RealitySoSubtle 6×17 Pinhole Camera

Original design introduced in 2013 – The RealitySoSubtle 6×17 is a dual pinhole/shutter curved film plane 6×17 panoramic pinhole camera that uses 120 film.

Camera features

    • CNC machined body
    • Curved film plane with a radius of 70mm (focal length).
    • Large 6x17cm (57x170mm) negative giving 4 shots per roll of film (120 roll film).
    • Angle of view: 141 degrees horizontal, 44 degrees vertical.
    • Laser drilled 300 micron (0.3mm) pinholes (f/233). Pinhole material thickness = 50 microns (.002″).
    • Magnetic shutter
    • Dual pinhole allows horizon to be placed on upper or lower third (camera level)
    • Accurate aiming lines for composition.
    • Precise bubble level.
    • Standard 1/4-20 tripod mount socket
    • Rubber feet
    • Film spool tensioner at take up spool

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Image Quality

The pinholes are of very high quality/accuracy and are sized for this focal length/format to provide the optimum sharpness possible. Check out these brilliant photos by Zeb Andrews that were made using the 6×17 camera…(click for larger image on Flickr).

Brooklyn Bridge

Sunsets from Dumbo

Wenatchee River during winter, 240 seconds

Into the tooth of winter

Bends and turns

these by Chester Chen (he sometimes stitches shots taken with then upper and lower pinholes in order to create panoramas with a greater angle of view).. Tooth Relic Temple Divine Sky this one by John Ford.. HousesParliament_800H …this wonderful vertical pano by Ian Leech: Antelope Canyon and these by Andy Martin : Sea Crossing The Zone Ghosts

Curved film plane?

The film plane is curved to ensure even exposure across the negative, not possible with a flat film plane with such an extreme wide angle view (141°). Compare to a flat film plane camera where the distance of the pinhole to film distance increases towards the frame edges causing darkening in the corners of the resulting photos. A side-effect of the curved film plane is that it results in a curved horizon in your photos unless the photo is taken with the camera level.  bmp-Model

Two pinholes… two Shutters?

As mentioned above, if you want to have a straight (not curved) horizon in your photo then you need to have the camera level. A consequence of having the camera level,and a pinhole in the center 20140127046 would mean the horizon dead center of every photo. That is why this camera has a pinhole above and below center. It’s simply a matter of making better composed photos. You can chose to place the horizon on either the upper third (use the lower pinhole) or the lower third (use the upper pinhole). Of course you can also shoot with the camera not level, or even use both pinholes simultaneously. Each pinhole has it’s own independent shutter.

Film transport/winding

The film travels from left to right (as viewed from behind the camera) and there is a simple flat spring on the take up spool to prevent un-spooling of the film upon unloading. As it is a 6×17 size negative frame numbers 2,5,8 and 11 should be used (each photo is 3 frames wide).


The camera weighs 0.90kg. Length x height x depth = 210 x 89 x 86mm. (Dimensions of ‘box’).


There are aiming lines engraved on the top and each side of the camera. The horizontal view is engraved on the top and the vertical views are engraved on the sides. As there is a choice of 2 vertical views (upper and lower pinholes) the upper pinhole view is engraved as a solid line and the lower is dashed. These lines will allow you to judge accurately what’s in your picture and what’s not.

Film Loading

Watch the video to see how to load film to the camera… ‘’

How much?

The price is €185 + shipping. You can buy it here.  You can also see more examples in the flickr group.

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