Oct.13, 2013

A pinhole camera is the simplest camera possible, it should come to no surprise that a lot of photo nerds are excited about making one with 3D printing. Austin, TX based Clint O'Connor have a passion for pinhole cameras and has been taking pinhole photographs for many years. Like most other photographers, he has switched to digital cameras and never looked back – except for pinhole photography.

"Pinholes offer a unique perspective on the world that I can't get with lenses or digital cameras." notes O'Connor. O'Connor finds all the beauty in the world through his eyes and camera. "As a deaf man, the visual impact of images has always been very important to me."

Stream near Mt Baker, WA (c) 2005 Clint O'Connor

Landscapes and water are two of my favorite subjects - the long exposures of a pinhole camera lead to smoothly flowing water, almost like mist, that capture and retain motion and flow in a still photograph. Pinholes also offer extreme depth of field, and very near subjects are as focused as subjects in the far background. I find that, no matter how I envision how a photo will come out, I am often surprised with the result. Some of my best photos have been accidental or unplanned. Using a pinhole camera unlocks a tremendous wellspring of creativity and experimentation.

O'Connor has made his own pinhole cameras using cardboard, wood or metal cans, or by modifying existing film cameras. Since O'Connor got his Solidoodle 3 printer, he has been designing and making pinhole cameras with 3D printing. "I thought this would be a great way to design and build a new series of pinhole cameras. 3D printing offer a way to produce sturdy pinhole cameras with different characteristics at a reasonable price."

His first 3D printed pinhole camera, Flyer, is printed in ABS and designed to be robust and light. The camera is incredibly simple to use and can be loaded and used in less than 30 seconds out of the box. "It takes a 6cm x 6cm square image, 12 exposures to a roll of 120 film, just like a Hasselblad. It can be mounted to a tripod and it has a flip shutter that is really easy to use. The field of view is 70 degrees with an f/stop of 133." explains O'Connor.

O'Connor has launched his 3D printed pinhole camera on Kickstarter for finalizing the design and printability of the cameras, and to run through enough film to develop the exposure tables and reference photos you will need to take picture with it. "Over 35 iterations of CAD design, printing, and tweaking. I've gone through 4 spools of filament and several major changes, and I'm getting close." says O'Connor.

Hamilton Pool (c) 2013 Clint O'Connor (taken with Flyer 6x6)

If you want to back his efforts and enable him to develop more camera designs, check out here his Kickstarter campaign. If you have a 3D printer and want to print your own, you can get the STL files and instructions for $20. You can get the kit for $29 or Kickstarter Edition Flyers, a complete assembled Pinholes camera for $49 on Kickstarter. The pinhole achieved its $1,200 goal in 13.5 hours, and that's awesome.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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Leonard Stern wrote at 10/24/2013 7:57:09 PM:

Great Info

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