Make a digital pinhole camera

Discover how to build a pinhole camera by converting your SLR

Pinhole photography is one of the most primitive forms of photography and while it might seem a bit odd to try to turn an expensive digital SLR into a basic pinhole camera the results can be impressive – even if they are a little blurred. Read on to discover how to fashion your very own pinhole camera.

1. Drill a hole

Take your DSLRs body cap and locate the centre. Use a power drill to make a hole in the middle being careful not to go into your table. We found it best to start with a small hole and work up to a final hole of about 5mm.

2. Recycle a can

The tin foil from a soft-drink can is ideal to make a pinhole. Use a tin opener to remove the top. Rinse the inside so its not all sticky and carefully cut a small square about 3cm should be good.

3. Make a pinhole

To make the pinhole youll need to select a small sewing needle. Twist the needle into the centre of the foil until you’ve penetrated all the way through. Again, be careful not to ruin your table (or your fingers).

4. Refine your pinhole

The hole will probably be a bit rough around the edges so use a very fine sand paper to smooth it out. Ideally you want the foil around the hole to be as thin as possible without it letting any light through.

5. Light tight

Attach the foil pinhole to the inside of the body cap ensuring the pinhole is in the centre of the larger hole. Use black electrical tape to secure the hole making sure that light cant leak through any gaps.

6. Shoot away

You won’t see anything through the viewfinder so youll need to experiment with your composition and exposure. Switch to Manual mode and try a 30 seconds exposure while flashing the subject repeatedly.