I introduce my pinhole cameras

March 25, 2014

Many people are curious how and what devices I use to take my pictures. What is the pinhole camera ? In this article I wish to give resons for the what questions and at the same time I wish to introduce the currently used cameras and their individual features.

Before I turn to the substance of my article let’s start with a practical introduction.
First of all you must fix the cameras because the exposure time is from a second to several minutes, in the solargraphy from hours to half a year. Their structures are dark boxes (camera obscura), they have a small hole on one of their sides. Normally this hole is covered with a shutter (wood, tape etc.). Opening the shutter, light percolates into the box, where, within sufficient time it draws the revers image of the theme on the lightsensitive material. The photosensitive material can be film or photo paper. This must be developed with traditional lab technique or immediatelly digitized (solargraphy) in some cases.
I would like to point out that these devices, being the world’s easiest photography methods give me a lot of freedom to take my unique photos (eg. energy drink can, anamorphic camera). I think you should use the opportunities that a traditional device (digital or analog) cannot attain.


Zero 2000 rollfilm wood pinhole camera (120): This high quality teak wood camera is the product of a Far Eastern manufacturer. It can accommodate the medium format film and can make square photos. Because of its size it is very compact, whenever possible I have it on me.


Delamont 4×5 wood pinhole camera: This is an Italian handmade product. A film or paper can be loaded in an appropriate cassette at the back of the camera (even instant casette) with which large format photos can be taken. It is interesting that in the box you can use filter(s) so facilitating the creative freedom even more.


Smena Leica format pinhole camera: Certainly, 25 years ago many people had this type of Soviet camera in Hungary. I transformed such a device so that I removed the lens and made a tiny hole in its place. I also equipped it with a filter ring to extend the diversity of the photo-making process. The ’ machine’ captures the world in the Leica format film. Excellent if you travel!


Tea caddy pinhole camera: I have had this tea caddy for many years. Its uniqueness, form and size predestined it to be a pinhole camera. I can take panoramic photos with it because its back is curved. Its material is aluminium therefore I made a tiny hole into the side and the camera is ready. It also can receive photo paper.


Gift box pinhole camera: I can’ recall what was in it. And, of course it is not too interesting, either. A tiny hole in the side of a curved cardboard and a the panoramic pinhole camera is ready. The curved cardboard is the back holder for the photo paper. It provides the panorama form. (At the present the hole is closed with a tape because in the camera there is lightsensitive photo paper. The tape is the shutter that I take off with my hand – open – and I put it back – close.)


Anamorphic paper box pinhole camera: This DIY anamorphic pinhole camera is made from a paper box. The camera uses three holes for three different orientations. In addition the photo paper is curved inside the box, so absolute unique photos can be taken with it. Practically this is a test camera for an other similar device which resists mechanical influences fairly well.


Aluminium drink can pinhole camera: I used a lot of these aluminium drink cans as pinhole camera. These are an ideal device for solargraph. These cameras are single use devices therefore their photo production „value” is much higher than that of the others. However, they are extremely water resistant, there are several ones which have captured the images on photo paper for half a year.


Plastic film container pinhole camera: Primarily, I use these for solargraphy. These devices are the Leica size casettes’ containers but properly modified. These are also water resistant in a practical format. The advantage is that they can be used several times and their compactness.


Matchbox pinhole camera: Mostly, I use these to solargraphy. It is not weatherproof so I must convert it. In turn it is small, light and unobtrusive. To fix it, it is enough to have a two side tape.


Unicum box pinhole camera: This camera can see in 360°. There are four holes in its side, they have each a separate ’chamber’. The photo paper is also curved. It is fixed to stable place and left there for several months to capture the Sun’s orbit.


You can see below the pictures taken by these cameras.

Finally, I wish to mention that almost anything can be made into a unique camera that looks like a dark box. It gives me a great pleasure and experience if not only the photo is unique and unrepeatable but also the device I used. My mind is relly set on this. I see a possible camera in every object I come across and the picture I would take with it.