A Pinhole camera is just for You! Pinhole camera, also known as camera obscura, or "darkchamber", is a simple optical imaging device in the shape of aclosed box or chamber. In one of its sides is a small holewhich, via the rectilinear propagation of light, creates animage of the outside space on the opposite side of the box.
The Box1. Remove the inner part of the matchbox, the match tray. Mark out a 24mm squareexactly in the centre of the match tray. Alternatively, if you want standard formatrectangular photos (some photo labs will find these easier to print) mark out a 36mm x24mm rectangle. Carefully cut out the frame shape with a sharp knife, keeping the edgesas neat as possible, or if you prefer, make it messy, its up to you! Any rough edges andcard fibres will appear around the edges of each photo.
2. To reduce internal reflections in the camera, colour in the inside of the tray with a black felt tipped pen.3. Try to colour the inside front of thematchbox sleeve black too
4.Exactly in the centre of thefront of the matchbox sleeve,mark out a 6mm square.Carefully cut this square outkeeping the edges as neat aspossible to avoid fluffy fibresobscuring the image
Making The Pinhole1.Cut out a piece of aluminium from the drinks can, about 15mm square. Place thealuminium onto some thick cardboard. Using the fine sewing needle or sharp pin,gently press into the centre of the aluminium. Twist the pin between your fingerswhile doing this so that it slowly "drills" a hole through the metal. Dont push downhard with the pin so that it goes straight through, the idea is to produce a very smallhole with clean edges.
2.The ideal diameter of the pinholeis about 0.2mm, smaller is OK,larger and the images producedwill be less sharp. 3.Colour the back of the pinhole black, again this should help reduce internal light reflections in the camera
Place the aluminium onto the box sothat the pinhole is exactly in the centreof the square hole in the top of thebox Tape the aluminium onto the box, securing all four sides
Adding a Shutter 1. Its possible just to use a piece of tape across the pinhole to act as a shutter, but a sliding shutter can be easier to use. Cut two pieces of thin card, a square about 32mm, and a rectangle about 25mm x 40mm. In the square piece, cut out a 6mm square in the centre. 2. Place some black tape on one side of the rectangular piece to help prevent light leaks. 3. Place the square piece over the pinhole and tape down three sides, leaving a gap in the top into which the rectangular shutter card can slide 4. Check that the shutter can be pushed down to fully cover the pinhole 1. 2.3. 4.
Loading the cameraFirst, trim the leader off the film, cutting the edge as squarely as possible. If thefilm stub from the empy canister is not cut squarely across, trim it square too.Pull out a little more film and thread the film through the matchbox. Make sure theemulsion side (non-shiny side) is facing the pinhole
Using some clear sticky tape,splice the ends of the filmtogether as neatly as possible.Try to make sure the edges arelined up together so the filmcan pass easily into the emptycanister. Tape both sides andmake sure the joint is secure.Slide the match tray back into the box
Turn the spindle of the empty filmcanister so that the slack film iswound into it. Make sure the edgesof each film canister are pushed uptight to the matchbox and no film canbe seen. The film is now loaded, but needs to be made light tight
Light proofingIf you want your pictures to be free from light leaks, its very important that no light atall can get into the camera other than through the pinhole! Black electrical PVC tape isvery effective at keeping out light.The most important places to seal are between the film canisters and the matchbox.Place strips of tape down the front on both sides. Use two layers and make sure it isstuck down firmly all around.Pay attention to the ends of each reel. Add more tape here, trim around the spindlesso that the tape adhesive doesnt stick and prevent the film being wound on. Again,use a couple of layers and check all around both joints to make sure they are totallysealed.The cardboard of the matchbox willalso leak a small amount of light,especially in bright conditions. This willgive your photos a mottled red effect.If you dont want this, tape all over theback and sides of the box so that nocardboard is showing
WinderTo make it easier to wind the film on, sticksomething into the top of the empty spool.Here I used the ring pull from the can As you wind the film on, the film in the take up spool will tend to keep springing back. To keep some tension on the take up spool, place a little tissue paper on the base of the take up spool and tape over it. Dont make this too tight or it will be difficult to wind the film on.
Thats it! The completed camera is now ready to used.Make sure the shutter is closed. To wind the film on, turn the winderon the empty take up spool anticlockwise!