Grab your favorite roll of 35mm film and follow these instructions to load up your Itty-Bitty Pinhole Film Camera.
Add a New Roll of Film to Your Itty-Bitty Pinhole Film Camera
- Gather some clear tape, black tape and scissors. Spread everything out on a clean table top.
- Pull the matchbox tray out of the camera body and lay aside.
- Cut two small pieces of clear tape. Align the film’s tail with the camera body, and use clear tape to attach both sides of the film to the plastic feeder tail. Be sure these ends are smooth secure!
- Slowly spin the advance tab COUNTER-CLOCKWISE to pull the film into the camera body. Stop when you feel tension.
- Insert matchbox tray back into the camera body, keeping the film pressed against the side opposite from the pinhole and shutter. Push until fully inserted.
- Slowly spin the advance tab, careful not to pull too hard or fast. If you hear any snapping noises or feel the film give away from the taped ends—STOP IMMEDIATELY!!! Stop and pull the matchbox tray out and check your taped ends.BE CAREFUL NOT TO WIND PLASTIC LEADER TAIL INTO THE TAKE-UP CANISTER.It is important that the taped ends are firmly attached to your film and the plastic leader tail. Double-check edges are firmly pressed down and smooth.
- You will feel slight resistance as the taped ends pass through the take-up canister, and as this gives way and becomes easier, spin the advance tab one complete rotation.
- Using your black tape, carefully attach your film canister to the matchbox camera body, being careful to cover any areas prone to light leaks. Cover well.
- Wind the advance tab until you feel tension, then spin the advance tab one complete rotation. Your film is now loaded and ready to go!
- Lift the shutter tab to expose film. Cover again and spin the advance tab COUNTER-CLOCKWISE around one full rotation.
- Follow recommended exposure times for your film type, and go create pinhole photographs like crazy!
A Note on Film Slack, or Tension as you advance through your film
Because it’s handmade, the tension on the advancing film will give way and spin backward inside the take-up canister. As you advance through frames, spin the advance tab counter-clockwise until you feel tension again, and count a single rotation to advance your film one frame, and release again. Repeat for each exposure. Or – experiment by partially advancing the film for each exposure to add creative layering.
To Rewind and Unload Your Itty-Bitty Pinhole Film Camera
- When you can no longer advance your film, find your rewind tool and insert into your film canister. Once firm, begin winding film CLOCKWISE back into its original can.
- Once fully re-wound, carefully pull your black tape off to release your roll of film.
- Pull taped ends off of your film and go develop your pinhole photographs! Re-load your Itty Bitty Pinhole Film Camera with new film as many times as you can.
- Work with your local film shop when developing and printing to have your film carefully cut and/or scanned.