8 Banners mb pinhole camera
By Ian Beer
12 Nov 2008
I had been hunting for a medium format panoramic camera, but didn't have the money for a noblex or widepan.
After looking at pinhole cameras as an option, I found a company that made fairly inexpensive cameras in china.
This company, "8 Banners" was making all types of pinhole cameras including the model I bought, the "mb".
The "mb" is an adjustable format pinhole camera that shoots 6x4.5, 6x6, 6x9, and 6x12 on 120 film.
It came with a 0.2mm f120 pinhole plate, as well as 0.1mm, 0.3mm and 0.4mm plates that you can change if you want a different f stop or wider or tighter "lens" size.
The camera is made entirely of metal. It comes with a viewfinder, built in level and compass (a compass?), and an easy to use shutter system.
All of my pictures are shot with the standard 0.2mm f120 pinhole in the 6x12 format. Some might be cropped a bit.
The pictures are often far from perfect, but that odd, dreamy quality is what I like about them the most.
There is heavy vignetting around the edges in the photos. I am guessing this due to the distance and angle the light has to travel to the film. Also, this camera doesn't have any sort of pressure plate, and the film sometimes bows a bit, but...
Overall for the $150.00 plus shipping I paid for it... I couldn't be happier with this camera. It's no widepan, but I am happy nonetheless.
After a positive test roll, I also tried to order the "Dragon 2" from 8 Banners. It's a pinhole camera with a curved film plane that shoots 6x18 for 250 bucks! Sadly, my emails were left unanswered, and camera forums confirmed what I had suspected.
Their website stopped working pretty much right after my purchase, and after months of trying, I will conclude that they have gone out of business.
Keep your eyes out for these cameras, and be sure to pick one up if you get the chance.
*update: Zeroimage is now selling a comparable model to the mb for around 200 bucks through their website. I haven't tried theirs, but I would expect similar results to my photos. www.zeroimage.com