We are going to make a pinhole camera from a small matchbox.
Yes, you will actually take pictures with it, so be sure to make it as best as possible!!!
Step 1: You Will Need...
§ A matchbox
§ A new roll of B&W 400 ISO 35mm film
§ An empty roll of 35mm film with at least 1cm stub of film sticking out.
§ Thin cardboard (The box the new film comes in is fine)
§ An empty drink can
§ Black PVC electricians tape
§ A plastic bottle
§ A fine needle
§ An Exacto knife
§ A black sharpie
§ Decorating tape
Step 2: The Box
- Remove the inner part of the matchbox; the matchbox tray.
- Mark out a 1" square exactly in the centre of the match tray.
HINT: You can find the middle of the box by drawing an X from corner to corner.
- Carefully cut out the square shape with a sharp knife. This will be the frame of your image.
HINT: You can keep the edges clean or make it messy, it's up to you!
- Color the inside tray completely black with a Sharpie.
Step 3: Cutting the Hole
- Mark out a 1/4" square on the font of the matchbox sleeve.
- Cut this square out neatly with an Exacto knife to avoid fluffy fibers from obscuring the image.
Step 4: Making the Pinhole
- Cut out a 1" square from the aluminum drinks can.
- Color the 1" square black with a Sharpie.
- Ask Ms Britz to make your pinhole in your aluminum can.
HINT: Ideal pinhole diameter is 0.2mm. Smaller is OK, larger and the images produced will be less sharp.
Step 5: Tape Pinhole to Matchbox
- Place the aluminum onto the box so that the pinhole is exactly in the centre of the square hole.
- Tape the aluminum onto the box, securing all four sides.
HINT: Do not cover the pinhole!!
Step 6: Making a Shutter
- Cut two pieces of thin card.
1. 1"x1" square. Cut a 1/4" square in the middle of the square. This holds your shutter.
2. 2"x1" rectangle. Cut one end rounder. This is your shutter.
- Put the square over the pinhole and tape the sides and the bottom. Leave the top open.
- Slide the rectangle, rounded side down, in the opening of the square.
HINT: Make sure the shutter goes over the pinhole.
Step 7: Make and Add a Clicker to Your Roll of Film
- Grab a new canister of film (higher iso's work better with pinholes)
- We need to know how far to wind the film after each picture. For this we make a clicker from a plastic bottle.
- Cut a piece of plastic from a plastic bottle.
HINT: Cut it on the curvy round side.
- Tape the plastic to the new film canister securely.
- Test clicker by gently pulling out some film. It should slide over the film holes smoothly and make a click.
Step 8: Loading the Camera
- Trim the leader off the film, cutting in between the sprocket holes.
- Pull out a little film and thread the film through the matchbox.
HINT: Make sure the emulsion side (non-shiny side) is facing the pinhole.
- Using some clear sticky tape, splice the ends of a new film with an empty film canister together neatly.
HINT: Make sure the edges are lined up so the film can pass into the empty canister. Tape both sides and make sure the joint is secure.
- Slide the match tray back into the box, with the square on the film.
- Turn the spindle of the empty film canister so that the slack film is wound into it.
- Make sure the edges of each film canister are pushed up tight to the matchbox and no film can be seen.
Step 9: Light Proof Your Camera
- It's important that no light can get into the camera other than through the pinhole!
- The most important places to seal are between the film canisters and the matchbox.
- Tape the slits between the matchbox and the film canister.
- Tape all over the back and sides of the box so that no card is showing.
HINT: Do not tape over the pinhole or the slit where the shutter slides into.
- DECORATE YOUR CAMERA! :):):):)
Step 10: Image Exposure
- Download the free app, Pocket Light Meter, on your iPhone or iPad.
- On a small piece of paper, write down this chart and stick it to the back of your camera.
EV: [Exposure Value]
13: 2 sec
12: 6 sec
11: 13 sec
10: 25 sec
9: 50 sec
8: 150 sec
7: 400 sec
- From here, Ms Britz will teach you how to take pictures.