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.
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! 😦