Introduction: Pinhole DSLR (quick and Dirty Edition)

About: I'm just another person out there trying to get the most out of life. I love to expole the world around me and try to have a good time doing so.

I decided I wanted to play around with pinhole photography. Its always intrigued me, and as my paycheck fell short this month, I needed something free to entertain myself with.

Now, I wanted to play around with this method of photography but still have the ease and instant gratification of digital. After doing a little research online I decided on a way to make a pinhole rig for my DSLR using material I already had at home.

Realistically, this instructable could cost you nothing, as it uses items you probably already have. At the most, I'd estimate it could set you back $15.

This instructable will show you how to make the pinhole rig for your DSLR, but will not go very in depth on how to take photos with it. That's because I'm still experimenting myself. Use this as a starting point for your experimentations and explorations!

Have fun, and as always, feel free to post your photos in the comments

Step 1: Materials and Tools

DSLR Camera
Body Cap for said Camera
Black Electrical Tape
Aluminum Foil

Fine Sand Paper
Dill and Small Bit (about 1/8in)

Step 2: Step 1 ~ Prep the Cap

To make our pinhole rig we'll need a small (not tiny) hole the center of the body cap.

Find the Center of the Cap
Use your ruler to draw a small line across the center of your cap. Rotate the cap a bit (about 90 deg) and draw another small line across the center of your cap. Where these two lines intersect is the center.

Drill Out the Center of the Cap
Use your drill to make a small (about 1/8in) hole where your two lines intersect.

Clean Up Your Hole
Use your fine sand paper to clean up the inside of the hole, as well as the area around the hole.

Be sure to get all the dust off the cap from this sanding as it will end up in your camera and maybe on your sensor!

Step 3: Step 2 ~ Make Your Pinhole

In this step we'll make a tape frame with aluminum foil in the middle with our pinhole and attach it to the cap.

Note: I know that electrical tape and aluminum foil are not the strongest or most durable of materials. However, I selected these for use in this project for a few reasons. First, they block light completely. Also the aluminum foil is thin (thinner is better for pinhole photography) and easy to pierce. And finally, this makes it easy to make and attach new pin holes should yours get damaged or for experimentation.

Make a Tape Frame
Using strips about 1in long make a square frame out of electrical tape. Be sure to lay it out and construct it sticky side up.

Place Aluminum Foil
Use your scissors to cut out a small square of aluminum foil. This square should be large enough to completely cover up the middle of the electrical tape frame, but still leave enough tape adhesive exposed to securely stick to the cap.

Center the foil over the hole in the center of the cap and press the two together. Now use a pin to prick a tiny hold in the center of the foil.

Note: The smaller the hole the better the detail of the image. It took me three tries to get a nice small pinhole, so no worries if you don't get it on the first try.

Step 4: Step 3 ~ Go Play!

That's it!
Put the cap on your camera and you are ready to rock and roll!

Some considerations:

The pin hole is extremely tiny and lets in very little light, you will probably be taking long exposures so don't forget your tripod.

The size of the hole greatly influences the clarity of your image. The first three photos below were taken with a larger pinhole. The last five with a smaller pinhole. Notice the difference.

We made our pinhole rig so its easy to swap out the foil. Go experiment! Try three holes in a triangle shape, or a tiny slit made with a razor. Be inventive, and above all . . .

Have Fun!

If you are intersted in seeing more pinhole photos by me please visit my flickr Pinhole set