Paper Negatives

Cameras, Film, Paper and Chemicals

Very early on in photography, they used paper as a negative. And to make a positive print they would sandwich a sheet of sensitised paper below the paper negative, pass light over it and produce a positive print.

I thought I would have a go and used my 5×4 inch camera for this – shooting with a 250mm lens then a 150mm lens. I exposed onto standard multigrade printing paper, giving it a rating of 10 ISO. For a first attempt I was quite impressed. Printing paper isn’t sensitive to blue light, so the pictures are quite pale, but its still a success for me and something else I’ve tried and learnt from.

5×4 Pinhole Camera. F233. Multigrade paper. 10 ISO.

An expensive failure…


I spent an afternoon taking pictures with my Hasselblad.

Unbeknown to me, the film magazine was broken, letting in light and ruining the film.

A costly breakage as I lost picture moments that I can never get back.

I don’t think I’ll be using this camera for a while.

5×4 inch Pinhole Camera

Cameras, Film, Paper and Chemicals

I recently bought a 5×4 pinhole camera. Its a box, and instead of a lens there is a very small hole. Smaller than a needle. And on the back is a holder to load a sheet-film holder. I was out to do a shoot in Argyll so I packed the camera just incase I had some spare time. On the way back I stopped off in Arrochar and shot a few sheets of 5×4 inch film. The pinhole has an aperture of f233. So it takes a bit of calculating to estimate the exposure. Actually, my exposures were not that far off.

The pinhole camera. Snapped with my phone.

5×4 Pinhole Camera. HP5. D75. Exposure about 2 minutes.


Two new friends…

Cameras, Film, Paper and Chemicals

These are my two new friends. A Zeiss Ikon and a Balda Baldix. The Zeiss is a German camera and I think the Zeiss was made in the late 40’s, hence its complicated build. The Balda was also made in Germany, Dresden I think, and was made in the 1950’s – hence its streamlined looks. Both cameras take 120 roll-film and I’m looking forwards to using them. The Zeiss has an 80mm f2.8 lens and the Balda a 75mm f3.5 lens, which means that its a bit slower than the Zeiss, and maybe for sunny days only.