In 2009, I started to build some cameras to answer some of my very specific photographic needs. The cameras I make are all named after well knowned women photographers.
Berenice is a 4x5 perspective corrected pinhole camera. It was named after Berenice Abbott which was a photographer well known for her architectural photography.
I made Berenice especially to do architectural photography. It's wide enough to fit skyscrapers from close distances while keeping a perfect perspective.
BEST SUITED FOR:
In 2009, I wanted to do some architectural work, but could not find any camera equipment that gave wide enough coverage with perspective correction, it simply did not exist. So I made Berenice.
Berenice is a very lightweight 4x5 camera. The goal was to make a camera that would have a very wide angle coverage, and that provided a correct perspective, so the buildings would be straight, nice lines without vanishing points.
I went for a simple pinhole design. The pinhole is off-centered, positionned further up, so I don't have to tilt the camera to fit the subject, so the perspective is perfect. The diameter of the pinhole is 0.0138", I calculated that to be the optimal diameter to reduce softness due to diffraction. Focal length is about 60mm, so it gives an average aperture of f180.
This is a fun camera to use, but for very specific subjects only. Because it's a pinhole, exposure times are long so you need a tripod.
Here is a Photo Gallery about the making of...
Results are quite impressive.
Pinhole photography is fun, and in this case, very useful.
If you have special needs, making your own camera can be a huge learning opportunity and lots of fun too!