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Build your own Pinhole Camera

Tips and Tricks
Posted by Bengt Köhler Sandberg 02-09-2011

I made use of a old 6x6 camera and rebuild it to a super wide angle pinhole camera.

                    your own Pinhole Camera
Maybe not the prettiest but it works.

Focal length:

I assume you know the basics of how of a pinhole camera works.
But how do one control focal length?
To explain it very simple, the closer the pinhole is to the film the wider the focal length.
And the further away the more zoomed in it will be.
You will also get more vignetting the wider it gets.

Camera housing:

You can basically make a pinhole camera of anything but if you want something that’s easy to make and can take more then one picture at the time, an old medium camera is perfect.
You should look for a camera that use 120 film, there are some that uses some old film standards that you cant buy any more. Its also important that it can use a tripod as you will need long exposure times.

The build:

Basically I just removed everything that held the old lens etc. so I had a nice 6x6 hole true the hole camera. Next I blued a square piece of plastic that covers the 6x6 hole, had a space of a bit more then 1 cm from the piece of plastic and where the film will be. This piece must of course also have a hole in the middle so you can glue a little piece of metal there, this will we use for the pinhole.
I used a small piece of metal from a soda can because its a lot more sturdy then foil. Use a small needle to make a small hole, this will make the metal to bulge some around the hole. Use a fine sandpaper to make it has flat has possible, this is more important if you do a super wide angle camera.
Seal up any light leeks with tape.

Build your own Pinhole Camera


I use a lens cap as a shutter.
Glued 52mm filter that’s holds its in place.
How small aperture is a pinhole usually?
This depend on how far the pinhole is from the film and the size of the hole etc. etc.
Mine is about f:90 – f:128.
That means you need about 0,5 sec exposure in bright sunlight at ISO 400.
Its very easy to get that short time wrong when you use a lens cap for a shutter.
So the 52mm is a ND 0.9 filter that´s give me a time of about 4 sec.
This makes it a lot easier to get the right exposure.
I can also remove the ND glass if I want to use something else.

Build your own Pinhole Camera

It is a bit of trial and error.

Build your own Pinhole Camera

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