Viddy Pinhole Photography


Photographers from the digital age may want to experiment with film cameras but buying an old film camera has its own unique challenges. For one, it might not work out of the box, the second is that it has to be serviced as the lenses and viewfinder are totally fucked up. Buying a new analogue camera sounds like a good idea but who makes new analogue cameras besides Leica and Voigtlander? 

If you want a camera to play with, just double down on a pinhole camera. There is one that you can buy online from the Popup Pinhole Company. They were responsible for the Videre, a cardboard copy of a TLR camera. Now the TLR looks great. But the viewfinder is not functional. Infact, no viewfinder on Pinhole cameras ever worked so much of it relies on guessing how much distance is between you and the subject. The rule of thumb is always 50mm angle of view.

So with this in mind, expect the Viddy to be the same. A Pinhole camera is the most basic principle of a camera and would come in real handy in a nuclear devastation scenario where all the batteries and electrical stuff will fail to work.

You need film for the viddy, thankfully only readily available 35mm. Throw in some glue, crocodile clips and finger dexterity and you're ready to assemble it.

The whole idea behind exposure is that you pull a cardboard piece to expose the film and the pinhole is your lens. How long should you expose it for is up to you. It's a 'may the force be with you' sort of feeling where you think that it is properly exposed. And because it is a pinhole...meaning a very small aperture can afford to expose it a second or more based on the low ASA film. Never ever use fast ASA film with a pinhole camera as it is a waste of money.

Now Viddy isn't cheap. Costing a ballpark of US$35, it could well be the most expensive analogue camera you could buy as it isn't built to last. Exposed to high humidity environments, the cardbox paper will warp. Left on its own, it will be a termite magnet.

In hindsight, it probably will be the greatest introduction to analogue film photography you would ever get for that price.