Let me start by introducing myself; my name is Elvis Halilović and I am a passionate lensless photographer. For the last seven years, I've been photographing using pinhole cameras that I've made myself. Through the years, I've constructed and used extensively about 40 of them; the largest produced images measuring up to 3 x 4 metres while the smallest could fit inside a person's mouth.
I'm also an industrial designer and a carpenter. In the past few years I've been actively busy with various projects that involved a lot of woodworking. One of my most recognisable projects finished so far is the Floating City, a floating platform intended for sustainable solutions research. With sustainability and quality in mind I've set my mind on smaller and more manageable projects. This is how I came to work on the Ondu Pinhole cameras.
In the course of time, I've come to realise there are no simple to use, good-looking, and most of all, affordable cameras out there. Using my knowledge of what happens when the light passes trough the pinhole sized aperture, I've been able to come up with a family of six wooden pinhole cameras. To suit various photographic needs, they come in 6 different dimensions and film sizes, from the most common Leica 135 format to the 4˝ x 5˝ film holder camera.
For those who don't know what a pinhole camera is: It's a camera that uses a pin sized hole to produce an image; there are no lenses involved in this kind of photography. Because of its high aperture, the images produced create effects that no other lens based camera can achieve. The anticipation of what emerges from the exposures is what has kept me hooked on this kind of photography.
Nowadays, most of us own a camera and taking a picture has become such an everyday occurrence that we don't take notice anymore. Well, pinhole photography changes that. Suddenly, you remember what you were doing on the day you took the picture in detail, who approached you to ask about your camera, how you took the shot, and how you felt when you developed the film - all the things missing in today's photography.
One of the smallest and lightest cameras around, this camera is still durable enough to outlast any of its digital counterparts. The ONDU 135 Pocket Pinhole camera is great for when you are shy on space and want to take it anywhere with you! It has a pinhole size of 0.20 mm, a focal length of 25 mm, and it comes with a standard tripod mount.
This camera combines the best of both worlds. It can shoot the regular Leica format in 36 mm x 24 mm or panoramic double frames at 72 mm x 24 mm image. It also hosts a 0,20 mm pinhole size and a focal length of 25 mm and a standard tripod mount. Great for taking amazing panoramic shots with a field of view of 113°.
A tiny camera, given the fact that it uses 120 format film to expose an image! Like 135, it's small enough to take it anywhere with you but takes images with a greater resolution. The camera has a pinhole size of 0.20 mm, a focal length of 25 mm and a standard tripod mount. Because it uses 120 film, the negatives on this camera are 56 mm x 56 mm, and the angle of view is an astonishing 115°.
This is a multi-format all-in-one camera that can take 6 x 6, 6 x 9, and 6 x 12 images. It produces similar looking results as the ONDU 135 Panoramic but with much greater clarity, thanks to the 120 roll film. The camera has a pinhole size of 0.30 mm, a focal length of 40 mm and a standard tripod mount.
If you already know a thing or two about pinhole and large format photography, this is the perfect camera for you! It uses a standard 4˝ x 5˝ film holder that is secured snugly on the back with strong magnets. The camera has a 0.30 mm pinhole, a focal length of 60 mm and a standard tripod mount.
A camera for the collector enthusiasts. It's made with two sliding boxes that hold the paper in place for the exposure. This way, a single image is produced before heading to the darkroom or changing the paper in a changing bag. It uses a paper format of 10,5 x 14,8cm, has a 0.3 mm pinhole and a 50 mm focal length.
As you can see, my workshop is fairly well equipped for woodworking. Because all the cameras are made entirely by me and my brother Benjamin, at the current rate only a small amount of cameras can be made. That's why we need to invest in tools and equipment that will make our work safer, more efficient and, ultimately, easier.
We make all the wooden parts of the cameras ourselves but some parts, like the pins that rewind the film, and the actual pinhole require precise CNC machining. In order for that to be financially feasible I need to order a bulk amount of those parts.
Because there's only one screw in the design the winding pins and backplate are held in place with neodymium magnets that have a pulling force of about 0.5 kg a piece. To get them at a reasonable price a bulk order is necessary as well.
And lastly, since I want to make high-end products, the wood which the cameras are made of must be carpentry quality, which means no defects and also a suitable moisture content to minimise the moving of the wood.
My special thanks go to the team of people who have helped me make this project a reality.
Niko Klanšek | Business advisor |
Andraž Jerič | The brains and eyes behind the camera |
Simon Penšek | The ears behind the video |
Nejc Matjaž | Technical and engineering support |
Thank you all!
Risks and challenges
So far, not much can go wrong since I design and make the cameras myself. There is no third party carpenter or manufacturer that I need to rely on for the cameras to be made, and as this is my full-time job; I'm going to devote all of my time to deliver the cameras that have been on my mind for so long.
As the cameras are in the second field testing stage, I'm leaving a little room for last changes depending on the feedback. However, it will not affect the visual aspect of the cameras, just make them more fun to use.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)