ZeroImage 2000 first test

I recently bought a Zero 2000 Deluxe 6x6 pinhole camera from Zero Image - a pinhole camera craftsman in Hong Kong. It comes boxed and numbered with a hand-signed card, all adding to create a feeling of receiving something very special. The wood itself is warm and looks very inviting.

I shot a test roll of Arista 200 around the farm as I tend to do for testing. There's never a lack of things to photograph there. I use an iPhone app called Pinhole Assist to get my readings, as it matches up known cameras and films, and also takes into account reciprocity, which with Arista films is quite significant.

Development was done in Caffenol CH. My negatives came out with streaks all over them, seems like I possibly hadn't quite dissolved my coffee completely in the final stage. I don't mind it on these, but it's not a mistake I want to make without intending to, and I would have preferred a clean test roll to really see what the camera is doing, but these things happen even when you've been shooting and developing film for years. It's easy to get a bit too complacent so I've learnt my lesson (I hope!). But I'm liking what I'm seeing so far. SO much that I also treated myself to his bigger brother; the 6x7 multiformat. That's next to test!

Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day 2018

Yesterday was Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day, where people all over the world go out and shoot pinhole cameras. I recently purchased a Reality So Subtle 4x5 pinhole so this was the perfect time to give it a test and experiment. 

Setting up a shot with my Reality So Subtle 4x5 camera. It's such a wonderfully made camera.

I decided to develop my paper negatives in Caffenol as I'd been wanting to experiment with this on paper. 

Caffenol recipe for paper negatives (courtesy Daphne Schnitzer, facebook)
1L water
49g washing soda
16g Vit C powder
40g instant coffee

The negatives developed quickly compared to my usual mix of dilute Ilford MG, next time I'll try diluting this one too as I like the control of slower development. I was blown away by the tonality and the sharpness that the Caffenol brings. I had a shot I'd taken a while ago for comparison, and the Caffenol negative seems to have a broader range and is much easier to scan and post process. The only trouble is that it's such a dark colour that it's impossible to see what's going on while it's developing. I do like it though, and it easily processed nine 4x5 negatives without exhausting.

Reality So Subtle 4x5 Pinhole on paper negative, developed in Caffenol.


Reality So Subtle 4x5 Pinhole on paper negative, developed in Caffenol.


I took two shots of this last one and was very interested in the results I got from the second version. It was completely accidental. First off, I post-flash my paper under my enlarger for 0.4 seconds so I get less contrast. With this one, I accidentally turned the enlarger on rather than the timer, so it effectively got about 15 seconds of light by the time I'd finished going "Ahhh shit" and trying to find the off button in the dark. 

I decided I'd throw it in the developer anyway as it was the last one to be done, and it developed very dark and very quickly. It didn't seem worth saving so i threw it in some water and turned on my darkroom light to check on the previous ones. Turning my head, I noticed a faint image on the paper, so I had to run to turn off the light and throw the print into the fixer, figuring that this would have really completely buggered it anyway. When I turned the light back on, I could see I still had a faint image, I was completely surprised. Scanned it up and was blown away by my results. I absolutely love it. Now to go and find expired, fogged papers to get this result on purpose!

Reality So Subtle 4x5 Pinhole on very fogged paper negative, developed in Caffenol.

Vintage Diana tests

I recently bought a lot of 3 original Diana cameras from South America and got to test them. The one with the best lens has a permanent light leak which I can't find the source of (naturally!) but the others are fine and still work very well. They all have a very unique look and are a lot of fun to use. The cameras are probably from somewhere around the 60's though it's very hard to tell as the design remained the same throughout it's production. 

Diana 1: Tri-X400 developed in Rodinal 1:25 because I was in a hurry!

Diana 2: Tri-X 400 developed in Caffenol CL semi-stand. this was a bit of an experiment with process as I hadn't developed Tri-X in Caffenol and had read many people saying it didn't work well. I found a process that was recommended at it didn't turn out too badly. I'll probably choose Rodinal in future specifically for Tri-X though, but it was very much useable.

This is the camera with the light leak. I patched it up somewhat in Photoshop in these ones, but more of the images just didn't work well because of it.

Diana 3: Tri-X 400 developed in Rodinal 1:50 (my usual)