E15 Pinholes and Hammers

E15 Pinholes and Hammers

Graham talks about sliding down the fidelity curve (11:30) and why he likes film that has been boiling in a Bulgarian warehouse for 20 years than good fresh film for taking pictures with pinhole cameras. He also talks about the commonalities between early computer-generated animation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tN1A2mVnrOM) and the pinhole camera (27:30).

They start talking about the physical principles and qualities that go into a pinhole for a pinhole camera (31:15). Pinhole size is very important and they talk about that pinhole size and how to calculate the right size for the focal length and film size using the calculator on MrPinhole.com website (33:30).

Sources of laser-drilled pinholes:

Fireseller66 on eBay: https://www.ebay.com.sg/sch/fireseller66/m.html

James Guerin (Reality So Subtle): https://aupremierplan.fr/

Now that the pinhole has been taken care of, they begin a discussion of the body that will transport the film and keep the dark in (53:50) including oatmeal containers, matchboxes, Harry’s Razors boxes, and paperboard. Plus, they discuss what paperboard is!

Graham moves his Scamera project off of the back burner and into the sink (1:25:30) and Nick talks about his Big Build. He also talked about selling a camera design through an Etsy shop (1:32:50) with details to be released via Instagram (@grahamhomemadecamera) and Flickr (FreezerOfPhotons).

Shoutouts this week to Lucus Landers (@cropped_camera on Instagram and http://lucuslanders.com/) who is using cast and machined metals to build homemade rangefinder cameras. Also noted is a new podcast called WTF What the Film !? (https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/anchor-podcasts/wtf-what-the-film) hosted by a mysterious unnamed voice.

The makers of the Pin-Blad are Light Leaks Lab (look them up on Facebook).

E14 Rubber Bands and Scrunchies


Nick and Graham start off the show talking about what general types of photography they each are attracted to.

They then launch into a discussion of shutters and what kinds of shutter speeds are really needed and do we need very fast and very slow shutter speeds (19:08).

They talk a bit about what techniques could be used for very fast shutter speeds (34:00) and then why Graham doesn’t necessarily want a perfectly round aperture for a pinhole camera (38:05).

They talk a bit about Amos Dudley’s blog about shutters and other things related to building a camera from scratch: http://amosdudley.com/weblog/SLO-Camera (48:45).

Nick talks about why he wants to get a bunch of broken and worthless SLR cadavers and other cameras in his pursuit of learning their anatomy, just like a medical student does with feet (1:04:45).

E13 The Ramble

There were a few audio issues with this episode. Please bear with us through the pops, scratches and bangs.

The boys start off with a discussion of the ins and outs of leaving cameras in your car during hot weather (00:00) and Nick explains why he wants a camera like a bar of soap (13:00).

They continue the discussion of the travel camera they started in the last episode (14:40).

Graham can’t remember the name of the Olympus Trip 35 and felt like a fool for forgetting (23:50). He then redeems himself with a reconfiguring of the body of a travel 35mm camera on the model of the film cartridge backs of medium format cameras (28:20).

Graham talks about Graham (another one, better known as Chickenthumbs on Instagram) 41:45.

Graham blathers on and on about his Flex-O-Pan at 58:00 so you’ll probably want to skip head to the good stuff, like the next episode of Photography Matters with Ted Viera.

The talk turns to a Kickstarter campaign to create a digital sensor that drops into a standard 35mm camera and how that could be the source of sensors for digital camera builds (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1374923168/film-35-innovative-photography-experience) (1:29:00).

Nick sends a shout out to Ralph Lundval (1:53:20) and the images he posted using an enlarger lens and a Speed Graphic.

E12 Travel

After covering the subject of whether a person should dress in layers while hiking in the Pacific Northwest, Nick and Graham talk about what kind of features they want in a camera for travel (8:00). Nick describes his Duffer Suit and how it allows him to be ignored when he takes pictures (21:20). Graham describes the psychological reason why Leicas kept the bottom-loading system for as long as they did (24:00).

We get a bit of a non-update on the Scamera project and what the guys worked on the past two weeks (30:45).

E11 Features

E11, Features and the Brainstorm

Graham starts us off with a discussion of the role features play in the design of cameras. Features here are defined as non-essential elements that make the process of making a photograph easier (6:15). As an example, he and Nick run through the features associated with focusing.

In the spirit of the thing, Nick talks about features that he would like to see developed that either has not already been implemented or have not been widely implemented (26:05).

The hosts discuss the concept of a 35mm camera that could accommodate image sizes from 24mm by 24mm to 24mm by 65mm with several sizes in between (33:50). This camera would have a drop-in mask or a mask that is adjustable from the outside and would advance the proper distance no matter what format it is shooting at the time.

Nick does his best to make the system much more complicated than the original vision but while providing a good argument on the merits of the additional complexity (46.30). Graham counters with the engineering and design process that takes many iterations to find the proper solution.

They then start to talk about what features are desirable for this type of project (55:30).

Nick tells the tale of taking apart his Nikanon scamera, shooting pinhole cameras and playing with putty (1:07:00).

Zeb Andrews’ recent appearance on The Lensless Podcast sparked a discussion about slow shooting experiences and value of a photograph of an experience vs. the experience itself (1:31:00). They also discuss the IM Back digital back for film cameras as a core component of a camera build.

E10 The Universal

Nick starts off the episode by talking about what a universal camera design is and why it might be nice to have (5:15). From there they talk about existing cameras that can be considered universal and how different qualities are more flexible than others. Nick describes the Mercury Camera System, a system that was designed from the start to be a universal design (22:40). Graham puts forward the concept that the APS film format should be considered a universal film format while name-dropping Mike Gutterman (28:30).

They move on to talking about the features of a universal camera (35:15) and what is most important about it. After that, they talk about how to approach a design of a universal camera (47:39).


This time around Nick and Graham discuss photographs they have taken and how they inform the cameras that they build and how the cameras that they build allow for photographs that are different from the ones they can take with off-the-shelf models.

Nick’s photo is here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/51834204@N07/42317986574/in/dateposted/

Graham’s photo is here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/129971511@N04/41391598034/in/pool-3976524@N23/

Graham starts talking about his point and shoot sheet film camera that he designed and printed though to start he refers to it as a 2-1/4 by 2-1/4 when it is actually 2-1/4 by 3-1/4 (27:30).

Nick’s build for this episode is the PinBlad Deluxe, a pinhole camera made from a Hasselblad and an Ilex No. 3 shutter (42:50).

Project Save the Scameras from Graeme’s Hammer gets an update (52:00) with Graham’s project of putting an SLR lens on the front of his Olympia.

This episode’s book is, The Complete Nikon System: An Illustrated Equipment Guide by Peter Braczko (https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Nikon-System-Illustrated-Equipment/dp/1883403855/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1536246746&sr=8-1&keywords=the+complete+nikon+system).

Graham corrects a shoutout from the last episode where he gives credit to Panomicron on Instagram for building an XPan type of camera using 3D printing when he should have credited it to Cody (https://www.instagram.com/james__irvin/). It is still worth looking at Panomicron’s work too as he’s building some cool cameras (https://www.instagram.com/panomicron/). Graham was confused as one of Cody’s images appears in Panomicron’s timeline. Also, take the time to look at Ethan from Cameradactyl’s timeline on Instagram as he’s been doing some crazy-fun shit lately (https://www.instagram.com/cameradactyl/). Nick also mentions an image posted by Dirk Fletcher’s ultralight 4X5 camera on our Flickr feed: (https://www.flickr.com/photos/dirkfletcher/44439938251/in/pool-3976524@N23/) Nick also mentions Walker Cameras (http://www.walkercameras.com/) whose website is worth taking a look at.

E08 Materials

E08 Materials

Graham and Nick start off by talking about light and what kind of light they like to have for taking photographs.

They then launch into a discussion of materials from paper to metal, glass and plastic. Discussions include sources of various materials and tools.

The continued adventures of the Save the Scameras from Graeme’s Hammer campaign are chronicled with the dismantling of the Olympia Scamera (1:22:50). Video of the shutter function can be seen here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/129971511@N04/29082589757/in/dateposted-public/. Photo of the two aperture blades from the lens: https://www.flickr.com/photos/129971511@N04/42353408860/in/dateposted-public/

Graham explains why a Ninoka is almost identical to a Leica (1:48:50).

Nick’s book for this Episode is On Street Photography and the Poetic Image by Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb: (https://www.amazon.com/Rebecca-Norris-Street-Photography-Poetic/dp/1597112577/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535128945&sr=8-1&keywords=on+street+photography+and+the+poetic+image) (1:50:00)

E07 Viewfinders and Scameras

Graham mentions a trip around St. Simons Island where he took a picture (https://www.flickr.com/photos/129971511@N04/36592696526/in/datetaken/) with a camera he hates that got 84,000 views on Flickr for some reason he cannot figure out (1:25) as he and Nick discuss cameras they don’t like. Neither of them like the Minolta Weathermatic Dual.

Nick talks about issues with parallax in viewfinders (13:45) and the solutions to address the issue in cameras. Graham grabs a couple of cameras off his shelf to verify what Nick says. They take a moment to revel in Voigtlander fandom (20:05) and then get back to business.

They move on to SLR through-the-lens viewfinders and their advantages and disadvantages (23:45) along with the advantages of the pentaprism on SLRs (29:30).

Some viewfinders have very little information and some have an overload of information and this balance can can affect the shooting experience (36:20).

They discus “viewfinder” cameras like the Trip 35, cameras with little or no information in the viewfinder (30:30).

Filter effects are discussed and how to use them without seeing the actual taking image (44:38).

They eventually make their way to large format cameras and viewfinder issues with view finding (53:25).

Finally, Nick and Graham start talking about how to make, adapt and scavenge your own viewfinders for homemade camera projects (1:02:54). They mention an article in 35MMC about salvaging a viewfinder from a broken camera (1:08:29) (https://www.35mmc.com/01/07/2018/35mm-accessory-viewfinder-budget-conscious-wonders-3d-printing/

With the subject of viewfinders completed, our fearless hosts moved on to poking the bear (Graeme of Sunny 16 Podcast) and his call for the smashing of all Scameras on sight. Nick and Graham (note how OUR Graham spells his name correctly) have responded to this heinous call with a call to action of their own: Modify these cameras into worthwhile photographic tools (1:26:20).   

This episode’s book is The Ansel Adams Guide: Basic Techniques of Photography – Book 1 (https://www.amazon.com/Ansel-Adams-Guide-Techniques-Photography/dp/0821225758/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1533591609&sr=8-1&keywords=the+ansel+adams+guide) (2:03:55).

Graham read one email talked about two Kickstarter campaigns for 4X5 cameras, the Standard (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/144867732/the-standard-4×5-a-3d-printed-4×5-view-camera) that was ending in just an hour and a half and the Camradactyl (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/416154634/cameradactyl-4×5-field-camera) that still had 16 days to go as of the recording. Both efforts had reached their goals.

E06 Focus

Show Notes E06 Focus

For this episode, Graham and Nick talk about focus and focusing mechanisms in cameras. Nick asks whether focusing is necessary and Graham talks about one of his favorite Flickr people, ChetBak59 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/129558209@N02) and his use of out-of-focus areas of images to great effect (9:15). Nick challenges Graham to take a photograph where the out-of-focus areas is the point of interest and the in-focus areas are secondary (14:58).

At 16:00 the boys finally get to the definition of focus and how the lens creates this focus on a film plane or sensor. They then talk about the different methods to adjust focus in a camera-lens system (26:41).

They also talk about how focus is verified so we get the result that is expected (38:25).

With all that silliness about focusing complete, talk turns to a camera Graham built over the previous week, the Sixty7 Woody (1:10:30)

Nick’s books this week are:

CAMERAS From Daguerreotypes to Instant Pictures by Brian Coe (https://www.amazon.com/CAMERAS-Daguerreotypes-Instant-Pictures-Brian/dp/0517533812)

500 Cameras: 170 Years of Photographic Innovation by George Eastman House, Todd Gustavson (https://www.amazon.com/500-Cameras-Years-Photographic-Innovation/dp/1402780869/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1532023200&sr=1-1&keywords=500+cameras)

Collecting and Using Classic Cameras By Ivor Matanle (https://www.amazon.com/Collecting-Using-Classic-Cameras-Matanle/dp/0500276560/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1532023493&sr=1-1&keywords=collecting+and+using+classic+cameras)

Graham’s shout-outs go to Chetbak59 on Flickr (see link above) and moonchild1111 also on Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/moonchild1111/)