panoramic. . .)

My first roll only had a few good exposures, but I’m chalking that up to the learning curve. I love this one. The 1 1/2 turns per frame seems a bit excessive, with large gaps between exposures. I’ve loaded another roll of color and will continue to shoot it this week.

Week 47 – ONDU Pocket Pinhole


Crowd-financed by Kickstarter and custom made in Slovenia, the ONDU Pocket Pinhole is the smallest of a line of beautifully crafted wooden pinhole cameras. It features an f=125 pinhole and uses any standard 35mm film. I’ve loaded Ilford FP4 for my first roll.

The original Kickstarter production run has sold out, but the are making more.

Results here and here.


Christmas in . . . January?

Yesterday the mailman brought me two packages which both serve to highlight the wonders of film photography in the Internet age.

On the right is my ONDU 35mm pinhole camera. Funded by Kickstarter and produced in Slovenia, it's a simple wooden thing of beauty. Initial reports from other ONDU owners have been favorable, and I cannot wait to try it out.

On the left is a bag of plastic parts. Black ABS is not especially beautiful, but what it represents is incredible. This is the P6*6, a 3D printed pinhole camera. I read about it on Twitter and purchased it from the creator. I hope to assemble it this week.

Two cameras from opposite ends of the technological spectrum, both produced by enthusiasts in their respective fields, both brought directly to my doorstep from opposite sides of the world. Modern life can be amazing.


52 Cameras – Week 9 results – Pinhole Nikon

My results with the pinhole cap on my Nikon FM2 were mixed. I remember it being sharper in the past, but I did most of my shooting without a tripod this spring.

Shooting a pinhole on an SLR is a bit odd, as the viewfinder and meter are useless. I used my neck strap and rested the camera against my abdomen. I thought a deep breath, a sold stance, and a cable release would provide adequate stability. It has in the past, and it did for some shots this time. Others weren't as lucky.




Black & white shots are FP5 stand developed in Rodinal; color is Ektar.