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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:30 pm 
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Back in 1987-89 I experimented with taking B&W photos of my 1/700 waterline ship models using a pinhole camera lens. A pinhole lens gives great depth of field and allows one to get very close to the model and still get a relatively sharp image. Exposure times varied between 2-5 minutes which necessitated mounting the camera on a tripod and using a shutter release cable. For "water" I used scrunched up plastic Saran-wrap laid out over a large swatch of black velveteen material. Background sky was an HO-scale railroad photographic backdrop with clouds printed on it. Overhead lighting was a standard shoplight with two fluorescent bulbs.

Funnel smoke and gunfire were simulated using a cotton ball dirtied up with powdered graphite and then shaking it for a minute or two during the exposure. The long exposure times often washed out the finer details (and the clouds) but that was sometimes okay because I wanted to replicate the look of old WWII naval photos.

The ships pictured are Japanese carriers Akagi and Shinano and British battleship HMS Rodney.

Has anyone else tried doing this type of photography with their ship models?


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AKAGI-01.jpg
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AKAGI-02.jpg
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RODNEY-01.jpg
RODNEY-01.jpg [ 40.79 KiB | Viewed 1391 times ]
RODNEY-02.jpg
RODNEY-02.jpg [ 32.85 KiB | Viewed 1391 times ]
SHINANO-01.jpg
SHINANO-01.jpg [ 34.69 KiB | Viewed 1391 times ]
SHINANO-02.jpg
SHINANO-02.jpg [ 33.24 KiB | Viewed 1391 times ]
SHINANO-04.jpg
SHINANO-04.jpg [ 33.05 KiB | Viewed 1391 times ]
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:39 am
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Location: Harlan, Kentucky, U.S.A.
Interesting effect. I've never tried anything like that. I do well to take straight up photos of my models to post here. The do look very much like period photos of the real ships. Well done.

Bob

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:21 pm 
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Here are a few more pinhole lens waterline ship model shots. The Yamato one is a forced perspective shot. The foreground model (1/700 scale) was the aft end of IJN carrier Akagi. The IJN Yamato model in the background (as if anchored at some deep-water Pacific atoll) was probably 1/1250 in scale.

For IJN Shinano, I tried to give some depth to the photo by placing a ship's railing in the foreground and an unspecified dome-like structure to the left, as if one is viewing the carrier from an accompanying cruiser or battleship. The second Shinano photo was an attempt to make the carrier look as if it were burning from a torpedo or bomb hit.


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YAMATO-02.jpg
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SHINANO-05.jpg
SHINANO-05.jpg [ 29.07 KiB | Viewed 1220 times ]
SHINANO-06.jpg
SHINANO-06.jpg [ 25.03 KiB | Viewed 1220 times ]
TAKAO-01.jpg
TAKAO-01.jpg [ 40.76 KiB | Viewed 1220 times ]
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:11 pm 
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That is an awesome idea. For a few, if I didn't know better, I would claim them to be true period photos.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:08 am 
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Location: Paris
Not bad ...

The term 'pinhole lens' confused me a bit, however. Normally a pinhole camera doesn't have a lens, it is just a box with a pinhole. Is it this what you used ?

I had been thinking for a while to make an adapter for my digital SLR camera, replacing the lens with a closed tube that has a pinole in the front. Haven't worked out the geometry yet. The other problem is that the camera, of course, has a bayonett connector that is difficult to make; the good old M42 thread would be a lot easier to make on the lathe.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:47 am 
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This is a laugh that's taught me a lesson, I'm normally buzzing around this site like a giant bluebottle (fly) and came across these pix not reading anything just looking at the photo's, and wondering if it would be possible to have a close up of the deck, as many of us merely paint the little details on our models concerning the deck details not actually knowing what these (sometimes important things) objects are, a quick coat of paint and you've just painted over a window section by mistake and so on.
So, imagine how good the Warspite would look in this same contex. This is a wonderful idea and one I have never seen before, of course some of my models are in black and white, and I strongly believe that certain models should never be completely taken in full colour, simply because back yeasterday there was no colour photo's.
The photo's I am viewing have that lousy brake-up of an old photo, never 100% clear and never completely perfect which again adds that something special. Sadly I am one of those people that if I'm not doing 100mph then I am not going fast enough, everything (almost) is done at the double, and in this case. Yes, I should have read the above notes first !
But it wouldn't be me if I never threw a spanner into the works, have you thought of taking the same sort of photo but of a diorama, ship in port or against a backdrop ? I feel that would do wonders.
Well done sir.
:thumbs_up_1: :thumbs_up_1: :thumbs_up_1: :thumbs_up_1: :thumbs_up_1: :thumbs_up_1: :thumbs_up_1: :thumbs_up_1:


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:01 am 
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wefalck wrote:
Not bad ...

The term 'pinhole lens' confused me a bit, however. Normally a pinhole camera doesn't have a lens, it is just a box with a pinhole. Is it this what you used ?

I had been thinking for a while to make an adapter for my digital SLR camera, replacing the lens with a closed tube that has a pinole in the front. Haven't worked out the geometry yet. The other problem is that the camera, of course, has a bayonett connector that is difficult to make; the good old M42 thread would be a lot easier to make on the lathe.


This was played with in model railroad circles 20 -30 years ago.

You can make a pin hole lens more simply than what you are describing. The main thing you use is the body cap (go buy an extra one or two then you can experiment with different size holes) that came with your camera, measure exact center on it , and.......wait for it....put a pin hole in it (needle, sewing pin etc) . You now have a pin hole lens. Make the hole as clean as possible (anyone here knows how to do that) You dont use the camera lens at all with this version, just put the cap on the camera body and start experimenting with those long exposures. Be careful, especially with digital slr's not to touch the inside imaging surface...big no no.
The focus is preset at one distance, the exposure is controlled by the exposure time on your camera shutter alone, no f-stop settings..that is now the pin hole. Here is a site that describes the construction in detail:

http://m.wikihow.com/Make-a-Pinhole-Len ... SLR-Camera

There is another version that uses a lens cap on the front of your lens with a similar pin hole in it, which gets you different effects. You can find directions to make that one easily with a web search.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:30 am 
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The pinhole lens I used was from the A.J. Fricko Co. out of Cincinnati Ohio. I believe they are still around. They made pinhole adapters for specific 35mm SLR camera bodies. Mine was a Yashica at the time. The etched pinhole is 0.018 inches in diameter through a very thin metal (aluminum?) plate. Over this was glued a glass "co-lens" which made for a sharper image, brighter viewing screen and shorter exposure times.

I believe A.J. Fricko products are exclusively available through Walthers, a maker and seller of model railroad products. Fricko is a batch producer so their items are not always readily available. I did find a reference to this company on a camera website and the quoted retail price for one of their pinhole lenses was $189.95. That seems a bit excessive!


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