First few pinhole shots and eyeing off a 12×20….

Well things have slowed down a little. I’m working flat out for the next couple of weeks trying to catch up on rent and other annoying life things so photography has had to take a back seat for a little bit.pnhol-1-2

In saying that, though, I went on a couple of night stay down on the Tasman Peninsula catching up with mum as I hadn’t seen her in months. We stayed near Port Arthur and did a couple of walks down there. We also did Cape Raoul (which I’d done only a couple of months before, the track has been upgraded extensively since then! Barely broke a sweat…)


I took my pinhole camera for the walk to finally pop off some shots on it. I had a box of Ektar 100 and some Agfa Colour 100 film. The last couple of test rolls I ran through it as it turns out I had loaded the film incorrectly (thinking I know everything… always watch the instructional videos!) so those rolls were no good.

After again going through the absolutely painful process of loading the RealitySoSubtle 6×17 camera I ran about 4 rolls through it during the walk.

The little $5 eBay Chinese tripod I had bought for it broke halfway through the walk. I underestimated the need for a good tripod. I might invest in a slightly better one.


The composition lines, or ‘viewfinder’ on the camera definitely come in handy and make things easier. The little spirit level is also handy. My only (minor) criticisms would be:

  1. Maybe a shutter release cable or spring loaded shutter would be handy and perhaps help reduce camera shake…
  2. Perhaps a tripod hole on the side of the camera for vertical shots
  3. Making film easier to load. Goddamn. What a nightmare for people like me with fat fingers.


Anyway, here are a few shots from the day.  (full res scans can be seen on my website here. Probably mucb better viewed there… )



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I am quite pleased with the sharpness from the camera. Not too sharp as it still retains the pinhole look… the infinite depth of field gives it a wonderful dreamy quality. I am looking forward to playing with it some more… I’m not sure how long I will hang onto this camera as I want to put together funds to get a 12×20 camera.


Speaking of which… 🙂

So I have been thinking about my photography and how I have always loved the landscape/panorama format. Thinking about my wet plate and how I’ve liked the idea of making larger plates. I have an 11×14 camera obviously which also has plate inserts so that I can shoot 5 1/2 x 14 inch pano plates. This is nice, and I still haven’t shot these yet but I love the idea of making larger pano plates. So I started hunting for a 12×20 camera. At first I thought about 16×20 but then I decided against it as 1) 16×20 cameras are hard to come by and really expensive (especially portable field cameras) and 2) If I want to move up to another similar format from 11×14 I might just one day dive into 20×24 or something. That will probably never happen but then I told myself only a couple of years ago that i wouldn’t go larger than 11×14 for a long time. These things happen I guess.

Anyway so I put a post on the LFPF seeking decent and cheap 12×20 field cameras for sale and was quickly contacted by a gentleman in the US with a Korona 12×20 for sale. The camera is a little worn but perfect for me as once I get my hands on it it’s only going to be rained on with silver nitrate anyway. Very affordable for this size at only $2000USD with 2 film holders!

Here is a couple of pics of the camera:



I do really love the 12×20 format and think that ambrotypes this size would look wonderful. I feel confident that it would not take me long to come up to speed with developing plates of this size, as it’s not extremely larger than 11×14. It’s a unique format and would compliment my landscape eye well, I think.

So I am thinking of selling off my 8×10 gear to help fund it, hopefully my tax return is good this year and I can afford it. If I have anything leftover after buying the camera I will get an 8×10 reducing back for the 11×14 camera so I can keep doing 8×10 plates. It’s been annoying me as I use my 8×10 camera to do test exposures before 11×14, meaning that I have to set up the 8×10, make a test plate or two and then break it down and set up the 11×14, which is annoyingly time consuming.

Tax time is just around the corner and I am very excited. I just need to think about sensitizing tanks (may look into just using trays instead as things start getting really expensive in this format) and I’ve also got the wheels moving to getting a lens sorted out. My uncle is returning my JC Sommerville 16×20 25 inch f/8 Rapid Rectilinear and I’ve got the wheels moving to trade one of my 8×10 lenses for a 355mm f/9 Schneider G-Claron

Very exciting!

Will keep you posted.


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