Introduction: Dirt Cheap Pinhole Lens for DSLR

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I have seen some nice pinhole photography. Mostly are black and white. The pinhole lens is actually not a lens but only a hole. There is no glass, no coating, no focusing ...

I have owned several EOS cameras. When they were gone, they left me the camera cap.

I used the camera cap to make a pin hole lens.

Step 1: Materials

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1. A camera cap.
2. A tin foil - 1"x1" is enough
3. Some tape

Step 2: Make a Hole

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Drill a hole at the center of the lens cap. Clean the hole and remove all debris as they will fall on the CMOS sensor. 

Step 3: Seal the Hole

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The hole we just drilled is far too big. It is to be sealed by taping the tin foil on it. We use tin foil because it leaks no light. Paper or plastic sheets may me leaky.

Step 4: Punch the Hole

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Use a pin to make a very tiny hole on the tin foil.

Step 5: Done

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Screw the cap on the camera and start shooting.

Step 6: A Sample Photo

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Through the viewfinder of the camera all you can see is complete darkness because the hole is too small for visible amount of light to pass through.

You need a tripod and set the exposure to "Bulb". It is going to take some trials and errors to get the first picture.

If you can't wait, you may try to use a flash.

The big nut is taken by the pinhole lens with a flash. The camera is set to monochrome.

More pictures are posted at my blog.


RayJN (author)2014-08-10

I make one years ago for a film SLR.

I used thin brass put in a hole with a needle, sand off the burrs with very fine sand paper, the paint back side with flat black. I could see a faint image through the view finder. I probably had a larger hole. You could experiment with different size holes. The disadvantage of the aluminum foil is you have burrs around the edges which degrade the image.

Here is a link to a pdf file to make a pinhole exposure calculator

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