but will take pictures without a lens!
If you go in for landscapes, historic building, sylvan glades or any subject that will stay put for five to ten minutes, you can make some mighty nice pictures and have a lot of fun through a pinhole.
No lens is needed because the pinhole serves as the lens. Likewise you can forget about film. Just use single weight glossy No. 3 enlarging paper.
All you need is a box, two pieces of glass, a dab of glue, some black Scotch tape and some heavy black paper. Tape the edges and corners with strips of the black tape to make it light tight.
If you intend to use 4x5 in. paper, make the ends of the box slightly larger in both dimensions. The length should be about 6 in. The two pieces of glass should be just a hair more than 4x5 in. and hinged together on one of the long sides with a very narrow strip of tape. This will be your “plate holder.”
In one end of the box cut a hole about 1 in. square. Over this glue a piece of black paper. Appropriate the thinnest needle in the family sewing kit, hold vit over a flame with a pair of pliers until it is red hot, then quickly but very, very carefully press just the “tip of the tip” through the black paper. This will be your lens. It probably will be about f-780; that is what you can tell your friends when they ask, “What was the exposure?”
Inside the box, up the two sides and about a quarter of an inch from the rear end, glue a narrow strip of thin wood or heavy cardboard. This will make a channel for the plate holder. Cut a slot across the extreme rear end of the top, wide enough to accommodate the plate holder. Make a black paper sheath that will slide snugly over the box, leaving only the front end exposed. Next, cut a circular piece of black paper an inch in diameter for lens cap.
In a darkroom under a red light put a piece of enlarging paper between the pieces of glass. Insert this loaded plate holder in the slot, with the emulsion side of the paper toward the pinhole. Slide the black paper sleeve over the box to prevent light leaks around the plate holder slot, leaving only the pinhole end of the box exposed, make sure your lens cap is closed. Now you’re ready for the light of day.
When taking the picture Test the box upon something solid. Detach the lens cap, light up a cigarette and wait for five or ten minutes while the scene records itself.
Expose so that the paper negative will take the full recommended time to come up in the developer. If it comes up too fast and you have to yank it, it will be blotchy.
Fix the negative, wash and ferrotype it. Put it in a printing frame as you would a film negative and print it on another piece of enlarging paper.
If you do not have a printing frame, use two pieces of glass, slightly larger than the paper. Clamp the paper between the glass by means of spring-type clothes pins, one at each corner.
You can, if you prefer, use cut film in the plate holder instead of enlarging paper. If you do, your exposure time will be reduced considerably. However, you will have just as much fun with paper.
How does all that picture get through that little pinhole? Never you mind, it gets through all right!