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FAQs

What do I need to use Pinsta?

In order to take photographs all you need is one of our cameras and a film changing bag which are available in the shop. For paper and chemistry we recommend and have tested HARMAN 4x5 direct positive paper, ILFORD multigrade developer and ILFORD rapid fixer but you can use almost any paper and chemistry.

If you wish to enlarge negatives with Pinsta you will also need the negative enlargement slide and we recommend and have tested ILFORD 4x5 multigrade RC delux (negative) paper. In addition you will need a nice bright light source, almost any light source will do but we recommend something like an ultra bright LED torch that can be positioned closely to the diffuser spot as this will reduce exposure times. Ideally it should be plugged-in to the mains since this gives more consistent results than relying on battery power. Most rechargeable units can remain plugged in whilst in use. 

How does Pinsta achieve a positive image?

Pinsta can be used with HARMAN direct positive paper which is available in 4x5 size. Using this paper means that your prints come out positive with a normal develop and fix process. Magic!

Can I use different processes in Pinsta?

You can. Pinsta can be used however you want.

If you have a different chemical process or medium you would like to use then Pinsta should be compatible with most things. Extra syringes are available if you have additional processes such as chemical reversal etc. We are very excited to see how people use Pinsta in different creative ways!

How does Pinsta extract chemistry through that hole?

The chemistry hole in the side of Pinsta leads to a tube which goes down to the tray. The chemistry is delivered and picked up right next to your photographic paper, it doesn't squirt in opposite the hole on the outer body.

Do I have to keep buying chemistry syringes?

No you refill the syringes that come with the kit. This also saves on plastic waste associated with instant camera cartridge systems. They should last indefinitely and will be provided with coloured stickers so that you can identify which syringe is for which chemistry.

Is there much cleaning in-between each use?

There is a little wiping required but not much. ABS is quite water repellent and most of the liquids are extracted by syringe. We recommend taking out a towel with you. A quick wipe of the bottom 20mm's of the camera body and the tray and it's ready to go again. Agitation is a gentle process and chemistry doesn't splash around inside if you are doing it correctly.

Can I shoot film in Pinsta?

You can shoot 4x5 film no problems! It is possible for more advanced users to shoot 35mm or 120 film by cutting it and putting it into the internal enlargement slide. This would probably require a darkroom though as it would prove fiddly in a dark bag. We do plan to release film backs for Pinsta at a later date along with many other accessories and add-ons.

What are typical Exposure times of Pinsta?

Pinsta is rated at F266 and Ilford direct positive paper is ISO 1-3. Typical exposure times are: Very sunny 1-2 minutes, Sunny 2-4 minutes, Sunny with clouds 4-12 minutes, Cloudy 12-30 minutes, Dull daylight conditions 40min-4hours. Indoor conditions can vary massively depending on lighting etc.
 

Enlargement exposure times vary depending on your light source and the particular type of negatives you are using between 1 minute and 60 minutes. Black and white negative enlarge much faster than colour negatives.

Are my negatives safe inside Pinsta?

The internal negative slide has been designed to protect your negatives from any splashing that may occur during the developing process. If you would prefer you can actually remove the negative slide from the camera using the dark bag after exposure and before developing. This means your negatives are not at any risk at all.

How good is the enlarging quality?

The enlarging quality from 120 negatives is surprisingly good considering that it is a lenseless system and certainly good enough for putting 4x5 pictures around your home, the larger the negatives the sharper the image for various reasons. The 35mm enlargements are a little softer and we recommend they are most useful for portraits and images that have less small details in them.