Advancing 110 film manually
February 12, 2006 12:01 PM   Subscribe

I just built a tiny pinhole camera that mounts onto a 110 film cartridge. The directions I've found call for using a coin to turn the tiny gear to advance the film. I can't get that to work really at all. Any advice?

I slightly modified these directions (sorry, Flash). They say: "On the top of the cartridge, you should see a raised disk with a gear inside. ... Using a coin, turn the gear counter-clockwise..." Since even a ridged coin like a quarter hardly has any grip on the gear whatsoever, it takes all of my dexterity to get it to advance the film at all. And the gear has a lot of give (at least half a turn) before it actually starts pulling on the film, so trying to just push it forward with a paperclip doesn't seem to do much.

What sort of "do it myself" solution can you think of?
posted by Plutor to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total)
 
Have you tried a toothpick?

Personally, I would ditch the 110 film spy camera idea. You can get smaller and easier to use digital cameras for $15. more via froogle. Froogle thinks 110 film costs $1.50 - $4 per cartridge, so it doesn't take many rolls of film to exceed the cost of digital, and that doesn't even include the cost of processing.
posted by b1tr0t at 12:14 PM on February 12, 2006


Okay, I figured it out myself. I used the tips of two pens at first, one to advance the gear, and the other to hold it in place (like a ratchet would) as I moved the first pen. After one or two exposures like that, it became much, much easier to turn, so now a coin is perfectly acceptible.
posted by Plutor at 12:14 PM on February 12, 2006


b1tr0t: This was a blizzard-inspired arts-and-crafts project. The film was $2.50 a roll, and development will be something like $3 a roll, and the photos will turn out horrible (if I'm exposing them right at all). But it's all about the fun.
posted by Plutor at 12:16 PM on February 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


In my experience you often won't even have to pay for the processing for films exposed in this way - the photo lab assumes that all of the photos were trashed, and waives the fee.
posted by davey_darling at 3:05 PM on February 12, 2006


Wow. If any of your pictures turn out good, send them to The Sun . They often print photos made with pinhole camares. I've always been curious what the deal was with these cameras. Now that I know how low-tech they are, I will pay more attention the next time I come across a photo that was created this way. Good luck.
posted by Zendogg at 2:04 AM on February 13, 2006


You can also use a flathead screwdriver.
posted by klangklangston at 9:44 AM on February 13, 2006


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