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       ORDERING INFORMATION       Download instruction manuals (PDF files): Model B  Model D

“Amid today's technological advances the handmade object fulfills our basic desire for things that are personal and appealing to us. What attracts us to these objects is their essential humanity. A handmade object has a soul, reflecting the spirit and personal pride that went into its creation.”
— Paul J. Smith, Director Emeritus of the Museum of Arts & Design

Model B
The top view of this camera is a perfect semicircle. The curved back holds a 4x10" sheet of film (half of an 8x10), giving a very wide panoromic image covering approximately 120 degrees horizontal by 55 degrees vertical. The focal length is 110mm.
The flat front piece pivots out and upward, allowing for easy and rapid reloading. The early cameras have hinged brass latches on top; later ones have leather straps and brass snaps.

Model B cameras for sale

Model D
These cameras have a curved front as well as back and a contoured top. They can shoot two different film formats: a 4x10" sheet of film like the Model B, but also a standard 4x5" sheet of film held flat in an adapter supplied with the camera. The focal length of the curved film back is 110mm, and that of the flat film back is 67mm.
The top is held in place with invisible neodymium magnets. Really.
And they even have handles.

Model D cameras for sale

Each piece of wood has unique grain patterns and colors, so no two cameras are alike. Every camera is signed on the bottom, and the serial number is stamped into the wood. I use a variety of decorative hardwoods, including burled walnut, rosewood, zebrawood, birdseye maple, purpleheart, lacewood and satinwood.

   Film format 4x10" film or enlarging paper (half-sheet of 8x10"). Model D also accepts standard 4x5". Information about obtaining these materials is in the instruction manuals. (Download from links at top of page.)
   Lens type Lens? What lens? Who needs a lens? Pinhole aperture is 400 microns (laser-drilled in stainless steel by Lenox Laser), yielding an aperture of approximately f/287. Exposure times are about 6 seconds in sunlight on 100asa film.
   Shutter Something else we don't need. In the Real Olde Days photographers just removed the lens cap, counted off the seconds, and replaced the lens cap. Same thing here. There's an action picture of this exciting procedure in the instruction manuals.
   Focal length Model B — 110mm. Model D — 110mm on curved back; 67mm on flat film holder
   Angle of view Approximately 120° horizontal, 55° vertical on the curved backs of both cameras
   Leveling guide Built-in bubble level
   Viewfinder Inlaid wood sightlines on top
   Dimensions Model B — 9"w x 5.75"h x 5"d. Model D — 8.75w x 4.5"h x 5.75"d
   Weight (Approximate; depends on types of wood used): Model B — 1 lb 4 oz; Model D — 1 lb.
   Tripod mount Standard 1/4-20 threaded socket on bottom; three rubber-tipped feet for table-top use
   Finish Hand-rubbed polyurethane varnish, satin finish

Why is the back rounded?
Because a pinhole camera has no lens, the exposure across a flat film plane varies according to the inverse square law. This means that the edges of the image will be much darker than the center, resulting in the classic vignetting seen in images from flat film plane pinhole cameras. In contrast, a semi-circular film plane maintains a constant aperture-to-film distance, giving equal exposure across the image. The downside is that it induces some linear distortion, although this can be minimized by leveling the camera with the dominant horizontal line of the picture, i.e., the horizon. That's why the bubble level is mounted in the top. When shooting with the flat film plane adapter in the Model D, the images have no rectilinear distortion, although they do show some vignetting in the corners.
Where are they made?
Lakewood, Colorado. I make each one by hand in my home workshop.
What do they cost?

See the For Sale pages — Model B, Model D.

What do the pictures look like?
They are extremely panoramic/wide angle, with an aspect ratio of 2:5. Here are two samples of the panormaic format. (Cropped slightly on ends.) These are high quality images; the exhibition prints from these negatives are 17 inches in the larger dimension.

Both of these pictures happened to be taken on rainy days, resulting in a full tonal range on enlarging paper. Photographs taken in bright sunlight tend to be quite contrasty because enlarging paper isn't really designed for such a wide range of brightness. For shooting in sunlight, I recommend using film. Details are in the instruction manual. (Download from links at top of this page.)


For further information — no obligation, no hassles, no sales pressure — contact me at info@photonbox.com.