Pinhole and Instant film are things I like the most, but when I can use them together, that truly equals pure love! So read on…
66/6 is the number of the pinhole camera type and no wonder very similar to the number of the beast. I don’t know why Doc called it this way … maybe because sometimes you freak out over your results with the pinhole or maybe just because of an inner urge against Impossible. But now the truth: the Camera got its name from Edwin Land’s death 66 years ago and the close down of the polaroid factory 6 years ago. The pinhole camera is hard to tame, but once done, it’s perfect and definitely worth the try for every photo enthusiast! In other words, back to the basics, but with the new Impossible film.
When I had the first chance to hold the new pinhole made by the SUPERSENSE Vienna, based on Impossibles FPU (film processing unit), in my hands last week I could not help but asking myself a question: „What the hell is this supposed to be?!“ But with a closer look at it and by that I mean look of a neanderthal, my apologies to all neanderthals, at something one had never seen before, it somehow started making sense. I could make out the film processing unit, two sizes of pinholes and most noticable part of the camera, even when folded, the bellows.
The Bellows allow you to change the focal lengh from wide angle to normal focal lengh and also give you the possibility to tilt/shift, not that it would change anything on the sharpness on a pinhole. And here comes what I think could get you in trouble one day. The bellows are made of rubber and rubber tends to dry over time and then break, so always take care of your bellows and you should be a long and lucky owner of this camera!
As mentioned above, the camera has two different pinhole sizes with diameters of 0,12mm and 0,24mm. If you like sharp images always go for the 0,12mm pinhole. The 0,24mm is pretty blurry but if you like the effect use it and save some time.
The pinhole camera takes standard Impossible project film and also has a battery of its own which charges conveniently through USB cable and is used to eject the exposed pictures, so if you have expired Polaroid film with dead battery you can use it without any problem! It also has a built in frog tongue, so no more pictures killed with sun or light, which is very useful if you ask me!
Lets get starteD!
So, you have the film: black and white, 600 type, but why exactly this one? Try to guess…fast developing and thus easy to see the result fast. Of course you can try colour or SX-70 film later, but let’s start with this one. Once setting the exposure meter to right ISO and aperture settings, we will get the exposure time which has to be divided by a certain number, depending on the size of the hole we decided to use. The outcome of a certain exposure time is very useful, especially when taking pictures indoors or in dim or darker environment. Calculating the exposure time is however useless when taking pictures in bright and sunny environment (in this case it’s only quick open and close, no more than 2 seconds). In these “harsh” conditions with bright sun it only comes to estimation based on your judgment or previous experience.
For taking the pictures you do not necessarily need a tripod. The pinhole camera can be conveniently placed almost anywhere thanks to its body with narrow sides. However you need to make sure to put your finger on the hole you chose to take the picture with and gently turn the knob. When in position, quickly put your finger away and start the counting. After the time is up, put finger on the hole again before turning the nob to neutral, closed position. Why all this fuss with fingers and gentle turning of the knob? Even if the camera is placed on tripod, turning the knob and opening the hole simply shakes the camera whether you like it or not and you don’t want blurry pictures, do you?
When taking a picture, at least the most bottom part of the bellows has to be extended. Try extending the bellows from bottom to front of the camera. It’s simple: the more the bellows are extended, the less the wide angled pictures are.
Well, that’s about it. Quite short and simple, as the whole concept of the pinhole camera, which is nothing new really, but it is still something even a skilled photographer may find challenging. The true fun is hidden in the challenging part, as no two pictures come out of the pinhole the same!
Marco’s advice for using the camera
“This is a great concept for a pinhole camera and also a good realization, but you have to take care of it and keep your bellows smooth. When folding, keep start from the outside in. I built myself a little cap for the front board so I don’t open the pinhole by mistake when i put it in my bag.”
Marian’s 10 simple points of using the pinhole
- Always keep your camera charged
- Always have the sun at your back
- Use tripod if possible
- Use your light meter
- Turn the knob as gently as possible and use your finger to cover it
- Get as close as possible to your subject
- Long distance shots do not work very well
- Mind the wide angle effect and use it to your advantage
- Prepare your memory (the camera does not have a picture counter)
- Take good care of your bellows
If you are like us and need to get this beast yourself hurry up the pinhole is limited to 500 pieces and you can purchase it at the SUPERSENSE Store Vienna or in their Online-Store at www.supersense.com