making a pin-hole lens

A long long time ago, cameras utilized what we call a pin-hole lens.  This was a close fitting lens without glass or plastic, but rather a tiny pin-pricked hole.  There's a lot of careful math involved to create a good focal length and diameter, but I dislike math so I disregarded it entirely.  I was initially inspired by my impatience to get a lens for a Nikon F3HP that I recently purchased, and wanted to see what quick alternatives there were.  So, with my Canon DSLR as a test subject, I decided to try my hand at making a pinhole lens for fun.

I initially started off by tracing the lens cap on some scrap paper, and used it to cut a small disk of aluminum.  Then, I wasted a ton of time looking for my misplaced calipers and ended up having to use this ancient piece of trash.

With that done, I went ahead and center-punched/drilled a hole at the center point i marked out.

Along with my misplaced calipers, was some misplaced foam, so I used a circle of white leather that I cut out instead to help seal light.  I had black leather, which would have been best, but I was saving it for something else.  After I cut it, I glued it to the back of the disk and clamped it.

I used a piece of aluminum tape to prick the hole in the center, though foil would have worked better.  The adhesive actually marred the image.  From then on, it was just a matter of adjusting the exposure, flash, and hole diameter.  Being night, getting good images was difficult.  I'll have to take it outside sometime.


stapler and pencil can behind a boxed bottle of ink

pictures framed with the light reflecting 

the Nikon one touch and stapler

A little set back.  This is 0.0 aperture...?

A closer view of the nikon and stapler.  This was the best image, but as i was adjusting the hole size, i ruined it.

Edit: I used tin foil and got better results...Just need to adjust the size of the hole more and keep it as round as possible.

EDIT 2 - Glass lens upgrade 

After adding the glass, i made the pinhole as small as i possibly could and took a 30 second exposure on ISO 800

Then i wanted to test its threshold for detail

30 seconds at ISO 800.  Amazing.
just needs a lot of light


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