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 and Graham start off the show talking about slide film and the forthcoming Kodak Ektachrome along with some Agfachrome that Graham stumbled upon several years ago. They then begin with a description of what the purpose of a Film Transport Mechanism is and why it’s an important part of any camera build.
Graham describes the three major film handling systems in use today (14:39) and then goes on to talk about a bunch of different systems that are either no longer in use or represent only a tiny fraction of cameras in use today. He did forget completely the Disc camera system though you can probably understand why that one slipped his mind.
They talk about Heather Oelklaus (19:21)and her pinhole panel truck Little Miss Sunshine and how she uses an array of paper negatives to produce large-scale pinhole images. You can visit her web page at CameraKarma.com to see a video of her truck and the process she uses for large-scale images.
Graham mentions Corey Canon of The Lensless Podcast and his discussion of building a single-shot 8X10 as a way of focusing the image-making process and eliminating distraction (1:08:00).
Nick talks about his dream film transport system that allows any spacing for any format in a single device. (1:10:45).
Nick reviews two books that he finds are valuable to the homemade camera builder (1:31:30), Adventures with Pinhole and Homemade Cameras, John Evansand Experimental Photography, A Handbook of Techniques, Marco Antonini, Sergio Minniti, Francisco Gomez, and Gabriele Lungarella.
Nick floats the idea of a pinhole bird feeder (1:40:15), sure evidence that this episode has gone way too long.
This is the second half of a two-part episode. In this half, we talk about the aperture.
Nick and Graham start off talking about the purpose of an aperture on a camera and the collimation of light that is required for a sharp image. Graham floats the crackpot concept of using variously-sized holes in lens caps as aperture controls (10:22). Nick then talks about the optical test-bench he wants to create (14:18).
Returning to the real world from their flights of fancy, they discuss the issues with apertures that get too small and the issues with the wave portion of the particle-wave behavior of light (15:48).
The effects of various numbers of blades in a given aperture are discussed in relation to the holiday movies that make their appearance on The Hallmark Channel (17:47).
Nick describes a lens that uses rotating shutters, rotating apertures, and rotating neutral density filters in a single barrel (29:00).
They discuss what type of aperture each would work with on a quick and simple build (34:32).
Nick talks about a camera he is in the process of designing that uses a dead Fujifilm GX680 body (36:42).
Nick talks about his experience with the Sixty3 plastic panoramic camera that Graham designed and built (49:50) though it takes Nick a bit of time to realize what Graham is hinting at. Graham also discusses another build, the Sixty7 pinhole camera (53:50) made with a Graflok 6X7 back.
This episode was originally planned to cover both the shutter and the aperture but as the recording topped two hours, we decided to separate the two concepts. In two weeks we will continue as we focus on the aperture.
Right off the bat, Graham can’t remember the name of the camera repair guide he read. It’s Camera Maintenance & Repair by Thomas Thomosy.
Contributor to the forums on the Homemade Camera Podcast Flickr group, Flaver-D’s projection-TV-lensed experiment is discussed (12:10) and how having an adjustable aperture is not always very important. Nick brings up the concept that along with shutter speed and aperture, you can use neutral density filters to control exposure as well (12:35).
They discuss the Garbage Cam Build of listener jojonas on Flickr that uses a magnifying glass and black and white printing paper to get some very interesting effect (22:55). They also talk about how the movement of shutters can cause distortions in the image such as the famous forward-leaning race cars from the 1930s (38:25).
The boys try to tackle the concept of slit-scan photography such as that produced by James Guerin, maker of the Reality So Subtle pinhole cameras (41:15).
The Phochron XA shutter tester is mentioned at (58:00) and how it can help with determining the accuracy of settings of older shutters.
Nick reminds us that in the early days of photography the Guillotine was a handy way of creating a consistent shutter opening (1:13:00). Almost immediately afterward they talk about Flickr group member Jonas and his schematic for a shutter that employs magnets from headphones to actuate.
Note: This episode contains some erroneous information about Ilford Direct Positive Paper. Graham states that it is no longer in production. This information is not correct. Direct Positive Paper is still in production after a short interruption. For more information on this, listen to the Sunny 16 Podcast episodes 100a, 100b, 100c where they visit the Harmon Technologies Ilford headquarters.
Nick and Graham talk about lenses and how they can impact a camera build. They talk about why the lens is the most important part of any camera build (5:40) and why it might be a good idea to blend a Debonair lens and a Leica body.
Graham explains why focusing a lens is overrated (18:28) and why you should tape the focusing mechanism of your camera in one position to try out working with a fixed-focus hyperfocal setup. Nick then suggests that the humble mousetrap could provide good functionality to a homemade camera (33:15).
They talk about different methods of attaching lenses to camera bodies including screwing the lenses right to the body and the use of retaining rings for large format lenses (34:10).
The Garbage Cam Challenge has reached its due date and the boys are not as successful in this as they would want to be (53:22). Graham describes his camera made from the discarded paperboard from a 12 pack of soda, a pinhole made from a beer can (56:11) and wooden dowels (INSERT SIZE) that fit tightly in the 135 cartridge reels.
In episode 02, The Body, Nick and Graham talk about the purposes and qualities of a camera body.
Nick talks about exquisite beauty (6:00); the hosts describe the seven components of a camera (14:20); they focus on the body of a camera (19:30); Nick realizes he is late in starting his Garbage Cam Challenge project (24:15); the four main functions of a body are listed (35:00); the guys talk about lens flange distance and how it relates to the body of a camera (46:30).
The second episode (after Episode 00, The Manifesto), Nick and Graham discuss Graham’s creation the FrankenBessa, a camera made from the body of a Voigtlander Bessa 6X9 120 camera and a lens designed for 4X5 cameras.
Graham refers to the K-Pan 6X14cm camera designed by Paul Kohlhaussen as an inspiration for the project. As the FrankenBessa project moved forward, it returned closely to that original inspiration (though in a smaller format) as the final project uses the same hyperfocal setup as the K-Pan.
Later on, Nick introduces the Garbage Cam Challenge wherein each participant creates a camera (pinhole or lensed) from junk laying about the house and uses it for various upcoming photographic assignments. No part of the camera can use a part that was designed for use in a camera with the exception of 35mm film canisters for film transport.