A few days ago I added a new camera to my collection, a Harman Titan 4x5" pinhole camera. These cameras are still made and available to buy new but I bought this one used from a fellow photographer on Facebook. Previously I had a lens board with a pinhole insert for my Intrepid 4x5 but I rarely used it and I ended up tossing it in with the body when I sold it.
Yesterday I took the kit down to Narracan Falls for a test run. My first impression... WOW... so light and compact! The camera body weighs next to nothing, the only other equipment I took were two film holders, a light meter, and a light weight tripod. Everything (except the tripod) went into a little shoulder bag. I am used to carting upwards of 15kg of gear in a heavy-duty backpack so this was a welcome change.
An exposure calculator is available from the Harman website but, as far as I can tell, doesn't factor for reciprocity failure. I figured it would be too hard to work out exposure times for F/206 by counting on my fingers so I made a file with adjusted times for the film stocks I regularly use and installed it on my phone.
As there is no way of viewing the scene before you take the shot, (you basically just point the camera in the general direction of your subject), I downloaded an Android app called "Magic Film Viewfinder". You input the film size (4x5") and the focal length (72mm) and the app uses your phone's camera to show the scene as per your input. I have my doubts as to how accurate this app is as the aspect ratio did not look right but it did help a bit. I'll try and find a better version.
If I could change one thing about this camera it would be the shutter mechanism, or lack thereof. To make an exposure you pull out the darkslide and remove the pinhole cap, count off the seconds then replace the cap and re-insert the darkslide. It's just a bit of an awkward process; some kind of sliding contraption over the pinhole would reduce the chance of spoiling the shot through bumping the camera.
I have to say though, I am really satisfied with this first outing - it was loads of fun really. This pinhole stuff could become a whole new way of life for me.
Images shot on Fomapan 200, metered at 160 ASA.
Stand developed in Rodinal at 1:100 for one hour.
Scanned by photographing the negative with my D800 with an old 28-105mm F/3.5-4.5 D macro lens.
Image inversion, levels adjustment, and re-sized in Photoshop. No other edits.