Monthly Archives: December 2013

Thoughts on Film and the PinShot Advantage

Digital imaging has taken over and the technology has expanded the tools available for the photographer, but for Pinhole photography, film is still king.  There is really nothing you can do to change the physics of passing light through a small aperture.  Digital camera sensors are not really designed to capture all the detail that pinhole photography can provide in such a small area – even if you are shooting with expensive full frame cameras.  With film you can have access to super large area recording surfaces.  Shoot a 6×12 or even 6×17 panoramic, or if you have access to one of the hundreds of available everlasting large format cameras, you can be shooting negatives that go from 4×5, 5×7, 8×10 – or even if you want to build a monster 11×14 or larger black box – you can do it.

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Shooting with film is an art that will provide a superb analog vintage look that is hard to recreate with digital media.  Images that take 1 or 2 hours have a special quality to them, as the sun moves and the angle of incidence of light changes, the image keeps transforming.

Film is not that hard to develop, and fairly economical to purchase and process.  Especially if you use paper negatives – they are low cost, and super easy to process visually under safe light.

There are thousands of people experimenting with Pinhole Photography all over the world – and there are probably as many reasons and opinions as to why making pinhole images is fun.  There as a group of people that argues that part of the fun is the uncertainty of what kind of image you will get – will it be framed correctly? – were my exposure calculations accurate to render a usable negative? For me the creative process focuses on the subject and the adventure to get to that special place and capture the image I have created inside my mind. Now imagine, if you have a good deal of certainty that your images will be properly exposed – That whatever time an effort you take to find and execute the images will be worthwhile and they will come out great.  Now that is more fun for me – the ability to concentrate on the image.  Understanding the math and all the small complications of pinhole photography is great, but it takes me away from my images.  I don’t want to risk all my time and effort spent to create an image on a bad exposure – I just want to make the best images I can to my ability and creativity.

Then you have the grounding reality of an expensive art form (or hobby).  In film photography each shot you take has a steep cost – not just in materials and development – but on your time.  Why not make the most of it with the proper tool.

Posted in Thoughts on Film

What is a PinShot Camera

What is a PinShot Camera

1)      It is a Pinhole Camera.
2)      It is made out of plywood.  The camera was designed in CAD. High grade premium plywood is then cut with laser.  The pieces are assembled by hand with great care and attention to detail.
3)      It has a curved film plane.  This is very important because the light has the same intensity at the center of the frame as at the edges.  So you get even exposure across the whole frame and a slightly wider field of view.
4)      Uses readily available 120 medium format films.  Film advance is done with the knobs on top, and you need to look through the small window on the back to know on what frame you are.
5)      Has interchangeable apertures: (1) pinhole, and (2) a zone plate (work in progress)

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[ Prototypes ]

 How many models are there?

Have 3 basic models for 120 Roll Film

1)      6×9 – Focal Length of   Pinhole diameter of: Angle of view of:
2)      6×12 – Focal Length of   Pinhole diameter of: Angle of view of:
3)      6×17 – Focal Length of   Pinhole diameter of: Angle of view of:

Universal Large Format PinShot

For people that already own a large format camera (or want to get one).
Visit this link to learn more about the Universal LF PinShot

What does the Fully Automatic Exposure do – how does it work?

1)      The camera has an electronic circuit that was designed from scratch for the sole purpose of calculating exposure and controlling a shutter mechanism.
2)      There are 3 components to the AE system: (1) The Brain with a display and controller (joystick); (2) Light Sensor; (3) Shutter Mechanism.
3)      The Brain contains the database of current films with their respective reciprocity failure curves; the essential dimensions of the pinhole diameter and focal length, and the mathematical algorithms to calculate exposure.  Through the Joystick you can select the film, and change EV (and other functions).  Once you select the ‘Shoot’ function it opens up the shutter curtain and starts to make light measurements at one second intervals.  Each reading gets integrated with the previous readings and sums all of them until proper exposure is achieved.  The system will increase or decrease exposure based on light condition changes.
4)      The system is runs on a lithium battery, rechargeable through a mini USB port.  The system was designed to consume very little power during exposures – even if they take a few hours, so one charge will last for a long time.


Posted in AE PinShot Camera