Pinhole - a 3D Printed Camera
The Kickstarter pitch video for Clint O'Connor's awesome pinhole camera project
The digital era is here to stay, most music is now downloaded or streamed, most movies are projecting from a digital file, most photos are taken with a digital camera and shared online, even the technophobe of all technophobes – my father – has got himself an e-reader to read books on.
While sales of mediums present before the digital revolution have dramatically fallen, some analogue technology, deemed obsolete by many, has seen a huge jump in sales. Take CDs, they ushered in the era of the digital download and in a ten year period their sales have fallen from $11.2 billion in 2002 to just $2.5 billion in 2012, they are dying a slow death. However one of the products they replaced - the vinyl record is having a renaissance. Growth in the first six-months of 2013 for vinyl was a staggering 33.5%!
Photography is going through something similar, smartphone photography is one of the most unexpected success stories of recent years. When the first iPhone was the released in 2007 the camera was somewhat of an afterthought, now it is considered to be one of the main selling points of any smartphone. In turn, the ever-improving smartphone camera is seeing a decline in the point-and-shoot digital cameras that had an astronomical growth in the first decade of this millennium.
This growth in smartphone photography and in-hand editing features such as instagram has also encouraged a growth in analogue photography. “So where does 3D printing come in?” I hear you ask; well, first 3D printing was responsible for this fantastic piece and now an analogue 3D printing photography Kickstarter project is kicking butt.
Launched just three days ago, Pinhole – a 3D printing camera, has achieved 300% of its funding goal. Created by photography obsessive and hardware developer Clint O’Connor (no relation), this fully 3D printed fully functional camera obscura takes spectacular and striking photos if you know how. The know how is not difficult to come by either, in fact it has been described as the simplest and most addictive kind of photography.
Clint has been making pinhole cameras from cardboard boxes, metal cans and modified cameras for years, he always found them difficult to reproduce on a large scale despite them reaching the number one slot on a Google search for pinhole cameras. He says that despite moving to digital for all other photography he always returns to pinhole because of the surprising results produced when allowing light to refract onto a strip of film.
The 3D printer, a Solidoodle no less, Clint purchased has changed his whole production perspective. He’s been through over 35 iterations before landing on the final design - the Flyer 6 x 6 - and he can make nine cameras per spool of ABS filament . With the funding Clint hopes to make as many cameras as possible and produce an exposure table for the Flyer 6x6. For just $20 you can get the STL and for $49 you can get your own pinhole camera.
I think you’ll agree some of the photos from Pinhole, printed are astounding and Clint has also launched a Flickr page for you to share your Pinhole photos when you get them.
Long live the analogue dream!