Introducing the Marquardt Mini Pinhole (MMP) f/10 9mm. Who needs large format f/200 pinhole cameras that take sharp-ish pictures at crazy long 2-minute exposure times?! (hint: I do). Making pinhole cameras from matchboxes is not new (I took my inspiration from this video on YouTube) but I wanted to build one of those at least once. Perfect project for a Sunday early afternoon. Building this takesabout half an hour.
Due to lack of black tape, I used a light-proof metal-based tape that is normally used to tape pictures into picture frames. Not ideal, as it's reflective, but it should still do the trick. Might end up with some light spills inside the cam though.
I used a matchbox and two rolls of film, an APX to shoot on and a cheap Lucky SHD to dump in order to get the empty film roll. Note to self: next time don't dump all the empty film rolls, so you won't have to sacrifice a film for this.
There's something strangely satisfying in pulling out a perfectly good roll of film during daytime. 1.99 € down the drain. The things you do on a Sunday afternoon...
I cut a hole into the matchbox drawer. This will hold the film in place and provide for an unexposed frame around the picture.
Empty roll of lucky to the right (the exposed film will go into this) and full roll of Agfa APX to the left.
This is how the film will go behind the drawer inside the matchbox.
And this is how it'll look after it is put together.
But first, the matchbox needs a hole for the "lens".
Here's the pinhole. I used the same metal-based tape for this as it sticks nicely. The hole turned out a bit too large, so I can expect nice and short shutter speeds, but probably quite a bit of lack of sharpness. Focal length of the camera is the distance between hole and film plane, in this case 9mm.
Attached the film to the empty spool...
...and put the spool back into the cartridge. That's one of the reasons I used a Lucky SHD film: the film cartridges are easy to pull apart and put back together without tools. The film will be transported by turning the spool on the receiving side and winging it by gut feel. Some of the pics might overlap, some might have bigger space in between them. Oh well.
Using more of the light-tight tape to seal the camera from the rays of the evil day glow ball in the sky.
Sealed all around (hopefully). Erm.. let's call the design functional. But then, did I mention it's a disposable cam? It will be destroyed at the end of the process anyway.
The camera needs a shutter now. I cut this out of the adhesive light-proof tape so only the sides stick.
A black strip of paper acts as the shutter. Just pull it up to expose and push it back down to finish exposure. It'll be difficult to time though, my little pinhole calculator tells me that the exposure time at this focal length and aperture is less than a second, so forget about precision. I have decided that I'll be happy if only two or three pictures on the film will come out alright ;)
This is what it looks like with the shutter open. Say CHEESE!
» Insert frantic picture taking activity here «
Removing the film in a changing bag and putting it into a development tank basically means destroying the camera. Bye bye little MMP.
And now (cue drum roll) presenting the first and only pictures that have ever been taken and will ever be taken with the Marquardt Mini Pinhole: