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Pinhole Blender Cameras

It is true that there are a plethora of commercial cameras on the market. It is fairly easy to select a high-end camera, full of features, and chocked with craftsmanship; although, the price tag may be a bit intimidating for most amateurs. Cue the camera line-up from Pinhole Blender.

The Pinhole Blender Company offers a wide range and assortment of affordable and quality pinhole cameras. I stress the combination of both characteristics. Without further ranting, take a look at the remainder of this article to form your own opinion. The image gallery is populated by fans of Pinhole Blender products and artists who actively use their products. I have provided my brief review of the Mini 35 (which is also featured in my book). Lastly, hear from the owner of Pinhole Blender directly. Discover his company history, personal influences, and his current product line. Enjoy!

Companion Book Chapters
Consult Chapter 2 (Advanced Track) of The Pinhole Camera for additional tricks, tips, and help in selecting a commerically available camera. Chapter 1 (Advanced Track) defines various film planes such as concave and convex that are applicable to the Pinhole Blender cameras.
Roll Film & sheet film Cameras
35mm to 4" x 5"

large format Cameras
5" x 7" and 8" x 10"

Copyright © 2010 Chris Peregoy
The camera line-up is a flexible and functional collection of cameras. learn more about pricing and availability at the official website for pinhole blender.
My Mini 35
When I was writing The Pinhole Camera I purchased a Mini 35 from Pinhole Blender so that I could provide an analysis and opinion on the product line. I have to say that I still enjoy using this camera one year later. The most enjoyable aspect is unpredictability and my Mini 35 is full of crazy possibilities.

The Mini 35 model takes 35 mm film and bends the film around a convex film plane. You can control the amount of blending between each image by advancing the film more or less. The camera comes with complete instructions that reduces the learning curve. The tripod socket, interchangeable pinhole and zone plate apertures, and the exposure guidelines make this one of the best options for a reliable and worthwhile product. The only negative detail that I noticed was the wooden wedge for advancing the film is a little flimsy, but this could easily be replaced by a D-ring fastener— see Chapter 7 for an example of the D-ring used in our 35 mm matchbox camera.

Copyright © 2010 brian j. Krummel
The resulting images are dreamy, magical, and widely distorted.
Image Gallery
The Pinhole Camera asked members of the Facebook and Flickr communities to share images that they have created with cameras from Pinhole Blender. Here are a few of the submitted images.

Copyright © 2009 nancy breslin
carousel
A shot of the carousel on the mall in Washington, DC, taken with a Pinhole Blender (the mini-120). view the larger image on flickr.

Nancy is also a take 5 interview alumni. you can view her interview from april 2010.
   

Copyright © 2009 ky lewis
not pandoras box
a special birthday music box full of dreams. taken with a Pinhole Blender 120. view the larger image on flickr.

ky is also a take 5 interview alumni. you can view her interview from april 2010.
   

Copyright © 2009 christophe frot
taken with a 4x5 Pinhole Blender. view the larger image on flickr.
   

Copyright © 2009 foreversouls
Pinscape reaching
pinscape shot on 04.26.09 for WorldWide Pinhole Day.

The image was captured on 220 expired film. view the larger image on flickr.
   

Copyright © 2006 shikiko endo
With the sea breeze

view the larger image on flickr.

Copyright © 2009 delio ansovini
the peaches field
6x17 panorama, single pinhole blender, 6 or 7 shots of 2 sec each, f200 with Fuji 160S, C41

view the larger image on flickr.
Interview with the Camera Maker
My name is Chris Peregoy. I'm the owner of Pinhole Blender Company from Baltimore, Maryland. When I'm not making pinhole cameras I'm teaching photography at the University of Maryland Baltimore County campus.
When did you first get interested in pinhole photography and how long have you been practicing this art form? List any creative influences that have shaped your own personal style.
I've been interested in pinhole photography since the early 1990's. Just before finding pinhole I was interested the multiple exposure and the juxtaposition of frames next to each other. John Schlesinger and Sandra Haber influenced my work at that time. I was looking for a way to blend my images together. At an arts festival I saw an unusual six-sided box on a tripod and I asked the operator what it was. This pinhole artist was Jim Cherry and he proceeded in showing me his cameras and images and told me to subscribe to the Pinhole Journal to find out how to make a camera like his.


Chris Peregoy

 Follow me on Flickr Email me Follow me on Facebook Check my website

Copyright © 2002 Chris peregoy
Requiem
Made with my the first Pinhole Blender 120 camera. This camera had a hand drilled f-128 pinhole. I shot this in my studio using a figure cut out of a automotive advertisement held in front of images projected onto my studio backdrop.
Which characteristics of pinhole are most attractive to you and
applicable to your work?

What works for my cameras and me is the depth of focus in that the film can be curved or bent in the camera and the image retains the same focus throughout the image area. I also appreciate the slow nature of pinhole photography. In my own work I don't usually use the optimal pinhole but opt for a larger hole for its softer look. Many of my images were made with zoneplate lenses which exaggerates the soft look.

How did you get started in pinholing and why do you make your own cameras?
My first camera was made from a 100 ft bulk film tin. I used the plastic core from the bulk film as the center circle glued to the bottom and taped B&W film around this. Six holes were drilled in the outside edges. I could only shoot one image before reloading in the darkroom. I loved thinking about what I could turn into a camera. My largest used a twelve inch cardboard foundation mold as the center core which I wrapped with ten inch wide aerial to make a 10x38" image. I soon got tired of having to go back to the darkroom to reload, so I started to think about how to make this type of camera that could take roll film and be rewound.

For my first roll film camera I hacked a old Kodak 2A circa 1910. It had a fold down front that I stripped the lens off of and replaced it with a curved section of 4 inch black Cibachrome tube. Inside I used a 3 inch drain pipe as the film plane. This camera had three pinholes and my thought was to wind the film after the initial three images were taken then turn about face and take three more pictures from behind me to make a complete panorama. Another designs I came up with used a Lloyds bulk film loader as the camera.

My Pinhole Blender 120 was my first camera I offered for sale. My sister gave me cookies during the holidays and as soon as I finished them I was thinking what I could do with the cookie tin. I drilled holes in the lid for rewind knobs and attached a 2 inch pipe in the center with three pinholes facing it. It worked great but had notes covering most of the decorations. The next year I bought four plain tins and made presents for my photography friends. They all encouraged me to make more and sell then on the web. I think I sold 30 the first year. I then brought out a 35 mm version also with three pinhole.
Many pinhole photographers prefer to purchase cameras rather than
creating their own. What types of cameras and formats do you offer?


The Pinhole Blender series consists of 6 cameras, 2 in each format, 35mm, 120 and 4x5. The Classic 120 and 35 models use 3 pinholes to expose each frame of file. The Mini 35 and 120 cameras use one pinhole and the operator then decides how much of a blend they get by how far they advance the film. There is a 6 pinhole 4x5 model plus a 3 pinhole Anamorphic 4x5. My new camera design is a simple replacement for the trusty old oatmeal box. It's top twists to reveal and close the shutter. It comes in two sizes, 5x7 or 8x10.
35mm Film  

Copyright © 2010 Chris Peregoy
pinhole blender 35
Three 0.3mm pinholes with a focal length of 60mm gives an aperture of f-200. the convenience of 35mm film in a pinhole blender. the large size can makes a wide blend with a wider transition then its new little cousins.

Copyright © 2010 Chris Peregoy
pinhole blender mini 35
pinhole blender's new little cousin. you choose whether to use a 0.15mm (f-200) pinhole or a zone plate lens (f-64). its small size will fit easily in your bag or a large coat pocket. control the amount of blending yourself when you advance the film.
120mm Film  

Copyright © 2010 Chris Peregoy
the original pinhole blender 120
three 0.3mm pinholes with a focal length of 60mm gives an aperture of f-200. you get four blended images on a roll of 120 or eight on a roll of 220 film. or blend each shot into one continuous blended image.

Copyright © 2010 Chris Peregoy
pinhole blender mini 120
pinhole blender's new little cousin. you choose whether to use a 0.15mm (f-200) pinhole or a zoneplate lens (f-64). its small size will fit easily in your bag or a large coat pocket. control the amount of blending yourself when you advance the film. the quality of 120 film in a super small size!
4" x 5" Film  

Copyright © 2010 Chris Peregoy
pinhole blender 4x5
this 4x5 sheet film camera has unique loading tubes so you can easily load film in a changing bag on location. the pinhole blender 4x5 has six 0.15mm pinholes with a focal length of 30mm giving an aperture of f-200. each pinhole covers a 60 degree angle for a full 360 degree view blended on to each sheet of film.

Copyright © 2010 Chris Peregoy
pinhole blender anamorphic
this 4x5 sheet film camera is equipped with three pinholes. centered on one side is a 0.3mm pinhole so you can use this blender like a traditional concave shaped camera. at each end the pinhole blender anamorphic has a 0.15mm pinhole. since the film is on an steep angle in relation to the pinhole the resulting image is distorted and twisted. combine this look with a blend from the other end and you get a unique and different view from the ordinary.
large Format  

Copyright © 2010 Chris Peregoy
the new 5x7 camera features a twist top design to open and close the shutter.
the new 8x10 camera features a twist top design to open and close the shutter.
Why is pinhole photography important to you?

I like how simple pinhole photography can be. I think it's a good imaging system to learn photography with since it has no controls to learn except opening the shutter and counting seconds. All of the menus on a digital camera can be an obstacle for a student when all they need is just a light-tight box and a little patience.
 
Conclusion
Pinhole Blender carries a wide assortment of camera products to meet your film format needs. The simple tin can construction, with a flare of mechanical engineering, is a fun and inexpensive camera to use.
 
Did you enjoy the camera tutorial?
Let us know! Post a message on our Facebook page today with your thoughts and reactions. Buy our book today to learn more about pinholing.