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Pinhole camera

This was taken with a digital pinhole camera. Details of how to make one are shown below. It’s quite easy and the results are remarkable, especially with more modern cameras with better high iso exposure.

Typically I have found I get better results if exposure is carefully set in camera. I use the histogram to check this. Also, I have found that longer exposures give better results although a tripod is typically needed for this. I guess this is due to the way a pinhole works. With no lens to concentrate the light, longer exposures result in more detail getting through to the sensor. I am talking about the difference between 1/125 sec and 2 seconds.

Making a pinhole

Flatten out a piece of aluminium can and with a needle, ‘drill’ out a small hole. Go slowly and at each stage smooth off the burrs on each side with some very fine emery paper. Drill again after filling until a small very round hole is obtained. The smaller and rounder the better. Do note however that smaller holes do require more exposure and are therefore harder to use, but results do improve.

Then tape this hole to a lens cap or (as seen below) a lens adapter ring. The lens adapter ring is better because the nearer the hole is to the sensor, the wider field of view you get. Also, it is a good idea to black out the inside of the metal hole plate to cut down internal reflections - I used a permanent marker.

See the comparison page that shows a pinhole image versus a lens image. See the pinhole gallery for more pinhole images. Note the smoother coffee cup with a 2 second exposure and the bicycle and the estate which were both under exposed in camera and brought up in post processing. Both are subsequently grainy.


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