I’ve just extended my range of pinhole cameras with a Reality So Subtle 6x6F model. I haven’t taken any photos OF the camera yet but there’s a range of images on the supplier website.
I already have a Ondu multi-format pinhole which can be adjusted to make 6×6, 6×9, or 6×12 images – and I can swap the lens in my Intrepid 4×5 for a pinhole – so why buy another pinhole which can only manage one of those image sizes ? Well of course, I didn’t need another pinhole, but the reason I wanted the RSS camera was so that I could attach screw-in filters for contrast control, to force a longer exposure, and for creating infra-red images.
I used to be able to fit 52mm filters to my Holga WPC 120 pinhole camera; it didn’t have a thread but the filters could be pushed on and, if necessary, a bit of blu-tack applied. But since the Holga fell apart, that isn’t an option anymore.
Ondu themselves have a new Mk III range of cameras on the way, which will have a snap-on filter system, but they’re not actually available yet, and they are considerably more expensive. The wooden Ondu cameras are, to my eyes, much more attractive than the black High Impact Polystyrene of the RSS models, but not every camera has to be a work of art and I’m happy to trade artistry against cost on some occasions.
For my first trip I took the RSS 6*9F to North Blyth, a harbour in Northumberland which has a bit of an end-of-the-world feel to it because not many people have a reason to go there; but there is still industrial activity there.
Before the trip I’d read reviews of the camera which remarked that the angle of view is very wide – 99 degrees according to the supplier. This is something like the equivalent of 15-17mm in 35mm terms (although since the RSS 6×6 gives square images compared to the 3×2 ratio of 35mm/digital full frame, that’s not a very good comparison).
The advice I heard was to get as close as you think you need to be to your subject, and then get closer! I followed that advice on my first image above so the camera was only a few inches away from the foreground rope.
You can click on any of these images for a larger view.
My initial impressions of the Reality So Subtle 6x6F are that:
- It’s light and compact
- It produces relatively sharp images, by pinhole standards
- I found the top-loading method of loading the film a bit awkard, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it.
- I found it difficult to read the frame numbers through the red window on the back of the camera.
Since the red window has a cover so it won’t be open long, perhaps the red plastic could be a bit lighter. I did manage to mis-read the numbers and ended up with 11 exposed frames instead of ten. I also had one accidental double-exposure, but that’s user error and not the fault of the camera. Still, 10 useable frames out of a possible 12 isn’t bad going for pinhole.
For completeness, here’s the double exposure, because some people like them. It’s the water tower, both from outside and underneath:
I’m looking forward to using this camera again soon.