Bringing back pinholeJune 8th 2009
The net is awash with guides on how to make pinhole cameras by various means. Many still use the age old design that I recall from kids science project books. These involve taking something akin to a shoe box and placing a piece of film at one end, with a pinhole at the other. While the design is simple, it does involve a lot of fuss. You need darkroom conditions to make the thing, you have to develop the film and you’ll have a lot of difficulty determining exposure time.
There are however a couple of very simple guides for turning your digital SLR body into a pinhole camera for basically no added cost. For example, this and this.
I tried out the former since I didn’t have my extension tubes with me:
As you can see, blurry and noisy, but not without a certain charm. I think, if used properly, with a smaller pinhole and longer exposures at lower ISO values, the results may be more encouraging. I certainly found using a cable release and mirror lock up very useful: