Sunday, December 7, 2008

if not a charm, at least a little bit better. . .

it wasn't five minutes after writing this in my last post:

"while waiting for the new camera to arrive, i've been tempted to try yet again with this one--well, after creating a new, still smaller-sized pinhole. the main deterrent to this (besides having a book to write and 30-some student projects to grade and not having anything with which to make a smaller size pinhole) is the time involved with carefully uptaping and then carefully retaping the mechanism"

that i went to the shelf where i had placed my matchbook pinhole and began taking it apart, deciding that i would, in fact, attempt to create a new (and i hoped still-smaller) pinhole and then began the process of taping things back up again. i should know better than to think that i won't end up doing what i insist that i would not or should not end up doing.
aside from the presence of what i call "the hangy" thing (see top-right side of image left), i was most pleasantly surprised with test roll three. i almost found myself regretting (albeit briefly) my decision to pay someone else to make a pinhole for me.

as for the "hangy" thing: as the negatives were drying, i thought that the mark might indicate a light leak but noticed that the marks on the negatives were all white. it wasn't till i took the box apart that i realized that a poorly-cut portion of the cardboard must have been pulled down when i loaded the last roll of film. i had to do more cropping than i would have liked to do with these images but, overall, i was pleased with the increased sharpness of images (much less fuzzy and cartoon-like) and i had far fewer exposure problems than i had with the first two rolls. --as a point of comparison, i have paired below an image from the first test roll with a "re-do" shot taken yesterday.

having gotten a good chunk of the grading done, i began another pinhole project yesterday morning about which i will say (perhaps unwisely?): i am not even close to being ready to shoot a test roll with this camera yet. i had purchased some months ago an agfa ansco shur-shot box camera that seemed to be in pretty amazing shape when i received it. problem was that the shutter broke before i could put film in it. (perhaps a good thing as i am glad not to have wasted the roll of film.) i took the camera apart to see what, if anything, might be done to get the shutter working again, realized that there was nothing i could do at that point in time, so i put it in a box marked "if/when you learn more about how shutters work, open this."

i was really bummed about the camera as it has the ability to take half-frame shots--something i had been hoping to try.

though i've not learned much about shutter-fixin' in the past few months, i have found a new appreciation for black boxes and wondered what might be involved with making this camera into a pinhole camera. i did a search on flickr which lead me to a couple of things ansco/pinhole related (though it's not the exact camera i have, i found this and this) and then spent most of the morning taking my camera apart, thinking through what i'd need to do, where the pinhole should be (i.e., in front of the shutter or behind), etc.

i'd never had the occasion to attempt using 35mm with the shur-shot since the shutter went kaput shortly after arriving. otherwise put, if i knew i could, in fact, run 35mm through this camera, it might make testing it more appealing and certainly more cost-efficient. as it is, i'm thinking this one will have to wait till i've done more thinking and researching.

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