RealitySoSubtle 4×5 Z Pinhole Camera

The RealitySoSubtle 4×5 Z is a lightweight multi-focal-length pinhole camera made with marine grade plywood. It in intended to be used with standard 4×5″ film holders.

The camera can be configured in a variety of focal distances including that of the original RealitySoSubtle 4×5 camera (35mm focal distance).

In addition to doing exactly what the original 4×5 (now discontinued) can do it can also be configured in 50mm, 75mm and 90mm focal distance. The pinhole shutter-boards can be swapped out seamlessly. 2 boards (0.2 and 0.3mm) cover all 4 focal distances. Vertical and horizonal rise available for all focal distances. There is also a simpler single pinhole shutter-board with 52mm circular filter holder on the inside of the board.

Changing configurations is quick and painless.

The camera parts are available to purchase as a complete kit that will allow 4 focal distances or as individual components.The back can be purchased separately for those that wish to start their own 4×5 project from a sturdy base (the back is the most challenging part for d.i.y’ers). The back includes 2 x tripod mounts and a clamping back to secure the film holder.

The camera and shutter boards have an oiled finish for weather protection (camera in video in unfinished condition).

Pricing as follows:

back : €40

extension : €30

half extension : €30

Pinhole shutter-board (0.2 or 0.3mm): €40

Full 4 focal distance kit : €180

Components required for camera with 4 focal distance (35,50,75 and 90mm) capability:

1 x back

1 x extension

1 x half extension

1 x shutter board 0.2mm (35mm)

1 x shutter board 0.3mm (50,75 and 90mm)

Some test shots at each focal distance – 35mm,50mm,75mm and 90mm:


Customer John Farnan generously allowed the use of these shots taken using the RSS4x5Z at 35mm and 50mm focal distances.

All images copyright of John Farnan –

John also wrote a review of the camera here:

You can see a video review of the camera here (thanks to Donn Gumm):

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