ONDU Pinhole Cameras

So, I came across this Kickstarter Campaign.

Here’s what one of the cameras looks like (image copied from their Kickstarter page and for which I do not own any rights):

ONDURAMA eats up 120 film like nothing, in return it produces amazing 140°panoramic images with minimum falloff thanks to it's curved plane design.

They have a lot of models but were I to get one, I would get this one. It can be yours by pledging $140 (the retail price will be $168). It is the ONDURAMA 6×17 Curved Plane panoramic camera. Of course, there are a few other I would be interested in. 

HERE is a Flickr gallery of images taken with the cameras from their original Kickstarter campaign (this is their second campaign for an improved design and more models). 

For them not familiar with pinhole cameras, they are basically a box that holds the film, and a manual shutter that lets light through a pinhole and onto the film plane. You control the exposure by how long you leave it open.

“Wait just a crooked minute!” you say. “Last we heard from Disperser, he’s gone digital and he ain’t looking back! . . . who is this, and what have you done with Disperser? I mean, not that we care; we don’t read his stuff anyway, but he was good for the occasional laugh.”

Relax, folks; it’s really me. And, I ain’t buying one of these. And even if I were, I would do it strictly for the esthetics of it. It is a beautifully hand-crafted piece of photography’s modern history.

I mean, I would actually like to buy one, but I really can’t justify it because it would just sit on my shelf. I suppose if I did buy it, I would likely use it at least once. But then, I could just use some of the box cameras I do own.

However, I really don’t want to get back to film. Still, I got to wondering . . . could I duplicate the effect? Well, let’s see.

I took this photo . . . 

Yellowstone June 2015

My typical processing

I say that is my typical processing, but previous posts show a few overworked versions. The above is close to what I saw . . . perhaps a bit more color saturation . . . 

Yellowstone June 2015

A tad more saturation

The thing is, as a small photo it does not really convey the impact of the scene unless I push it a bit more like I did for this photo.

Yellowstone June 2015

Anyway, I’m meandering from the subject.

Pinhole photos vary in quality, color tone, sharpness, etc. To recreate the effect I played around in onOne and Topaz, and then tweaked a few more things once back in Lightroom.

Pinhole simulation version 1

Pinhole simulation version 1

Pinhole simulation version 2

Pinhole simulation version 2

You can click on those to get slightly larger versions.

I liked the second one, but there was too much of the center that was sharp, so I simulated a tilt-lens effect to get this.

Yellowstone June 2015

Pinhole simulation version 2b

Eh . . . it’s not that close, but it does resemble some of the pinhole photos I’ve seen. With a bit more effort I am sure I could duplicate the effect.

BUT! . . . say I could get even closer to what a pinhole camera produces; there would be no point to it; the fun of getting a pinhole image is more the process itself than the end result; the use of the camera, calculating the exposure (a light meter is highly advised), and the final print one gets back from the developing lab (or develops oneself) and can be held with one’s hands. 

I wrote this post for two reasons: one, I think these guys deserve support for what they are doing, and two, photographers who have not heard of this might be interested in picking up one of these for their enjoyment and experimentation.

OK, OK . . . three: perhaps some wealthy patron of the arts will be interested in seeing what I would do with these (one of each model) and make a generous contribution to the campaign in my name (the $1,300 contribution nets you one of each camera model). Why, were that to happen, I would do a number of posts about the cameras, their use, and the photos I take with each of them (there are a number of film formats available). 

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Edited to Add:

Here are links to some reviews:





Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.


Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
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13 Responses to ONDU Pinhole Cameras

  1. Your skill never ceases to amaze me, I have trouble just trying to use my small Sanyo thing and your explanations of what you do to get all these fine pictures is so far over my head I don’t even try to understand all that you are saying half the time, and those wide screen pictures on that link to flicka are amazing too, love those big wide angle type of photo.
    I suppose I’ll just have to plod along with my Sanyo thingy and Picasa3


    • disperser says:

      Interesting that you gave your thingy a Japanese name . . . to each their own, I suppose.

      The Flickr images are not my own, I hope you know. As for what I do, it’s really nothing other than many years and hours of practice. There is no great skill involved beyond trying things and seeing what works for which particular situation . . .

      And if you like wide-angle photos . . .

      Once there, you can click on the set of triangles at the bottom right of the window and choose “Original” and then use the sliders to move about the photo.

      The post that deals with panoramas is here:

      AND . . . if you really want to fall asleep while stuff buzzes above your head, you might give this a read:

      If you really plan to read it, allow an afternoon or two. In it you will find lots of hints as to my ways and methods when it comes to photography (including a video of me showing off my equipment . . . er . . . photography equipment).


      • http://ejdalise.smugmug.com/Travel/Utah-2011/i-pBVZxF6/A

        The scenery was fascinating, those bighorn sheep are they really sheep? They don’t look much like the sheep I’m used to seeing, look more like the deer. I suppose a heard of sheep is different from a herd of cattle that’s why it’s spelt differently. Were you taking the pictures moving and still, whilst Melisa was stuck with the driving or do you multi-task?

        That couldn’t be very far from the Grand Canyon could it, going on the size of the US, so much beauty in such a small part of the country. There’s nothing like it anywhere in the world I’ll wager.
        When we were there in 2008 we drove from San Francisco down through Yosemite and down and up to Las Vegas, I wanted to return to San Francisco via Salt Lake City had I have done so would I have seen all this?

        I’ll check out the other links later, Thanks Emilio really enjoyed that link.


        • disperser says:

          Utah has a lot of National Parks, and not just small ones. Those are sheep, and their big horns let them gather in heards.

          As for nowhere else in the world, I read China has similar geography in places, although probably not exactly the same. I know Kauai has a canyon that although smaller bears similarities to the Grand Canyon.

          As for traveling to Salt Lake and seeing the parks, you would have to choose a route to purposefully hit them, but you would see some of the same geography just driving around.

          And, if you are referring to the driving movies, that’s me both driving and filming. One can’t really multitask, so it’s just me driving using The Force wilst filming.


  2. oneowner says:

    I built 2 pinhole cameras years ago, neither on which exists today. One took 35mm film, the other 4×5 inch. I calculated an f90 on the 4×5 and used a cheap exposure meter and a tripod and I got some good results, but only black and white. The ONDURAMA 6×17 is a nice piece of work and looks like it;s built to last, unlike my previous pinholes. Tempting.


    • disperser says:

      I had actually planned on trying some tin-type photography using an old Brownie . . . but, along with everything else I want to do in what little time I have left, it’s not on the top 10% of things.

      I was also thinking I might try to cobble up a digital pinhole camera. Not sure yet how, but one day I’m gonna try. Plus, I remember there are plans for one online somewhere.


  3. Yes, that is exactly what every artist (photographer, writer, painter, etc) needs: a patron with a ton of money to sponsor them! :-)
    I will check out the links you shared.
    I’m glad you were not snatched up by aliens (or such) and replaced with Disperser 2.0. ;-) :-P I am rather fond of Disperser who is #1 and I hope blogging here for a long while! :-)
    HUGS!!! Happy Whee-kend to you and Melisa!!! :-)


    • disperser says:

      Many do wish for improvements on 1.0, but it has reached old dog status, and it’s set in its ways.

      We will enjoy the weekend; there are a few yearly garage sales events we’re hitting, so that should be fun.

      Hope you find some fun along the way as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. colonialist says:

    Of course, I grew up in the box camera era and am now only too happy to get a digital to do its worst, and then perhaps to fiddle a bit with the end product.
    That closer up version – no. 3 – has a definite ‘Wow!’ factor. Perhaps the clearer glimpse of the rapids above the falls does it?


    • disperser says:

      While I like the idea of the pinhole camera, I much prefer the output from modern cameras and the opportunity to do my own (digital) processing. That third photo is my usual presentation for such photos. The wow factor is (I think) in part due to the sharpness of the photo and the ability to see a lot of detail and textures.


  5. PiedType says:

    What a beautiful piece of craftsmanship. That it also takes pictures is just frosting on the cake.


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