Review, and a personal reflection by Lloyd Shield…
Seeing pinhole exposures can take a long time, we think it’s okay to take a long time to review the ‘new’ Harman-Ilford Titan 8×10 pinhole camera. Designed by Mike Walker of Walker Cameras UK for Harman-Ilford and made from injection moulded ABS this camera looks space age compared with more conventional wooden box pinhole cameras.
The camera has built-in spirit levels and stainless fittings and two tripod mounts. It has a ‘focal length’ of 150 mm – wide angle for 8×10. The pinhole is 0.52 mm in size giving the camera an aperture of f288 and 94.7 degree angle of view. Weighing in at 800 grams it must be the lightest 8×10 camera around. (An 8×10 film holder comes in at 620 grams.) The design of the camera is something special, from the way film holders slide into the camera and are effortlessly held in place by brackets, the simple ‘lens cap’, the tapered ‘nose cone’ all come together to make a practical camera that looks good.
It is an absolute pleasure to use. Being lightweight it can be easily carried around on the tripod, even with a film holder in place. The photographs produced are remarkably sharp – for a pinhole camera. Using the camera is simple. An 8×10 film holder slides into the back of the camera and clicks into place held very firmly by four brackets. Spirit levels for horizontal and vertical placement assure the camera is level. When an exposure reading is done the ‘lens cap’ is loosened then removed and replaced when exposure is complete.
With all large format cameras wind can be an issue, pinhole cameras more so due to the long exposure time. The tapered design of this camera provides less surface area to catch wind; however I secure any pinhole camera I use in windy conditions. I carry a length of cord and two lightweight tent pegs to secure the camera to the ground and using this method I’ve had no problem with this camera in windy conditions.
This is a great camera, works extremely well, produces very sharp photographs and looks great. It’s very tough. Mine has already been subject to salt water and an interesting encounter with a cliff face and shows no signs of damage or wear and tear. I’d recommend this camera to photographers who want to make pinhole photography a big part of what they do. The camera is relatively expensive but well worth the investment.
The Harman-Ilford Titan 8 x 10 Pinhole camera is available from Walker Cameras, click here…
Neither David Tatnall nor View Camera Australia Blog received any compensation for writing this review.
The photographs in this article made on the Titan 8×10 pinhole camera where made using FP4+ 8 x 10 film processed in ID11 1:1 for 11 minutes. The photographs are: The Public Purse, Melbourne; Point Cook Jetty; West Cape and Cape Conran all in Victoria. Main photograph: West Cape, Cape Conran Coastal Park.