video: episode 8 , building a diy pinhole camera , 35mm style


prophotolife pinhole treesThis tutorial covers how to make a pinhole camera. Building a pinhole camera is one of the most satisfying projects I’ve undertaken as a photographer, because despite major technological advances in photography, I still enjoy getting back to the basics. If you haven’t tried it before I hope you’ll give it a go sometime.

This is one of my favorite projects, a 35mm pinhole camera made from a tin box from the crafts store (it costs around $10 to make). The video does run a little longer than usual, over 7 minutes, so if you’re in a hurry there’s also a photo gallery below. If you’re a real DIY person the photos will tell you a bunch. Rather than ramble, I’m going to let the video and photos tell this story…

Any readers shooting with a pinhole?

Subscribers view video on website.

Changing Bag 27 x 30
A few notes:

  • Film loading must be done in a completely dark room or a changing bag. The film must be pulled out of the cassette before loading the camera, then the film advance pulls it back into the cassette with each 1 1/2 turns of the knob.
  • The tin box was approximately 3 1/2″ x 5″ x 1 1/2″ and the wooden dowel was 3/8″ diameter. The holes in the wooden spools had to be enlarged with a drill to fit the dowel. I used a #9 sewing needle to make the pinhole because it was small, it’s what I had and it just felt right.

If you want to dive deeper into the technical details of pinhole photography and sizing a pinhole for best sharpness, try this Pinhole FAQ and the Mr. Pinhole pinhole size calculator. Another good starting point is the Pinhole Resource . If you don’t want to build a camera but want to find a pinhole body cap for your brand DSLR, you can Shop Calumet Photographic – It’s Where the Pros Go
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