Back in July, I walked you through the initial build for my Agipinfold, an Agifold 6×6 camera converted to pinhole. It’s time for part two.

The pinhole is still held on with blue tack….. I don’t want to commit to that hole yet as it’s the most important element of this project. I may make another one, I may well buy a laser-drilled shim from one of the many pinhole emporiums you can find online. Dunno yet.

So, beta testing.

Conversion completed, almost

I own a camera from eight out of the ten decades of the 20th Century. All see service on rotation, so consequently, I wasn’t phased at the thought of using the 1940’s era AgiPinFold. 

It’s doesn’t get much more basic:

  • Load roll.
  • Peep through red window for frame numbers.
  • Light meter and set exposure time.
  • Cock the shutter
  • Compose, press the button (or plunge the cable release).
  • Wind on.

The first three frames I shot I forgot to wind on — I put that down to nervous excitement. Alas, I don’t have any great love for multiple exposures. As long as you can remember the basic operating procedure it all runs smoothly.

I also absentmindedly wound on twice a couple of times, leaving me with a blank frame, and wasted silver halides. I have sworn under my breath a few times recently.

The Beta testing was also an opportunity for light tightness testing. As you will see, there is a leak. It’s consistent in appearance (top left of frame).

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After spotting it in roll one I Gaffer taped the back up and it was still there on roll two. I surmise this is a bellows issue but have no inclination to take the bellows apart. I’ll live with it for a while longer.

I found using the AgiPinFold immense fun; if film photography slows you down — all the factors you must consider so as not to waste precious film — pinhole slows you down further still: elongated exposure times, reciprocity adjustments, watching the clock. 

One thing I have discovered a need for is a stable tripod. My GorillaPod is just too wobbly. 

A decent cable release is also an absolute must, even for ‘short’ exposures of a few seconds. Handling a camera at these speeds at the best of times can be precarious. Unless you are deliberately going for camera shake.

So far I have shot five black and white rolls in the AgiPinFold. Selections from rolls one and two (ILFORD Delta 400 Professional and HP5 PLUS follow below. The 3rd, 4th and 5th roll I shot as part of my job as a photography tutor, I cannot include any of these frames due to learner confidentiality. I am pleased to report that all 12 frames from those three rolls came out perfect! Even with the light leak.

My learners all had a fantastic time using the camera and loved their pinhole portraits, I will certainly be including analogue photography in my lesson plans come September and the start of a new term. 

As for the AgiPinFold – I have rolls of 14-year expired Velvia in my stash – colour transparency pinholing is next on the cards….. I guess that lines me up for another 5 Frames With… article, doesn’t it?

~ Toby

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About the author

Avatar - Toby Van de Velde

After 13 years as a local news staff photographer, with a healthy little freelance business on the side, I have now launched into the world of the full-time freelancer. This blog will document the highs and lows of my photographic way of life as I talk about...

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