Picture of Make an adjustable Pinhole camera
This instructable shows you how to convert a 60year old analog camera to a pinhole camera with three different pinholes.
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Step 1: Get the camera

Picture of Get the camera
First of all you need the camera. Tha agfa clack was introduced in 1954 and uses medium format film. But with a small modification you can also use 35mm.
I chose the agfa clack, because it is robust, cheap and easy to modify. You can get this camera for a few bucks in online auctions.
If the housing is o.k., don't worry about the function. There is nearly nothing that can get broken.

Step 2: Get a sheet of aluminium

Picture of get a sheet of aluminium
As a matter of fact, the hole is the most important thing for a pin-hole camera. But a hole would be nothing if there wasn't anything around the hole. :-)

This is a very thin sheet of aluminium. You can get that from a soda-can, a tea candle or something similar.

Step 3: Make a hole

Picture of Make a hole
The key to a good performance of the pinhole camera is the hole.

The perfect hole is done in multiple steps. Do not just punch through, but make a small dent and polish it away. Dent to the other side and polish again. Do it as long as it takes to make a small hole.

Use this calculator for the best hole-size:

I chose 0.3mm for the smalles hole, resulting in a aperture of 256.
I checked the size of the hole with a lead of a mechanical pencil, which is 0.3mm.

By the way: The makro-pictures were taken with my smartphone where I applied a laser-lens from an old CD-ROM-drive to the camera.

Step 4: Make another hole

Picture of make another hole
Now that you have one perfect hole make another one of different size.

I wanted to have aperture 64 and 16.
Therefore I needed one more pin-hole of 1.25mm and used the existing hole that was already there.
An aperture of 16 doesn't make sense if you want to remove the lens.

I also checked these with leads of mechanical pencils or other stuff I found around in the house. 1.25mm is aproximately the size of a rather thick pin.
Jan_Henrik1 year ago

Very cool!

Yo-K, as most pointed out, its not purely a pinhole camera. I'd call it "lens assisted pinhole" in a pinch. A pinhole focuses by diffraction where a lens focuses by refraction. Still a fun project, but beware of reciprocity failure.
But technically it's not a pinhole camera since you put a lens on the pinholes.
It is only a regular analog camera with 3 apertures as there was many 50 or 69 years ago.
mickryobe1 year ago
A pinhole camera, by definition, has no lens.
I used an Agfa Clack for World Wide Pinhole Day 2013 back in April, as did several others from various spots on the globe http://www.pinholeday.org/gallery/2013/index.php?formType=list&f_action=refresh&Country=&Province=&City=&groupname=&searchStr=clack My submission is easy to spot as the worst one on the Clack page :(

The Clack's is indeed a great camera for pinhole photography. As you point out, it is rugged and easy to work on. It also takes a big old' 60x90mm image on 120 film, and that with a curved film plane that drops off less at the edges.
crazyg1 year ago
It looks and works good, :-)
As you already noticed in step 6 since lens remains in place this will not be a pin-hole camera, you only reduced the light coming from the lens, and also the shutter time. In your camera the principle to convey light to focus remains the lens refraction. That "pin-hole" is a nice experiment, but I really don't see which benefit it could improve... :-/
andyk75 (author)  andrea biffi1 year ago
Well, the benefit of the very small aperture is in fact a pinhole-like image.
The depth of field is enormously increased. This is what I like about pin-hole cameras.
Second benefit is the long exposure time, which blurs motion in the picture.
I just don't want to limit myself to only one technique.
Yeah, you added a f256 aperture to your camera, but benefits of pin-hole cameras are only that they don't need a lens ;-)
Very wide depth of field and very long shutter time are peculiarities needed to take unusual pictures, I won't associate them to pin-holes. Anyway it's good that you want to experiment new techniques, and that you have been able to modify an old camera which otherwise couldn't be appropriate.