Pinholes at Ely Cathedral

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The old URL ( will stop working in mid-February 2022.

I recently had an opportunity to visit Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire for a few hours and took a few cameras – the Ondu Multi-format pinhole camera loaded with Ilford HP5+, an Olympus OM1 with a few frames of FP4+ that needed finishing off, and an Olympus OM10 loaded with HP5+ rated at EI600.

The building dates back to 1083 AD and is very impressive.

The pinholes worked best and I came away with four images:

The ONDU can be adjusted to take 6×6, 6×9, or 6×12 images. I chose 6×12 for this occasion, which would provide 6 images on the roll.

Apart from the four shown here, one image was spoilt by camera movement during the exposure, and I ran out of time to take a sixth image. Each of these exposures took around 20 minutes, so I would have needed a longer visit to get through more film.

I took my smallest tripod with me, which was just about OK, but my Manfrotto tripod with a Benro geared head would have been more suitable to get the camera aligned correctly, particulary for the vertical images.

I shot a few frames with HP5+ handheld at EI1600 in the Olympus OM10 – mostly using exposures of around 1/30s at f2.8. I have had some successful images indoors using this arrangement – but not this time. Lots of grain in the shadows and of course the 35mm negatives show up every speck of dust so much more than medium or large format.

There was no problem using a tripod in the cathedral, once a photography permit was purchased for just £2.00


    • According to the Ondu website, the specs of the current model are Focal length:40mm,
      Pinhole diameter:0.25mm, f stop equivalent:160. However mine was an earlier model so may be different.


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