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Thread: 8banners Pinhole camera

  1. #1

    Default 8banners Pinhole camera

    Hi all,

    Remember in the good ol’days where you do pinhole cameras out of shoebox during your youth.

    Have you ever thought if proper & nicely done images can be shot with a properly constructed pinhole cameras? Ever thought of creating the artistic & uniquely dreamy images using the basic of all photography? Yes….Welcome to the World of Pinhole Photography.

    Allow me to introduce the exquisite series of Pinhole cameras by 8Banners Pinhole cameras (八旗针孔摄像机).

    The 8Banners pinhole cameras website (I created it for your conveneience to view the pictures) can be accessed at Flickr: Jeff @ 8Banner Cams' Photostream

    The 8Banners pinhole cameras were innovated and designed by the artful Mr Zhao He Zhen (赵和震)in Shenzhen, China.

    Being a pinhole photoenthusiast, Mr Zhao has always work on how to bring a good tool to people who has no technical knowledge about design and building a pinhole camera. Accummulating the experience and spending many years on the innovation on design and worksmanship, he present to the world the pinhole cameras from 8 Banners.

    8Banners pride themselves with high quality worksmanship of all our pinhole cameras. The various camera models represent pieces of exquisite artworks and excellent worksmanship that we bring from gallery into reality in your camera body. The design were conceived based on what a photographer really need rather than what we want you to accept from the designer.

    I chanced upon this beautifully hand made pinhole camera when I met Mr Zhao at a photo conference in Ping Yao in China in 2006. We had a good chat and went on to become friends for many years talking about pinhole photography. For many years, I have witness the evolution of the design of the pinhole camera made by him. It started with camphor wood and bamboo material that build the body to what you see today using powder coated steel body.

    But personally, I still like the old school Camphor wood ones as they emit a sense of nostalgic when you see them.

    But what makes the pinhole camera so magical that it attracted many people to this simple camera device. It is basically a black box with light seal, armed with a image capture media (in this case, the film) and a shutter assembly that opens and close in split seconds.

    It is that simple! Even my 6 year old kid is taking great pictures.

    Why are they different?
    • Outstanding workmanship.
    • Piece of Art, a collectible
    • Interchangeable aperture opening for different focal length capabilities.
    • Unique but useful features:

    o Viewfinder scope
    o Bubble level built in
    o Compass built in
    o Film advance counter
    o Exposure calculation built in
    o Easy loading
    o Easy aperture trigger mechanism
    o Tripod mount included
    o Easy to select format for film
    o Availability of replaceable parts

    The current models are:

    1. The 45 model

    Dimension : 165x140x35mm
    Weight : 650g
    Material of Body : Waxed Hardwood / metallic finish
    Pinhole diameter : 0.2mm
    Focal Length : 30mm
    Angle of Coverage : 135 degree
    F-Stop Equivalent:F150
    Film Format:45
    Film used:45

    • Takes 45 film negative
    • Comes in a redwood box that is also a pinhole camera itself that accepts 68 sized paper or negative.
    • Superb worksmanship combining the beauty of metal and wooden body.
    • Intricate and artistic rendition of relief carving on the metallic surface, embodies functionality and art in the same instance.

    2.The Mb model (612)

    Dimension :190x90x32 mm
    Weight : 430gram
    Material of Body :Aluminium Composite
    Diameter of Pinhole :0.2mm
    Focal Length :27mm
    Angle of coverage :136 degree
    F – Stop equivalent :F135
    Film format:612 / 69 / 66 / 645
    Film used:120

    • Takes 120mm film negative.
    • Capable of recording in multi formats like 64.5 inch, 66 inch, 67 inch, 69 inch and the panoramic 612 inch on the same body.

    3.The Ma Model (66 inch, wide Angle format)

    Dimension : 135x90x32 mm
    Weight : 350 grams
    Material of body : Aluminium Composite.
    Pinhole size (diameter) : 0.2mm
    Focal Length : 18mm
    Angle of coverage : 134 degree
    F-Stop equivalent : F90
    Film format : 66 & 645
    Film used :120 format

    • Takes 120mm film negative
    • Capable of taking 66 inch or 64.5 images on the negatives on the same body.
    • Able to capture an equivalent of 17mm scope of view in 35mm perspective.
    • Handy size, easy to carry around.

    Like to know more, drop me a message.

    Alternatively you can also get more information from : Flickr: Jeff @ 8Banner Cams' Photostream or
    visit my blog at:

    In my next post I will be showcasing more of the images have shot on these beautiful camera.
    Last edited by ed9119; 16th April 2012 at 11:29 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator ed9119's Avatar
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    Default Re: 8banners Pinhole camera

    Great introduction Arywn !!
    Last edited by ed9119; 17th April 2012 at 12:01 AM.
    shaddap and just shoot .... up close

  3. #3

    Default Re: 8banners Pinhole camera

    Here's the whole collection of the pinhole cameras that I had previously. This was one of the occasion that I brought the entire collection out together with images that I captured using these cameras in proper frame. They look very good when they are framed up!

    Looking back at the earlier prototype models.....

    The Ma (earlier wooden version) model 6x6 frame

    Mb (6x12, earlier camphor wood model)

  4. #4
    Moderator ed9119's Avatar
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    Default Re: 8banners Pinhole camera

    seriously ...... O M G ........

    would you care to share with the youngsters how these cameras worked ? No shutter button ? Aperture ? No Lens ?

    How to load ?
    Last edited by ed9119; 16th April 2012 at 11:50 PM.
    shaddap and just shoot .... up close

  5. #5

    Default Re: 8banners Pinhole camera

    The next model is the Dragon model that is capable of capturing 6x18 frame on medium format film.

    The earlier model is made from bamboo body and is very durable and can take very good tensile strength because of the elasticity of the material inherent in bamboo.

    However, this particular model had been discontinued in 2008 and have been replaced with the metallic model of Dragon 2.

    Please note that there was previously a lot of research done on the Turret assembly that is mounted in front of the Dragon 2 model so that we could mount multiple types of shutter plates with different pinhole design on it to give different effects on the output. However, the high costs and high precision needed to align & assemble the turret assembly made the maker gave up the project and very limited quantity was actually produced and released into the market.

    There was about 5 of people around the world that we converse every night over skype to help Mr Zhao with ideas and improvement to the metallic models after we met him at the photo conference in China. The final products was the efforts of many sleepless night spent on improving the final models. I was one of the 5 person that went crazy with the design & functionality because I fell in love with it the day I first saw it.
    Last edited by ed9119; 16th April 2012 at 11:52 PM.

  6. #6
    Moderator ed9119's Avatar
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    Default Re: 8banners Pinhole camera

    thanks for sharing a piece of history with us as well as educating us on the world of Pinhole cameras !!

    cant wait to see more photos

    your thread is featured on the Clubsnap Photography Community FB page

    ClubSNAP Photography Community | Facebook
    shaddap and just shoot .... up close

  7. #7

    Default Re: 8banners Pinhole camera

    The camera are all similar in mechanism with the exception of the Large Format 4x5 model.

    The operating procedures for shooting are as follows:

    1. First you need to mount the camera on a tripod with the tripod mount on the underside of the camera. This give stability to the image capture as the minimum exposure time is a minimum of a few seconds and no human can handheld without shakiness.

    2. Look through the lens scope mounted on the top of the camera body for composing & size up the imae you want. The image you see through the scope is a fish eye effect. The width of the coverage in the scope is approximately the actual width you see with your bare eyes.

    3. If you look at the shutter assembly mounted on any of the model, they look alike. It is a spring loaded device. When you push down the green lever, the shutter is opened. When the exposure time is up, just press the red colour lever and the shutter is shut close.

    4. The loading of the film are like what you load medium format film into the medium format camera. No tricks, just need 2 film reels to do the rolling and secure with the spindle in the camera body.

    It's that simple.....

  8. #8

    Default Re: 8banners Pinhole camera

    In the next few threads, I will be sharing images made with the different models of the 8banners pinhole cameras.

    The first model is called Mb, capable of doing 4 format of images - 645, 6x6, 6x9 & 6x12 film frame format. This is also my favourite camera model among them.

  9. #9
    Member xsaifuddin's Avatar
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    Where can I get one of these pinhole cameras? Thanks.

  10. #10

    Default Re: 8banners Pinhole camera

    Sadly, the cameras had been discontinued since 2006. I bought over the entire stock from the producers then. But today I only have 2 sets of the large fromat 4x5 model left. None of the other models are in stock anymore.

    So whoever have this camera above, you are holding a collectibles and a legacy.

  11. #11

    Default Re: 8banners Pinhole camera

    The next set of 6x6 inch images are captured on the Ma model which is capable of shooting medium format film in 6x4.5 & 6x6 format. The camera is a very light weight and is small enpough to carry around easily.
    This series was shot at the Thiam Hock Temple along Telok Ayer Street with Provia 100 film.

  12. #12
    Moderator ed9119's Avatar
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    Default Re: 8banners Pinhole camera

    lovely stuff Jeff !!

    incredible what a light-tight box with a tiny hole without a single lens element can do
    Last edited by ed9119; 27th April 2012 at 11:58 PM.
    shaddap and just shoot .... up close

  13. #13

    Default Re: 8banners Pinhole camera

    One of the most wonderful thing about shooting on a 4x5 large format pinhole from 8banners is the big big imnage you get on the film.
    In additiuon, when you purchase the 4x5 model, you are in fact getting 2 camera in one purchase. The reason is because there is a 4x5 pinhole camera inside. The box that holds the 4x5 camera is also a 8x10 pinhole camera. So, you get 2 camera in a set.

    When I am adventurous, I put in a 8x10 B&W paper into the external box and expose it directly. Thereafter, I develop the image directly in the darkroom in developer, stop bath & fixer.

    Below i will share with you some images I shot using Fujifilm provia 100 positive 4x5 inch slide film.

  14. #14

    Default Re: 8banners Pinhole camera

    Amazing pictures, many thanks for sharing!


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