Pinhole cameras have always something magical about them, because they go back to the basics of photography: no lens, no shutter, just a pinhole, a box and a film... The Pinhole Blender mini 120 is one of these magic cameras.
As soon as I discovered the Pinhole Blender cameras in a LSI newsletter, I was seduced: first, because I love pinhole cameras, and second – because these nice little round metal boxes looked so great that I couldn’t resist to buy one immediately!
The Pinhole Blender family consists of 6 different models, in 120 & 35 mm format allowing to create fascinating & surrealist images (go to the pinhole blender site for more info about this family).
I ordered the Pinhole Blender mini 120, that means that it works with 120 Film format and the “mini” is a bit smaller than the “original” one, and even if I didn’t try the “original” one, I think the “mini” has much more distortion in the shots as the “curve” of the box is stronger.
The camera comes with a little instruction paper and a very useful conversion table of the exposure times to apply for shooting. There are also 2 little “magnet” reminders (clever idea of the “magnet” because you just can put it on the box while shooting to never forget the basic exposure rules.
Then you have 2 different pinholes: a real pinhole of f:200 one and and a “zone plate” of f:64 (a pinhole with a wider aperture that means shorter exposure times but with a more blurry effect on the edges). You can choose then to shoot individual images or blending the images together, all depends of how much you advance the film after each shot (and can produce some surprising results…)
I only tried out 2 b&w films in f:200 pinhole mode for the moment and I’m still in the “testing” time of this camera, but I wanted to share my first results and impressions about this cam with you (and I will add new shots to this entry as soon as I got some. What I really like is that this little box is easy to carry around, easy to put anywhere because of its shape (and you also got a tripod mount on the bottom of the cam) and how the people around you are looking at you, and some of them are asking what you’re doing there… And it’s a nice way to show the people that you can produce pictures with such “basic” cameras and not only digital ones.