Tag Archives: ondu

Pinholes with expired Svema

Continuing with the photo posts, I have tried my pinhole cameras again. This time with Svema 125 film from around 1990. The first camera I reused was the Ondu. Each of these were exposed for 2 minutes, on a tripod of course. The film was developed with ilfosol 3 as that is all I have right now. I presoaked the film for 5 minutes, then developed for 14 minutes at 20 degrees. I found that over developed the film, so will try 10 minutes next time. I used water and a few drops of vinegar as a stop bath, then fixed it in the regular way.

The photos are very grainy. I have a love/hate relationship with this pinhole camera. I think the actual camera is beautiful, but am struggling to love the images it produces. The one where I shot straight into the sun had a black hole where the sun was, I deleted that so the rays would be more of a focus.

The next camera, and only other pinhole I tried was the Diana F+, the multi functioning toy camera. I mainly stuck with the 2 minute exposures except the ones inside. One of them is 4 hours long. Now to be fair, I screwed this film up royally. I HIGHLY do NOT recommend trying to thread an old film onto a developing roll in a dark bag when it is hot and humid. I just could not get it to go on. It just kept getting stuck, bending and I was touching it all over the place. I did not have fun!

But you can see the Diana is not as sharp as the Ondu. And if I do bother with Pinholes again that is the camera I will choose. But why, it is just not my thing. I would prefer to put the film in the Kiev 88 or another medium format camera.

I hope my next post has much sharper photos 🙂

Return to Pinhole Photography

Yesterday was World Pinhole Day 2019. So I decided to dust off my Ondu camera and give it another try.

As it has been a while since I tried it, plus have only even done pinhole a couple of times before. I forgot how to calculate the exposure. So I lost the first 4 shots as they were too underexposed. Then I remembered the handy guide in the box and adjusted the timings. There are the results from that point.

Now that I have worked out the timings I might try a few experimental shots. Actually the Building shot on the top row has a person running passed the camera, but the exposure was so long she has disappeared. I think I will try this again…but with a slightly more visible person.

Pinhole is not like anything I have tried before. Initially I am always disappointed by the lack of focus. Then I look at the shots in a different way, they make me do that. I look beyond the actual image and think about the process. Pinhole is not for a rich person, a person in a hurry. It is something to savour, to enjoy for just what it is. For me it is a time to be alone, even when I am not.

Ondu Pinhole Camera

A while ago I was contacted through my other website and asked to take some photos. Plus I would be paid, Awesome!! That would be almost like free money. My Japanese friends never understood that phrase, but basically, it is when you get something unexpected. Like when you get cash back from a purchase or store credit. As I was still working full time as a teacher, I didn’t have to worry about where my next paycheck was coming from…or sell stuff to fund my hobby as I do now. So, what to buy??

A completely weird and gorgeous camera. A camera for fun. A camera I would not usually buy. Hello Ondu Pinhole Camera 🙂

Luckily for me, there was a sale on and the multi-format camera was still available. That turned out to be not quite so lucky later as you will see.

I had to wait until I returned to the UK to use it. Plus, as it was a camera I would not normally buy, I had forgotten all about it. So it was a nice surprise when I opened the box, a present to myself.

At first, I had a lot of issues loading and winding the film. When I first tried loading it, the film just slipped out. It was frustrating. Once it did seem to be moving ok I put the back on the camera and put it in my bag.

The day I decided to try the camera was quite wet and windy. As it was dull, I exposed the film for 2-3 minutes. Of course, I used a mini-tripod, but probably there was still movement. After 4 shots the film would not wind on anymore, it just spun inside the camera. I thought it might have got wet or something. When I got home I put the whole thing under my bed covers and I found the film was fine. I rewound it and transferred the roll to my Yashicaflex.

These are the shots I got from the Ondu from that outing.

I waited for a brighter day and tried again. BUT…I forgot I had moved the masks. I thought it was still set for 6×6, but I had set the masks to 6×9. That meant all the shots would be overlapping. Due to the increased brightness, I exposed the Fomapan 400 roll for 10-25 seconds. I took it to my local cemetery as I thought the camera would suit this kind of subject.

I don’t know if it is a shame about the overlapping or if I like it. I do think the small tripod and low viewpoint enhances the look achieved from the pinhole. Also, Photo Hippo did a great job developing and scanning the negs. At the time I was still waiting for my developing equipment 😦

Anyway, Now I have a little notebook to remind me of these things for when I try again. As for the camera, I find it stunningly beautiful. I also find it tricky to use, but there is something about it. I took it to a camera club meeting and the other members wanted to examine it, check out the construction. If you have some spare money, then this is a cool camera to play around with. It is not the camera to buy if you want super sharp, point and shoot images.

Here are some other blogs with reviews and sample photos from this camera. As I wasn’t entirely successful, these might be better places to see what this camera can do.

http://scenictraverse.com/blog/2016/8/22/review-the-ondu-pinhole-nothing-camera
http://filmbasedtraveler.com/2017/09/07/review-ondu-6×6-pinhole-camera/
https://luminous-landscape.com/art-meets-function-pinhole-cameras/

Keep or Sell: Keep for now. I would like to try it again. For me, it is a purely for fun camera so I am not sure how long I can justify holding on to it.