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terraPin OSKAR Lochkamera (pinhole camera)

by schlem Nov 13, 2016
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Hi there, great design! Three quick questions for ya...

1) I wonder if you've given any thought to adding an accessory (cold) shoe, for a viewfinder (or other) attachment? Maybe it could be integrated with the "acme clipper"? Just a thought. :)

2) Have other people done remixes (or add-ons), or have all of those sorts of things been handled by you?

3) Any hits/tips/suggestions on how to get better results with the tripod screw mount? Mine came out not even close to usable. I've attached a pic to show it... Here's a dropbox link to the image too, in case Thingiverse doesn't actually attach the image: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/mdaj9e4l4el1tpr/AAAMCl9yYPZsuWG5B1werVi6a?dl=0

Thanks for sharing this, it's pretty awesome!

Thanks for the kind words. I'm proud of the OSKAR cameras, and I think they are as good or better than any pinhole cameras you might buy. But feedback from photographers is exactly what helped me iterate my designs.

in order:
1) I haven't added a cold shoe to any of my designs for a couple of reasons. First, there is the matter of precision; getting the tolerances right for production accessories that might fit into the cold shoe becomes a frustrating exercise for the end user. Designing printed parts that fit well is not difficult when they are printed on the same printer, but getting precisely the right fit for production parts- without a spring - is devilishly hard. Also, there aren't viewfinders that correspond with the angles of views of my cameras, so I never saw the point. I do put sight lines on my cameras, and with a little practice they are very effective for framing, when composing photographs at pinhole speeds.

2) Although the licensing of my cameras permits remixing, I have seen few such attempts. Look to earlier cameras, like the P6*6 for a few remixes / add-ons.

3) 3Dprinted threads are cooler in theory than practice. They are easier for some people than sourcing the proper flanged nut, but they are also only slightly stronger than cheese. Very easy to strip out. You may be able to gently chase them out with a 1/4-20 bolt, and I would recommend that you use a tripod plate that remains attached to your camera body to minimize the stress and wear on the cheese. You can get inserts that are seated with a hot soldering iron, that give you robust threads, and that works well. You would just drill out the base of the body, seat the insert, and cover the top of the hole (inside the camera) with gaffer or electrical tape. I print the OSKAR bodies with a recess for a flanged 1/4-20 nut and a snap-fit cover. I am not sure why I haven't included that STL in the files. The 6x9 Tuxedo version of the OSKAR has that configuration. I would shoot you the STL, but I recently moved and the Schlaboratory is still in boxes. I have a lot of projects going on right now, but let me see what I can do to get that solution to you. If you don't hear from me in a week or so, please, please ping me. I get easily distracted and if I forget, it's not personal.

I've printed all the parts and am working on assembly! Spent the night trimming the lips off the buildplate side of all the pieces. I am making progress but have a few steps that have me stumped. I'll post a picture of my leftover parts tomorrow, but what do you do with the little hexagon piece and the little circle piece? The rectangle piece with the arrow doesn't fit in the designated spot--can I just trim the ends? The other thing I can't figure out is the film winder shaft. Is there one that I can print? Thanks so much for sharing your designs and all the help.

  • Hexagonal piece: pinhole mount, sandwiches pinhole between camera body and hex piece. Held captive by shutter disc.
  • Round piece (with hole): intended to use with translucent disc for frame counter in back of camera body. Intended to reinforce plastic disc. optional.
  • Top frame (rectangle piece with arrow): snaps into top of camera. Tip it into place at angle. I still use a dab of cyanoacrylate to tag it down.

Not sure about "film winder shaft" Print "terrapin_oskar_winders.stl" (3rd item down in files list) WITH SUPPORT.

Lemmy know if my assumptions are wrong.

I just came on to say that I figured out the hexagonal and round pieces! I didn't realize when I ordered a pre-made pinhole (not enough time to make one) that the particular one I bought came mounted in a 2 cm x 0.6 mm aluminum disc, while the depression on the camera is for a small hexagon. Having already printed the camera body, I spent part of today with a dremel and a file. I'll post part of the saga when I post my make so that others can learn from it!

The other thing I was asking about is the spool that the film winds onto after you take a picture and advance the film. I believe this is the correct piece: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:606513 Once you have taken a picture, do you turn both knobs to advance the film or just the left knob (IIRC, film gets loaded on the right and advances to the left)?

Printable 120 film spool
by schlem

Ah, Excellent. Yes, if you don't have a spare spool, printing one is a great way to get started. When you're done, you'll have the spool that the first roll of film came wrapped around. For the OSKAR 6x6 or 6x9, turning the one knob is usually fine, but with a printed and glued spool, it may be prudent to be gentle and use both knobs to avoid breaking the uptake spool. The 6x6 can actually load on either side. I oriented the arrow to wind on the right. The 6x9 MUST wind on the left or the index numbers will be messed up.

Another question sorry. 29mm focal length and 0.23mm pinhole would be f126. But you included a exposure chart for f135, is my maths out or is there another reason for this?

Hi Steve
I'm pretty sure that you are correct. I don't have the specific numbers handy, but the difference between the center and the corners/edges is at least a couple of stops. The distance from the pinhole to the edge is farther than to the center of the frame. Ergo, the f-number for the corner is correspondingly bigger than that for the center. f/135 is a compromise between the difference.

Where did you get the wood grain "leatherette" ?

If printing with PLA, could you not flock the camera?

By "flock", I assume you mean apply some kind of opaque covering to the inside/outside surface. I have tried painting translucent PLA cameras, and it's an ugly hack. There's a guy on Thingiverse who has printed a bunch of my cameras and he wraps em in gaffer tape.

This kind of silliness is unnecessary: OPAQUE PLA EXISTS. I am currently using eSun Black PLA and Matterhackers Jet Grey PLA.
"Flocking" not required. The eSun prints as well as any PLA I have ever used and is less than US$25 / kilogram. You should be able to leave a camera, loaded with film, sitting in bright light indefinitely without worrying about your film fogging and destroying photographs.

For the record, I do apply a flat black acrylic on the inside surfaces of the camera that could potentially cause internal reflections. But I don't rely on paint for opacity.

I want to build a pinhole cam and found that you have several models. I like this one the most but im worried that its still work in progress. so my question is: do you expect any major changes to the design and have you put it to the test?

and thank you for making this available to us :)

Hi hmou!
There are no major changes planned for the OSKAR. The camera is very much a finished design. I would still like to flesh out the instructions a bit, though. The photos you see here were made with the OSKAR and there should be a link to the growing collection of images. I am shooting this camera, right now, on holiday in Dubai, and I have high hopes for the results. The "tuxedo" version allows for decorating the body with leatherette (cut to the templates), but you could use any thin sheet material (con-tact paper, magazine photos, your kid's artwork...). Please let me know if you have questions, or if I can help in any way.

Thanks man this is awesome. Im gonna give it a go and update you on the results.

Is the 'Oscar' a derivative of the 'Prime'? I see some similar parts here (such as the shutter and box).
Also which Matterhackers black PLA do you use, their 'standard' ($27) or their 'pro'($35)?

More a derivative of the ACME, influenced by the Prime. I took the parts that I liked best from both designs (rotating shutter, slide-lock cap, fastener-less assy) and super-collided them into the OSKAR. I should put that derivative info in the page, but I accidentally published this before I had it documented and you can't roll it back without deleting it (!!) So, still in progress.

As to the Matterhackers PLA, I tested Black Pro - NOT OPAQUE, Rigid.ink makes a great opaque black PLA, which is what I am using lately. Matterhackers Pro gun metal gray is opaque also. More info HERE

terraPin ACME 6X6 (6x9, 6X4.5) Pinhole Cameras - 120 film
by schlem
terraPin Prime 6X6 Pinhole Camera -120 Film
by schlem
PLA Opacity Tool
by schlem

Sounds like the Oscar should be a good 'first' pinhole camera then (Though I also like the looks of the ACME series, a 4x5 OSCAR would be nice too).
Matterhackers describes their standard PLA ($27) as Opaque, (figures that the first two choices on your list are currently out of stock, and the #2 is an import from the UK).

I still have a few fractional KG cardboard spools of some 'surplus' black PLA I bought on Ebay a few years back at a super cheap price when I first built my Repstrap. The stuff passes your Opaque test object with flying colors, it's the blackest black PLA I've ever seen. I have no idea who made it or where I could buy more. (CTTOI I think there might have been a brand name on the box, if I still have the original box .... )

Ha If I had a dollar for every time I tried a PLA filament described by the mfr as "opaque" and found it not to be...
...I'd have, like, 12 bucks.

I've been buying Rigid.Ink from Amazon at same price, but Prime = free shipping.

The ACME is absolutely the easiest to print and assemble, but if you can manage finding the one screw and lock nut, OSKAR has a better shutter. And far better looks IMHO.

What do you think the prospects are for using OSKAR with 35mm film to do sprocket hole/pinhole photography? I'm thinking of combining him with things 323120 and 522005.

I can't think of a reason why that wouldn't work splendidly. You will want to make extra double-plus careful that the indexing window is taped off so that no stray light comes through the back to ruin your exposures. Indexing with 35mm is always wasteful, but you have lots of film in a 36 exp roll. The film clip has the potential to scratch film without backing paper, so I wouldn't use it for 35mm. If your knobs are nice and snug, the friction will keep your film from moving. And since you rewind the film into the cassette, you don't need the film clip anyway. Let me know how it works, and very interested in your thoughts on instructions (in progress). Always available for questions!