Saturday, May 19, 2007

Dirkon pinhole camera

For my birthday, my brother printed the plans of the Dirkon pinhole camera for me. I spent quite a few nights slowly constructing it while watching TV at the same time. It just happened that April 29, 2007 was Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day, so I took it out for a spin.

Former Soviet Union rangefinders are Russian clones of German design, and the quality can be quite good; my Dirkon is an American (your truly) clone of Czechoslovakia design, and quality is awful... I got light leaks everywhere and the film advance mechanism is totally suspect. The spacing between each frame is quite large, and sometimes I forgot to turn the knob enough and got some overlapping frames. At the end of the roll, I didn't know and forced the film advance knob to turn, and broke it... The lens hood also popped off at the end of the roll...
Sounds like an awful experience? Well, not at all. There is something about going back to the most basic kind of camera that gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling. The results remind me of the first photograph of a person at Wikipedia. My photos were blurry and mostly overexposed, but there's no denying the unique character of them. I doubt can I replicate the effect in Photoshop. The most satisfying thing is that I constructed this camera by my own hands. Putting a pinhole body cap on an SLR body is easy; making the entire body is something on another level. I can only imagine how Mr. Yasuhara felt when he created the T981.


(Dirkon pinhole x Kroger 200)