Getting Started in Pinhole Photography

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Even in this era of digital photography there are more pinhole cameras available to buy than there have been at any time in history. That’s a bold claim, but simple search on eBay or Amazon would suggest that it is probably true.

You’re itching to give pinhole photography a try but before you go handing over your hard earned (or ill gotten) cash have a look at what you are actually buying. Essential it will be a blacked out box with a very small hole on one side and some film at the other. I think the average house has all you’d need to make a pinhole camera.

  1. Try the guide to Downgrading your iPhone.
  2. Convert a SLR or DSLR to take pinhole photographs.

A spare body cap for a DSLR or SLR can be adapted take pinhole photographs in about ten minutes.  You will need a drill, a pair of scissors, some glue, a small piece of black paper and a pinhole. Check out the Making a Pinhole for Photography article.

Remove the body cap from the camera and place on flat surface. Drill a hole in the centre of the cap, about 10mm or 3/8 of an inch should be enough. Make sure that there are no ragged edges or dust from the drill you really do not want that stuff inside your camera.

If you have not already done so you will need to make a pinhole. Using a glue of your choice (I find super glue best) secure the piece of aluminium containing the pinhole on the side of the body cap that will face the film or sensor.  Take care not to cover the pinhole with excess glue.

You could in theory attach your adapted body cap to the camera and try it out at this point however I would urge patience. Give the vapors in the glue a chance to clear completely. Just like dust and filings from the drill you do not want want them circulating around inside your camera.

Time to give it a go. Attach the body cap. You probably won’t see much at first but give your eye a chance to become accustomed to the very low light levels.

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