Stepping Up the Pinhole Game


Feeling I wanted to move up to a larger format, I constructed my own pinhole camera out of foam board.  You can buy cameras like this online, crafted beautifully out of attractive woods, but they cost hundreds of dollars – I’m not ready for that yet!

This camera is built for 5×7 photo paper, and it has a 0.3mm aperture with a focal length of approximately 2-inches, giving an f-number of about 169.  I also rigged up a simple tripod mount on the bottom using some scrap wood and a piece of hardware I found at Home Depot.075C9D0D-F88B-4804-A204-1BB72B4CEC9F

The top flips up to allow the photo paper to be inserted, and then I seal it shut with a strip of black tape.  The usual flap of tape serves for a shutter.  It’s possible to shim the photo paper so that it is somwhat curved in a concave manner:  I want to experiment to see if this will decrease the image distortion near the edges of the wide-angle of view.


Here is my first effort with my new camera.


It was a very overcast day, so I exposed the paper for five minutes.  If you look closely, you can see a ghost-image of me standing in the foreground and background, but I only stayed put for a minute or so, and I barely registered in the image.  The angle of view is extremely wide:  the car on the left hand side of the image was actually quite a ways to the left of the tripold.

Not bad for a first try with the new format, but the weather over the next few days calls for rain and clouds!  😦


4 Responses to Stepping Up the Pinhole Game

  1. Guy Savage says:

    You have a new hobby.

  2. Excellent! Great start for sure! Although on overcast days the exposures are very long, I prefer it over bright sunny days especially if you want to play around with movement. In bright sun, anything white can burn out very quickly. Looking forward to seeing more!

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