DIY Pinhole "Lens" for Vintage-Looking Photographs

Introduction: DIY Pinhole "Lens" for Vintage-Looking Photographs

About: There are only two tools you need in life. WD-40 and Duct Tape. WD-40 when something doesn't move and it should, and Duct Tape when something moves and it shouldn't.

The Pinhole Camera was the first kind of camera. The concept was discovered in the fifth century and used to take inverted photographs. It was a light proof box with a very small hole (Fixed Aperture) for light from a certain scene to pass through and put an inverted image on the other side of the box. This could be used to put an image on film.

In this Instructable, we will be making a Pinhole Lens for a modern DSLR or a slightly less modern (but still awesome) SLR Camera. With this "lens" you will be able to photograph vintage looking pictures or very artistic pictures because of the fuzziness, slight vignetting, and mild blur. The depth of field on pinhole lenses is basically infinite but some blur is still there because of other factors.

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Step 1: Required Materials

This Instructable doesn't need too many materials. This process can be adjusted depending on what tools you do and don't have.

1. DSLR or SLR camera. This is pretty important for obvious reasons... A Mirrorless Camera (not point and shoot) will also work.

2. Body Cap for the camera. You should use one of these although an old plastic card could work.

3. Something to drill the hole in the body cap. I would strongly recommend a drill press although it could be done differently a drill press will give you the cleanest hole. A small drill bit is also necessary.

4. Foil Tape (optional). This will allow you to adjust aperture size for a clearer dimmer image, (long exposure) or a fuzzier, more blurred, and brighter image(short exposure).

Step 2: Drilling the Hole.

This is the step where you will put the cap on the drill press and drill a hole in the exact (as close as possible) middle. This can also be done with a cordless drill at the sacrifice of accuracy.

Step 3: Finish the Lens.

Now that you have the hole, you may want to adjust the size. Begin by taking foil tape and covering the hole with it. Now that you've done that, punch a hole whatever size you want, but not while it's on the camera. I chose the size of a resistor lead. You will be surprised at how much the picture varies when you adjust the hole size.

Step 4: The Final Result.

By now, you should have a competed lens ready to shoot some pictures! Enjoy the artistic look and try different exposure lengths. Just make sure you camera is on the MANUAL or M setting or else it will read NO LENS.

Enjoy your new "lens" and feel free to leave a comment.

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    2 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    This is a cool idea. Do you have any of your pinhole camera photos to share?


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Yes I have a few more photos I took... I chose to share these because of the neat lens flare effect. And thanks for commenting!