Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day Is Coming

Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day 2011 is April 24th. This year, because of Easter, the event has been expanded to include any pinhole photos taken between April 23rd and May 1st.

This year I plan to use this Mamiya 645 with a pinhole cap. I have some Ilford Pan F Plus 50 ready to load. This will be my first time using the pinhole cap on the Mamiya and also the first time I have shot Pan F but I am sure everything will work out.

By the way, the photo here was taking with my Daylab Polaroid pinhole camera.

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Tomorrow is Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day

I hope everyone is ready for Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day. Even if you don't have a pinhole camera, you can make your pinhole cap for you digital SLR camera.


Just get a piece of a soda can and make an indentation with a pin (don't go all the way through the aluminum). Then using fine sand or glass paper, sand down until a tiny hole appears. Drill a hole in  SLR body cap and tape your pinhole to the cap.

Using this method you won't have the best pinhole in the world and it will probably be real blurry but it is very easy to do.


I will probably be using my Daylab 3x4 Polaroid pinhole camera.



Holga 120 WPC (Wide Pinhole Camera)

The Holga 120WPC is a wide angle pinhole camera from the same people that brought the iconic toy camera, the Holga 120. Holga 120 WPC

Like it's older brother, the 120WPC takes 120 medium format film and comes with two removable masks. The first is a 6x9 cm mask which will result in 8 shots on a roll. The other mask is 6x12 cm and results in 6 wider shots on a roll.

The camera has no viewfinder but on the top of the camera, there are guide lines which can be used to roughly compose the shot . Also on the top is a bubble level which is useful for ensuring you don't have a tilted horizon.

Bubble Level

Because it is easy to get camera shake during long exposures, it is a good idea to make use of the threaded shutter release and use a cable release. There is also a tripod socket provided on the bottom of the camera.

Cable Release 2

The pinhole itself is stated to be 0.3mm with an aperture of f/135 (f/133 in the manual) and there is an exposure table on the back of the camera.


Camera Back

During my tests, I used a Sekonic L-208 light meter to meter the scenes and then used the exposure guide on Mr Pinhole's website to convert the metered values into pinhole exposure times.

The times I measured were vastly different from those on the exposure table on the back of the camera. In some cases, those times were 5 times the values that I metered so the use of a light meter is recommended.

When a shot is taken, the film is then wound on to the next odd number frame so for example when using the 6x12 cm mask, you would shoot at frames 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 & 11 or at frames 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 & 15 when using the 6x9 mask . Multiple exposures are possible by not winding on between shots.

Here are a few photos from the first roll. For these I used the smaller 6x9 cm mask.Click a picture for a larger version.





For this roll I used a small amount of tape to keep the camera back on but I deliberately did not do anything to reduce light leaks. There was a small amount of leakage around the edges of the film but nothing appeared in the image areas.

The user manual has an interesting section under "optional extras". The "FA135-120WPC" is a 35mm converter kit that produces 24 frames 108 mm wide. Unfortunately the section is written in strike-through font so I have to assume this option is not available currently.

The Holga 120WPC can be purchased from Freestyle and currently costs us$50.

Update: I have taken a few photos using the 6x12 cm mask and you can see them here.

Lomography Diana+ Pinhole Test

When the Lomographic Society International released the Diana toy camera remake, the Diana +, one of the improvements they made over the original was the addition of a built in pin hole feature. Even though I have had my Diana+ for a long time, I have never really tried the pin hole. Last week, I decided to give it a go. Accessing the pin hole feature is easy. Just twist off the lens.

Lomography Diana+

The pin hole on the Diana+ is supposed to have an aperture of f/150 and you set it by moving the aperture lever to "P"

Lomography Diana+ Pinhole

Since pin hole exposure times are relatively long, the Diana+ needs to be set on bulb mode. There is a "shutter lock" (really a small plastic wedge) attached to the camera strap that can be inserted into the shutter lever slot to keep the shutter open for as long as required without holding it down. I found the shutter lock to be a bit finicky and it would sometimes take a few attempts to get it to stay in place.

Lomography Diana+ Shutter Lock

The Diana+ also has a tripod attachment on the base which helps when taking long exposures.

To determine the correct exposure, I created a table on the Mr Pinhole website. Here is an extract from that table showing the values I used most often.

f 8 f 16 f 150
1/500 Secs 1/125 Secs 1/2 Secs
1/250 Secs 1/60 Secs 1 Secs
1/125 Secs 1/30 Secs 3 Secs
1/60 Secs 1/15 Secs 6 Secs
1/30 Secs 1/8 Secs 11 Secs
1/15 Secs 1/4 Secs 22 Secs

I then used an old Sekonic light meter to determine the correct exposure for f/8 or f/16 and read the f/150 value from the table.

Because it can be difficult to keep the shutter lock in place my method for taking the photos was to first hold the lens cap in front of the pin hole. I would then open the shutter and insert the lock. Once the lock was in place, I removed the cap for the necessary time and replaced it when the exposure was complete. By doing it this way, I reduced the amout of time I had touch the camera hopefully lessening any camera shake.

And so the results...

Most of the roll was exposed pretty well. I did end up with a light leak which was caused by the roll not being wound tightly onto the take up spool. This is a common problem with the Diana+ because of the mechanism used to keep the film in place. It just doesn't keep the roll tight enough. (See this Figital Revolution post on how to get around that.)

Another thing I don't like about my Diana+ is that there is a square outline around every photo. This appears to be a internal reflection from the mask but it could probably be reduced by using a matte paint inside the camera. I've seen this on other people's Diana+ photographs too.

Overall, I think the pinholes came out pretty good. You can judge the results yourself below.

Lomography Diana+ Small-1

Lomography Diana+ Small-2

Lomography Diana+ Small-3