27 votes
Accepted

Why is the hole in a pinhole camera usually a circle?

From Wikipedia's Pinhole camera article, The best pinhole is perfectly round (since irregularities cause higher-order diffraction effects), and in an extremely thin piece of material. Industrially ...
  • 31k
19 votes
Accepted

All images are out of focus with pinhole body cap

This is exactly what one expects from a pinhole lens. Normal lenses A normal lens has a big opening and bends all the light rays coming from a point-like object to cross in a point behind the lens. ...
  • 470
19 votes

Why doesn't my pinhole image cover the film?

You have vignetting. It's probably not from the pinhole failing to cover the film; more likely the pinhole is in too narrow a hole in the front panel material, and that material is blocking light ...
  • 6,319
16 votes

Why doesn't my pinhole image cover the film?

Even though this has been answered, I wanted to visualize this interesting problem. If we assume light travels in straight lines, then the wall thickness and hole diameter both matter. In these ...
  • 261
15 votes

How can I test that the image is inverted in a pinhole camera?

Replace the back wall of the camera with a sheet of tracing paper, ground glass (or similar translucent material) and observe the resolved image from behind the camera. You may need a dark sheet over ...
  • 1,203
12 votes
Accepted

Will a pinhole camera work with instant film?

You definitely have to change the design of the camera. This HowStuffWorks page explains how instant film develops well enough. Essentially, the film cassette contains rollers that roll out the ...
  • 20.3k
11 votes

Why doesn't my pinhole image cover the film?

Regardless of the distance from the hole to the film, your camera has a maximum field of view of ~8 degrees. This is because no light ray that is off-axis by more than ~4 degrees can make it through a ...
  • 361
10 votes

All images are out of focus with pinhole body cap

Your results are GREAT. You show exactly what one should expect using a "pinhole" lens. The reason your results are different from your Google search is because the image that you found wasn't ...
  • 5,431
9 votes

Why is the hole in a pinhole camera usually a circle?

The pin-hole casts (projects) tiny image circles on the back wall of the camera. This is also the place we position photo sensitive material so that we can replica this image on film or paper or ...
  • 36.6k
8 votes

How can I test that the image is inverted in a pinhole camera?

Make a simple, non-photographic pin-hole camera. Start with a cardboard tube. The round Quaker Oats breakfast box is perfect for this job. You can use any cardboard mailing tube. Cut off both ends, ...
  • 36.6k
7 votes

How to calculate the optimal pinhole size?

The earliest investigation of the right constant c that I am aware of is Petzval's 1859 On the camera obscura. The paper is predominantly about a new lens design he has created but he begins with an ...
6 votes

Concept of focus for a pinhole camera?

Depth of field for a pinhole camera is theoretically infinite. There is a formula to determine optimum pinhole size for any given focal length, the distance between pinhole and film. In practice we ...
  • 1,620
6 votes
Accepted

The ideal pinhole camera has an infinite depth of field

Yes, that means that everything is in focus (which implies that the sensor doesn't even need to be a plane).
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5 votes
Accepted

Concept of focus for a pinhole camera?

When we view a photograph made by a pin-hole camera, we are viewing an image comprised of countless circles. These are projected on film by the pin-hole. Their size is a function of the diameter of ...
  • 36.6k
5 votes
Accepted

Real world differences in pinhole sized apertures

You can calculate an approximation of the size of the actual diffraction spot (or Airy disk) as a function of your pinhole f-number and wavelength of light: D = 2 x 1.22 x lambda x F/# Across the ...
5 votes
Accepted

Storing pinhole photos in the field

While some care is needed to avoid accidental light leaks, light-proofing a container enough to safely store film or paper is not a colossal effort. Something as simple as duct tape over a few ...
  • 2,275
4 votes
Accepted

Can I combine a pinhole bodycap with macro extension tube to adjust focal length?

Yes, you can. But keep in mind that the optimal performance of a given pinhole is related to focal length used. More on the theme can be found here: How to calculate the optimal pinhole size?. Using ...
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4 votes

Can I combine a pinhole bodycap with macro extension tube to adjust focal length?

Can I combine this with a macro extension tube to adjust the focal length? Yes, you can. You can make some extension tubes with cardboard too to make some preliminary tests. P.D. Just make sure you ...
  • 21.3k
4 votes

All images are out of focus with pinhole body cap

Images you see done with pinhole online may be sharper for several reasons. Size of the original... 4x5" film Quality of the pinhole.... laser cut vs drilled vs pin pushed through foil flare from ...
  • 105
3 votes
Accepted

How properly expose a long exposure in daylight?

You are spot on! Use a sewing needle heated in a candle flame and carefully pierce the lens cap. Make a trial exposure and enlarge the hole if needed. Keep in mind that a tiny pinhole will induce ...
  • 36.6k
3 votes

How can I test that the image is inverted in a pinhole camera?

How did you look through the pinhole? If you put it far from your eye you have seen nothing. It is small hole and you have seen one "overexposed" point behind dark card. If you put the card as close ...
  • 1,778
3 votes

Whats the approximate aperture of a pinhole camera?

You can image a red laser across the room shining on your pinhole, and measure the diameter (in pixels) of your first dark ring (if your pinhole is a clean circle). Then knowing pinhole-to-detector ...
3 votes
Accepted

Developing pinhole camera photos - pictures turn cloudy

If you remove the paper from the developer after 20 seconds, the clouding could be caused by uneven development. Look at the recommended development time for the paper and the developer and adjust ...
  • 5,115
3 votes
Accepted

Are there super-macro lenses for getting "inside"?

Yes there are "super" macro lenses available. A macro lens usually provides up to 1x magnification, i.e. it can focus close enough to project an image onto the sensor that is life size. Super macro ...
  • 117k
3 votes
Accepted

Can I get Photographic Paper with lower ISO?

For a really insensitive paper, try blueprint paper photography or diazo paper photography. These sheets are comparatively inexpensive and are available in large sizes. You can even make blueprint ...
3 votes
Accepted

Medium / Large Format Pinhole Camera

The thing that changes with pinhole camera size is the best pinhole diameter to use. The optimal pinhole diameter is such that your pinhole-to-paper distance is the "Fresnel length" (please google ...
3 votes
Accepted

How does imaging plane's distance affect the picture in a pinhole camera?

The image size increases linearly with respect to distance between the pinhole and the film plane. The image gets larger in all dimensions. The image gets sharper as you increase the distance between ...
3 votes

Will a pinhole camera work with instant film?

You can easily convert most any instant camera to a pin-hole camera without damaging the camera in any way. If you do what I tell you, your instant camera will perform exactly as a pin-hole camera, in ...
  • 36.6k
3 votes

Is there an instant film I can use for developing pinhole photos with high school students?

The camera looks easy to make. Aaaand you'd be right. The camera isn't the hard part though. Please see my answers to this question (Will a pinhole camera work with instant film?) and this one (...
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Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible