Pin Hole Cameras

Pinhole photography is one of the simplest and oldest ways to take a picture. It can be a great deal of fun and very rewarding considering how cheap and easy it is to accomplish. The premise is simple, a pin-hole or extremely tiny aperture can pass light onto a surface behind it. The image will be completely opposite and very dim. But you will gain a nearly infinite depth of field. This means that grass right in front of the pinhole and distant mountains will all be in focus at the same time.


Three Paint cans + Black Foil = $5 Pinhole cameras


The camera is very basic. All you really need is a box, photosensitive paper, a needle, and aluminum tape. Create a one inch hole in the center of the box, then cover it with the aluminum tape. Using the needle, punch a tiny hole in the tape. This will be our pinhole. Now cover the hole with another piece of tape. Place the Photo Paper inside the box and seal all edges so that the box is light tight. Now go out and take a picture. But remember, the aperture is micro, so you will need minutes to hours to properly expose the paper. Then develop.

Another method is to use your DSLR. Use the camera body cover as your pinhole. Cut a small hole in the cover and put a piece of foil tape over it. Now punch a hole in the tape. Remove the lens and install your new pinhole aperture. Your DSLR is now a pinhole camera. You will want to use a tripod.

Drill index #60 to #80 will give precision hole sizes.


For increased success and picture quality, extension tubes and correct hole dimensions are critical. The relationship between hole diameter and focal length will make your image sharp. There are several apps and online source for figuring this out. You can also use a set of number index drill bits to create precision sized holes. These bits are tiny and very fragile. When drilling, watch for a piece that may fold over instead of cutting, this will distort the image. For best results you can purchase laser cut holes in shim stock.