Taking my first image with a 8×10″ pinhole camera

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What you see on the picture above is a 8×10 large format pinhole camera I purchased recently from eBay. It takes 8×10″ sheet film. There’s no lens of course and the camera has an aperture of f/400 and a viewing angle of 116 degrees.

I was really impressed by the size of the film (and holder). Its really huge even compared to 4×5″. Placing the film I the holder was really a burden using my 4×5″ changing bag, so I will either have to get a larger one or simply do it in my closet. My first shot was taken with Ilford FP4 sheet film. I am currently waiting a box of Fuji Provia 8×10 slide film, viewing a 8×10 slide on the lightbox should be a great experience (even with a pinhole camera which of course cannot at all be compared to a normal 8×10 as far as image quality goes).

With pinhole cameras you have to deal with reciprocity failure since the exposure times are seconds or minutes. Ilford FP4 is not ideal for long exposures, so there are some exposure calculations to be made. My meter showed 9 seconds exposure needed and I kept the pinhole open to light for 25 seconds relying on an app called Pinhole Assist (iPhone). It calculates reciprocity failure for FP4 film, and I’ll see soon of the calculations were correct.

Now, the big challenge is to develop the sheet with my Patterson day tank using the taco method. I’ve read a lot about it in different forums, so I know theoretically what to do, we’ll see how it goes tonight.

A few more images of the camera from diff

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(c)2013 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.

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8 Responses to Taking my first image with a 8×10″ pinhole camera

  1. Filmguerilla says:

    Hi! Very nice site!

    I wonder what do you think about this 8×10 pinhole? I’ve been interested of this since i saw this on the bay months ago. Do you like it? Would you make a review soon?

    Thanks!

    FG

    • kbesios says:

      I only had the chance to shoot on image with it, but I liked the result. Of course I will have to shoot a couple more images to see what is capable for (probably next week).
      It is very well built (metal case), the light seals are very good, and the film holder is very steady when placed on the camera. It even takes filters and the metal handle is very convenient for carrying it. It comes with two magnetic levels and has two tripod sockets for both horizontal and vertical shots. So, as far as build quality goes it seems a very well built and durable camera.

      • Filmguerilla says:

        thank you very much. your site is very nice! love it.

        i hope you can make a tests with filters on it. i’ve never tried putting filter with paper although if you use film that would be nice. does the camera maker has a website or only ebay store? i’ve tried to contact the guy but i didn’t get a reply 🙁 was very interested with the camera but i was taken for granted. plus i never see any review with the camera so i was anxious of getting one. hopefully i could be able to get one soon. i can make one although its much better for me to use a good well built camera for outdoor shooting especially for hiking.

        thanks!

        • kbesios says:

          Thank you !

          I will possibly try to use a filter during my next shots (I am waiting for a sunny day with good clouds). I am thinking for a polarizer or an orange filter for starters.That will of course lengthen the exposure and I will have to be very careful with metering (so far, the Pinhole Assist app has performed very well calculating FP4 reciprocity).

          I don’t think the constructor of the camera has a site (I couldn’t find one).

          I am very pleased form the build quality of this pinhole, everything seems crafted right, and dealing with such large holders requires a good construction. I can easily carry it on my backpack and the metal handle is great !

          Shooting with photographic paper might be the next step, although at the moment converting the family’s bathroom to a darkroom is not a viable option, so I’ll try to find an alternative to that.

  2. This looks to be a great camera..I read the other messages and I wanted to add that their is someone else doing beautiful wood 8×10 pinhole cameras..He made a gorgeous one for me as well as a 5×7 and 4×5…His name is Dennis Wilder..I think you can find him on ebay if you do a bit of looking.. His work is first rate.

    • Filmguerilla says:

      Hi diane,

      I will check his camera’s on ebay. I hope it’s affordable like this one. I had made my 8×10 pinhole with foamboard. It’s nice but i like to get a sturdier one so i could use it anywhere. This one seems to be sturdier and could survive with different type of shooting condition. I did double checked the tripod mounts on this camera and for me It looked a bit flawed in the design? Is it sturdy kbesios? I wonder how it could stand with a strong wind. I wonder if the tripod mounts is solid like the other tripod mounts that i saw on other wooden cams.. Those were attached very good on the body unlike this one. I think i should ask the maker as well.

      • kbesios says:

        The tripod mounts (both of them) are sturdy. I haven’t shot at windy conditions yet. Of course this is a very large hollow camera so I pull of the holder very carefully, then unscrew the hole cap and just before I remove it, I wait a few seconds just to be sure there are no vibrations. It sure vibrates more easily than a “normal” camera.

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