Argus Pinhole Day 2017

April 30 is Pinhole Camera Day across the globe. Being a member of the Argus Collectors Group, I wanted to make myself an Argus-based pinhole camera. See my previous post on my semi-successful attempt at an Argus A2B-based pinhole camera last year.

This year, I started with an attempt to use an Argus C3 Matchmatic as the base for my pinhole camera.

On all attempts I used a .4mm pinhole I got from Skink which yields an optimal focus length of 90mm and speed of f/256. This is really designed for large format. Skink mounted the pinhole in a way that can screw into a Copal 0 shutter.

My first try was with a Matchmatic C3 with the pinhole put directly over the lens opening and held on with rubber bands.

It gives some pretty soft pictures, probably because it's not at the 90mm optimal focal distance for the pinhole and it has a relatively large pinhole diameter for use on a 35mm camera.

The long exposure times involved with f/256 on T-Max 100 film let me try some experiments, like jumping in front of the camera midway through the 2 minute exposure. Like a double exposure, but with only one exposure.

My second try with the Matchmatic was to move the pinhole out to the 90mm optimal focus distance. For that I cut the bottom out of a black plastic film container and used a bit of electrical tape to make the Copal 0 threads a bit thicker and jammed it together.

I didn't take the time to do something about the shiny surface inside the film container. This plus the fact that my Matchmatic's shutter blades protrude a bit while holding it open on bulb made for some interestingly shaped photos.

Reminiscent of shooting flash pictures with the wrong sync speed. A bit sharper photos, but really weird!

Finally, I figured I'd try it on a medium format camera as that was closer to what the pinhole was designed for. So I grabbed a parts Argoflex E with a stuck shutter, removed the shutter/lens assembly and used gaffers tape to attach the pinhole.

This gave the sharpest results.

Developing at home certainly helped the process as I could quickly get feedback on what was working and what wasn't.

Fun stuff, if a bit frustrating at times. But that's how we keep learning!

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