Nicole Small | One on One

A light proof box / pinhole photography (part 9)

 A Light Proof Box / Pinhole Photography (Part 9)


I realized in all of my previous posts I spoke only of 4×5 film or darkroom paper as mediums to record pinhole images, in this post I wanted to present other options.

I am a fan of bigger is better but 4×5 film is expensive when it comes to purchasing and processing and this can be discouraging to anyone who may want to get started with 4×5 film. Darkroom paper is not bad when it comes to cost but tricky when it comes to processing which may not be desirable for everyone.

So what other choices are out there?


35mm Pinhole Cameras:

I personally have never worked with a 35mm pinhole camera but for a beginner I think it would be the best place to start. The cost of film is not as expensive as 4×5 film, and from every roll of 35mm film you will get multiple images without the worry of reloading as often as you would have to when working with 4×5 film or paper and you will have more chances to get it right.

There are many types of 35mm pinhole cameras and your selection will depend on what you desire in regards to your creative vision.


What if working with film is not for you?


If film is not something you would want to invest in for pinhole photography you can use your very own dslr.  You can either purchase or build your own pinhole for your dslr by using a spare body cap if you have one or you can resort to a DIY technique.



120 Pinhole Cameras:

The 120 pinhole cameras, (medium format) are probably the most widely used pinhole cameras. The cost of 120 film is less than 4×5 film and 120 film is bigger in size than 35mm film and just as with 35mm film, from every roll of film you will get multiple images from it without the worry of having to reload frequently.

I have experience working with this type of format by placing a Graflex Graphic 23 Roll Film Back on the back of my 4×5 pinhole camera which gives a total of 8 images at 6×9. There is also the Graflex Graphic 22 Roll Film Back which will give a total of 12 images at 6×6.  Keep in mind that not every film back such as the one below or similar will fit all and any pinhole camera, you will have to make sure that the film back will be able to adapt to your pinhole camera because not all pinhole cameras are made the same or made specifically for the attachment of a film back.

A film back as above can be something to consider if you want to add options to your arsenal without having to purchase a second pinhole camera.


The variety of pinhole cameras that are available on the market is huge. I have only touched the surface and spoke briefly on the most generally used pinhole cameras and have based this journal entry on my personal experiences.  As with anything it is always best to do your research to ensure that whatever you decide will work best for you.



Still to follow: A Light Proof Box/Pinhole Photography (Part 10)

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