Dacora Digna

5 Frames with a Dacora Digna up Pen Y Fan

I like the idea of pinhole photography. Not sure why, maybe because it’s going back to the first pioneers of photography. After looking at various websites and posts I found reference to a pinhole converted Dacora Digna camera. The advantage was you can load 120 film and advance it so get 12 pinhole photos and also have daylight loading and unloading. The Dacora Digna camera in question had the lens removed and a simple plate attached with a pin hole in it. With this course of action decided on I went on a popular auction site and found one listed for £9 plus postage. I clicked on watch this item whilst I searched a bit more but after about an hour I got a message offering the camera to me for £6. So decision made. £8.75 including postage.

When it arrived, it looked a bit sad, but all seemed to work and with a bit of cleaning has come up nice. The lens won’t stay locked into the body, but this is due to wear inside the camera so I’m happy to keep the lens out all the time.

I decided to give the camera a go without making any modifications to it. So on a chilly Saturday morning in late February my wife and I meet some friends for a walk up Pen y fan in Wales. This can be a very busy place but is an easy climb to some stunning views.

View over Beacons reservoir
Taken on the way up looking towards the sun.

I loaded a roll of Fomapan 100 and set the shutter to I for instant which I think is around 50th of a second and chose F11 because it was overcast. To be honest I wasn’t expecting much, light leaks, vignetting, over exposure.

Pen y fan
Looking back along the ridge.

After getting home I developed the film in ID11 and was very happy with the resulting negatives. After scanning in the images, they have a look which I really like. Soft but not out of focus.

Maybe I don’t need to do pinhole photography.

Two of the images almost fit together, not quite but close enough. This was a happy accident.

The last image was taken on the way back down to the car park. It was very overcast but just a the right moment the clouds parted and made the lovely shadows on the hills opposite.

It was a great trip out with a some great friends and made more memorable with these images.

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10 thoughts on “5 Frames with a Dacora Digna up Pen Y Fan”

  1. Phil,

    Great article. I love a good rescue. Adding the mystery of the Welsh language made it even more special. We have a Welsh terrier. Does that count? I’ve made some pin hole camera but love the vintage look if these. I wouldn’t convert that one yet 🙂 Cheers PS I have an Exakta rescue article coming up late June.

  2. If you are interested in pinhole photography I don’t know if you have come across Justin Quinnel but he is a mine of information and experience with this way of working.

  3. Superb Phil. The images really are very good, and the film/lens/condition combination looks inspired. There really is a lot of character to these, I would think your skills have helped to produce a wonderful set. If you still want a pinhole, for the price of them just buy another one. It’s only the same outlay as a roll of film.

    Whatever you should decide to do, I’d say you have a real beauty there. The first time I read this article, this morning, I went straight to eBay to check out availability,😀.

    Thanks for posting.

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