REFERENCES & RESOURCES
On this page you can find a whole bunch of resources in regards to Box Camera Photography. Its a bit of everything. If you got something to add please contact me.
BUY A BOX CAMERA
If you would like to purchase a very well made box camera, like many of the photographers on this website have, contact Sebastien Bergeron
USING A BOX CAMERA
What we explore on this website is Box Camera photography, primarily done on the street. Only a few of the photographers on this website make use of a photo studio with artificial lights. To my knowledge, all of the photographers use modern photographic papers, which they develop in their camera with the appropriate chemicals. They use either resin-coated or fibre-based paper with a fixed grade of hardness or a multi-grade paper.
To use multi-grade paper correctly, you should install a filter in the camera, otherwise your picture will get very soft. It is the same as when using multi-grade paper in the darkroom with an enlarger. Usually these papers are used in conjunction with a negative on film. When exposing the negative with an enlarger onto the photo paper you get a positive image. Using these papers inside a Box Camera, you will get a negative image. This negative you have to either photograph (negative from a negative=positive) or create a contact sheet by placing a paper upside down on a negative and exposing it to light. Some of the photographers use direct positive papers. These papers are produced especially for pinhole or Box Camera photography. The exposed image turns into a positive very much like a tintype, which we will explore a little later. Direct positive paper cuts out one step in the process. The disadvantage is that there is no negative and you cannot create positive prints from the negative. It is unique.
Emmanuel Liger‘s very nicely illustrated manual.
Detailed steps on How to use a Box Camera can be followed in the film Sean Foley I produced in Kabul How to Use a Kamra-e-Faoree.
Old manuals in French. (Thank you Sébastien for these.)
Afghan Box Camera – Sean Foley & Lukas Birk
2 MISSISSIPPI – Hans Zeeldieb
Smudgers – Chris Wroblewski
Photographs de Rue/Street Photographers/Minuteros – Patrick Ghnassia and Zilmo de Freitas
Los Ambulantes: The Itinerant Photographers of Guatemala – Avon Neal & Ann Parker
Halogénure #02 – Magazine with large Box Camera feature
LAMBE-LAMBE – Joachim Schmid
Chemicals and Paper
Fotoimpex in Berlin is one of the best sources for paper and chemicals in Europe.
BH Photo would be one of the best addresses in the US.
Please email me with info in other countries.
There is a huge variety of lenses you can use and they can cost 5 Euro or 1000 Euro. The cheapest option would be an old enlarger lens or large format lens without shutter. They are relatively easy to find on Ebay or antique markets.
Large format lens with shutter
Here a list of large format lenses to download (thank you Sébastien)
If you decide on building a camera with an external focus system you can find old bellows cameras from 50-100 Euros. Make sure that the lens can create a large enough image. Minimum 9×12 cm. You can even find broken cameras like a fancy Graphlex for cheap and reuse it.