As much as I am in love with the collodion process and find it the first thing I go for when I want to make an image, it is just not a logistically convenient medium. I had a foray with medium format cameras a few years ago, have more often than not had a digital camera. I no longer have a smaller 4×5 camera and have little interest in getting another one. I am already lusting after a new piece of kit and have been secretly and shamefully looking at 16×20 ULF cameras online (a pipedream at this stage!) In the theme of satisfying ‘new toy urge’, making analogue images and taking less-than-conventional routes to get there I’ve been looking at pinhole cameras. Another film shooter pointed me in the direction of this RealitySoSubtle 6×17 pinhole camera, as well as the curved film plane for less distortion.
(not my image)
Certainly a handsome device. The simplicity is appealing and the idea of creating pinhole images, while not entirely new to me, is nothing I’d ever actually considered to take on as a hobby. Some research suggests that these cameras are of very high quality for a pinhole, with a laser drilled pinhole opening so fine that it produces very high quality pinhole photos without removing the ‘dreaminess’ of a pinhole exposure.
Anyway, without lamenting too much on something I don’t actually have yet I might put the order in for a 6×17. I had placed a deposit on a custom-made 6×17 ‘Razzle’ camera by Dean Jones a few years ago but sadly he passed away before the camera was completed. I always did like the panoramic formats and would love to be able to shoot this with the ease that a pano pinhole camera could offer.
These pinhole cameras do come in 6×6, 6×12, 6×17, 4×5 and 8×10.
I don’t want to have to be forking out for and developing large format sheet film on top of my wet plate stuff. If I can just buy and pay to get developed a few rolls of C41 or E6 120 film every now and again that would be great. I do miss the colour palettes of films like Velvia, Portra, Ektar, Reala etc. I think it would be a really nice addition to my tool kit, and not horribly expensive either. Something I can throw in the bag and take for a walk and not have to think too much about would be really nice.
The cameras can be seen and bought from here: http://www.aupremierplan.fr