Build a Pinhole Camera – A Collaboration With Patrick Elder – Part 2

The finished custom made camera. Really excited to try this out now. As I mentioned earlier, I had left Patrick just the basic dimensions and allowed him free reign with pretty much everything else. Patrick is a sculptor and a cabinet maker by trade and really relished (I think) being let loose on this project. Everything is constructed to the highest possible quality, which is why it took a while to be made. The ‘shutter’ is the spoon shaped piece on the front, and simply rotates to expose the pinhole aperture. The inside is lined with felt to make sure it is light tight when closed, and so that it doesn’t scratch the front of the camera when moved. The sprung loaded caps cover up the viewing windows in the back that have red glass set into them to allow you to see the frame index numbers on the films backing paper. You press down on the lever and it rotates away to the side.

The two film advance knobs are sprung loaded with the intention of keeping the film as tight as possible. Most 120 cameras that I have had experience off have a spring loaded clip that presses on the roll, keeping it in position. This clip also prevents the roll being rolled back the wrong way. As I wanted to be able to spool the film in both directions I needed to forgo this clip. Instead an additional plate has been added, the lighter wooden area, that acts like the pressure plate in a 35mm SLR camera. This additional plate keeps the film on the correct focal plane and to an extent stops the roll from sagging.

 

You can see the inside of the camera, as fitted with the additional 6×6 masks. The edges of these panels, like the permanently adhered 6×9 ones have been finely sanded and rounded to make sure that they do not scuff the film as it is spooled over them.

You can also see the outside and the inside of the cameras back plate. Recessed into this plate are two pieces of dark yellow glass. When the covers are swung aside these red windows allow you to read the frame indexing on the films backing paper.

Underneath is a standard screw thread for a tripod mount. This was the only part that was cannibalised from another camera, as it was not an option to try and make one. Came out of an unrepairable Ilford Sportman incidentally…
Images also show the laser pinhole set into the brass disc and in situ with the spoon shutter open. The individual parts are made using African Mahogany, Brazilian Mahogany, Boxwood, Tulipwood and Ashwood.

 

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