Last week I revisited an old favourite spot for landscape photography. I have made many photos on this field/hill ¹ ² ³. I wanted to finally try my noon pinhole camera while the weather was nice and bright enough for pinhole photography.
This isn’t a review, but here are some thoughts on the camera. The craftsmanship and finish of the wooden camera is nice, but could be better by polishing all four sides of the camera the same colour. That said, it looks good on a shelf. It would make a nice gift for a photographer. Appearances and build quality aside, and with practicality in mind, its a little bulky. A spirit level is absent (I taped one on) and the body doesn’t have composition aids, things you find on the excellent reality so subtle cameras. The shutter, a simple sliding piece of felted wood, is okay in that it works but once or twice while walking it would slide open by itself despite being relatively tight against the wood. The pinhole itself looks efficient and clean with no defects. The back of the camera features a hole for frame numbers which I taped up, not trusting it on a very bright day.
The images the camera produces are sharp enough, not to a reality so subtle standard, but fine in pinhole terms. The images also have vignetting issues, commonly found in most pinhole cameras that don’t curve. The vignetting seems very pronounced at the top of the frame, rather than the usually balanced subtle drop off towards the centre which is often the case for pinhole photography.
Here are a few images taken on expired kodak ektar and souped in, what I didn’t know at the time, exhausted c41 developer. Lots of funky colours which I tried to sort out on scanning the film.
Noon do not make this particular model anymore, instead they make a more refined version which appears to resolve some of the negative aspects such as size and weight. I should also note as this is more a hand made item, rather than manufactured. Logically each camera and it’s results will be a little different from one to the next.
I don’t think the camera is practical, it lacks composition aids and seems overly bulky making it awkward to use. It is however a solid working camera with simple moving parts and no electronics, that will out live most film cameras.