BUILD WOOD PINHOLE CAMERA. PENTAX K X 12MP DIGITAL SLR CAMERA.
Cameras aren't like bridges, it is ok for them to break now and then.
A pinhole image of the Astoria Bridge in Astoria, Oregon. This was taken a year or so ago, maybe 2007, maybe 2006. I felt like posting a pinhole image tonight because I got involved in a conversation at work today about owning a camera that was so nice one was afraid to actually use it. Personally I think this is ridiculous myself. Cameras are meant to be used, it is their purpose if you are a photographer. If you are a collector, well then they have a different purpose. But I think it is a bit silly to buy a camera that you end up cherishing so much that you don't ever take it out of the camera bag. See, this conversation began because one of our customers in Portland builds pinhole cameras. Really nice pinhole cameras. $1000 pinhole cameras. Yeah, there is not an accidental zero up there. And he recently brought us in one (it was one of the cheaper models only worth, oh about $700 or $800) to test because we have thought about carrying one or two for sale at the store. And before you ask, the answer is yes, funnily enough there are people who would pay $800 for something they could build at home for $10. Anyway, I never actually tested this camera, Jake took it out and ended up barely shooting it because he was so afraid of scratching the finish or putting a ding in the wood, etc. At this point a customer in the store chipped in that one time he owned a Leica MP in mind condition but walked around with it cradled to his chest in a camera bag and never actually used it much. I own a Leica M3. It was given to me on Christmas Eve as my bonus that year (it was a tough year). The very next day I had it out of its leather case in the garage and dropped it on the cement floor. It now has a big dent in one corner that prevents the frame counter from functioning. I was disappointed but not devastated. I have no interest in a camera that is in mint condition as I never plan on selling it. As long as it continues to feel so comfortable in my hands, and cooperates so well with my imagination I'll shoot that camera until either it or I stop running. If anything, I decreased its value by at least half in the event it ever gets stolen. My pinhole is the same way. That camera was once beautiful. It used to turn heads when I had it out taking photos. Now mothers usher their children to the other side of the street when they see this beast of wood, glue and black gaffer's tape on my equally abused looking tripod. I cannot count how many shots in this stream would not exist if I had been afraid to pull my cameras out in conditions where they might have gotten wet, or scratched, or dropped. Sure there is a practical side to it. These days cameras are a bit more finicky when it comes to water or being knocked. Plastic breaks easier. Circuits can be shorted. And often these cameras are pretty dang expensive to replace. But then again if the price of your camera intimidates you to the point of not shooting as much, then you may have bought the wrong camera. Lack of excessive caution though is not the same as lack of caution. Another reason I love my pinhole. It goes places I wouldn't even dream of taking my other cameras. Sea spray? Ha, it says. A fall down a rock pile on Mt. Rainier? That just tickles. Nothing a little tape cannot fix. Dripping wet under an Oregon waterfall? Isn't that why we invented towels, it responds. However you look at it though, that camera is no longer pretty. It is scarred and beaten and missing parts. But I wouldn't give back any of the images it has made to have that camera shiny and new looking. It has been well used and used well. As cameras should be.Pinhole Camera Chamaeleon Panorama 6x9-2 #119.jpg
Chamaeleon Panorama 6x9/2 Serial #119 - a double frame, wide format panoramic pinhole camera. With a medium format film, 16 frames with 3x9 cm in size can be exposed. There are two separate film chambers. The teak-wood surface has been treated with pure tungoil. This is a '"one of a kind" hand made camera, crafted by the artist himself. Technical Data: Film: 120 Rollfilm Frame Size: 6x9 divided by two panoramic frames 3x9 upper and lower film chamber. Focal length: 40mm Pinhole Size: 280 µm Angle of View: 100° Shutter: rotating disk, positioning assisted by build in magnets, mother-of-pearl inlay. Shim-holder: threaded retaining rings, allowing easy exchange of pinhole shims / zone-plates wood: teak wood, ebony and black "chickenwing" hardwood (shutter) Alle camera accessories like tripod plate, film spools, shim holders are made of solid stainless steel. _____________________________________________________- How does it work ? The camera has two separate exposure compartments with two user exchangeable pinhole shims. To take photos, the shutter-disk has to be turned either up or down to expose the upper or lower section of the current film frame. It is possible to have a pinhole shim in one compartment while a zone-plate is installed in the other one. This allows the use of different techniques for the same scene on the same film. In practice you would position the eye of the shutter-disk at 9 o' Clock when loading the film. To expose the upper half of the first frame, the shutter-disk is turned to 12 o'Clock, then to 3 o'Clock to stop exposure. After exposing the lower half of the frame at 6 o'Clock, the shutter-disk is positioned at 9 o'Clock again -.... time to wind the film to the next frame .... yes, there is no button to press, you turn the disk with your index finger. Small build-in magnets help to "click" it into the desired position. When taking the camera out of it's bag, the position of the shutter tells you what is next ..... With a wide angle of view of about 100° it is easy to imagine that the whole scene in front of your eyes will fit on the film. For that reason, the camera has no view-finder.
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