Archive for the 'Pinhole' Category

Develop film with Coffee and Vitamin C

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

I have been talking about doing this experiment for a long time, but have never gotten to it until this weekend. It is possible to process your own film using coffee. Hard to believe, I know, but it works. The other ingredient besides vitamin C and coffee is washing soda. It was a little hard to track down, but you might look in the laundry section of your local grocery store. Here is a YouTube video showing how it is done:

For my test I used color slide film and it worked just fine. The pictures were taken with my trusty medium format Lego camera. I wasn’t sure what I would get, but the results were black and white negatives (as opposed to color positives). Interesting. Here is a photo from the roll:


Pinhole Camera Made From Juice Box

Sunday, May 11th, 2008


Dennis from Captured Starlight has a nice pinhole camera made out of a juice box. A big part of my fascination with pinhole photography is the ingenuity of the photographers that build there own cameras. Anyone can drop a couple hundred dollars on the latest camera, but it takes a special motivation to build a picture taking machine out of the scraps you find in the garbage.

If you are interested in pinhole photography, Ebay might be a good place to find a starter pinhole camera. Here are the pinhole camera auctions going on right now:

Argus Pinhole Modification

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

I don’t have a tutorial for this one, but I thought I would share with you the pinhole modification I made to my Argus. I already had the lens stripped away from my homemade tilt-shift lens experiment and realized that the small leftover body would make a nice pinhole camera. All I really had to do was attach my homemade pinhole shutter (remember the one made out of a floppy disk and a ballpoint pen?) which I modded to work with a cable release. Now I have a pretty decent pinhole camera that I can trigger with the cable rather than adding camera shake with a more traditional shutter mechanism (black tape). It isn’t my most beautiful camera, but it is small and it works! Here are some pictures of it:

Front of the camera with the shutter release cable: argus_pinhole_front.jpg

The back with the film loaded: argus_pinhole_back_closed.jpg

The back of the camera opened up: argus_pinhole_back.jpg

Here are the current auctions on Ebay for “Argus Cameras” that you might be interested in:

Happy Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day!

Sunday, April 29th, 2007

Dandelions_Polaroid2.jpgDid you make it out to take pictures with your pinhole camera today? I took a couple of my Polaroid pinhole cameras out so that I wouldn’t have to wait for film processing. If you want to see some of the photos that were taken today there is a group on Flickr just for this holiday. While I am on the subject, I wanted to thank the Flickr blog for including one of my pinhole photos in their post the other day as well as a link to the digital pinhole photography group that I administrate. Cool!

How To Build a Digital Pinhole Camera (Update)

Thursday, March 8th, 2007

Before I was known as “the guy who makes pinhole cameras out of Legos” I was experimenting with making digital pinhole cameras. The easy way to do this is to replace the lens of a digital SLR with a pinhole body cap, but the hard way is to make a camera obscura in a box and use a digital camera to take a picture of the pinhole’s “projection.”

I was impressed when a computer crowd took note of my work, and now it looks like some science guys are having fun with my ideas, too. The Science Buddies website has taken my concept and tutorial and expanded it into a step-by-step tutorial perfect for a science fair project. Cool! When I was in grade school I remember the years alternating between science fairs and art fairs. I dreaded the science years and loved the art years, so I think it is great that I can finally contribute something to “the other side.” I even got an email from a student who tackled this project and got an “A” on the assignment. My sixth grade teacher Mrs. Luedloff would be proud of me.

If you are interested in pinhole photography, Ebay might be a good place to find a starter pinhole camera. Here are the pinhole camera auctions going on right now:

Gakken Pinhole Camera

Thursday, December 28th, 2006


I got a nice Christmas present from my friend Travis. If you spend much time on Flickr, he is the guy with the great collection of toy cameras (link to his Gakken Pinhole set). He gave me a Gakken camera. Never heard of it? It is a little plastic camera from Japan that comes in a kit with a magazine. I can’t read Japanese, but the magazine was really nice, and had pictures describing several interesting pinhole experiments. I am not sure if a camera kit magazine is a common thing in Japan, but it sure seem foreign (and wonderful) to me.

I called this a pinhole camera, but it actually comes with a plastic lens that can be used if you don’t want to do the pinhole thing. The shutter is probably around 100th of a second, or you can use an unorthodox bulb mode. Push the button one way to cock the shutter. Push it back the other way and it snaps accross. To use the bulb mode, you cock the shutter. Then push the second lever up and the shutter will open. Push this lever back down and the shutter closes. Turn the know on top to advance the film. The knob has a mark on it too show when you have advanced one complete frame. The Gakken doesn’t have many extras, but it does come with a tripod mound which will come in handy for long pinhole exposures.

The entire camera is plastic and it was made for fun. Double exposures are simple and so are overlapping frames. If you can get your hands on one of these cameras, I recommend it. I don’t have any photos taken with this camera to show you yet, but I recommend Travis’s gallery from the link above.

Here are some of the auctions on Ebay for Gakken Pinhole cameras that you might be interested in:

Updated 35mm Lego Camera Design

Wednesday, July 5th, 2006


Inspired by George Bristol’s variation on the film advance mechanism of my Lego camera, I have reworked the design of my 35mm Lego camera. The new camera has several things going for it. Overall it is slightly smaller. It now has an internal shutter mechanism which replaces the clumsy swinging door of the earlier model. Most importantly, I came up with a simple way to rewind the film so now the camera no longer needs to be unloaded in the dark. I have tested a couple of rolls of film with it and the improvements make this a very fun little toy! I am seriously starting to consider selling these, perhaps on Ebay. Would anybody be interested? What do you think it would be worth?

Here are some photos and explanations of the new and improved 35mm Lego camera…


Lego Camera Update

Wednesday, May 24th, 2006

LegoCameraV2.gif I haven’t built any new cameras lately, but I have been shooting about a roll a week with my Lego camera. I have been tweaking the design and modifying things and I think I finally have a camera that I am pretty happy with. You can read about the original Lego camera design here. Here is a description of some of the improvements I have made:


Lego Camera With Mindstorms

Sunday, May 14th, 2006

There has been another Lego camera sighting, but this time the camera comes equipped with Mindstorms! For those of you who don’t know, Mindstorms are Lego robotics kits. It is kind of hard to tell what the robotic parts actually do on this camera, but I assume it controls the shutter. It would be really impressive if it advanced the film as well. Could that be true? I am not real confident that I translated the site correctly, but I think the inventor’s name is Markus Thomas. You can view his camera here and one of the photos he took with it here. Congratulations, Markus! Very impressive.

Happy Pinhole Day!

Saturday, April 29th, 2006

Sunday, April 30 is Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day. Now you have an excuse to build that pinhole camera you have been procrastinating about. In celebration of this holiday, I thought I would point you in the direction of some of the articles I have written about pinhole photography.

How to convert a Polaroid camera into a pinholaroid The Medium Format Lego pinhole camera The 35mm Lego pinhole camera Where to find cheap laser drilled pinholes The hard way to build a digital pinhole camera Here is a gallery of some of my pinhole photography mostly taken with my Lego camera

Have a happy holiday and have fun taking pinhole pictures!

If you are interested in pinhole photography, Ebay might be a good place to find a starter pinhole camera. Here are the pinhole camera auctions going on right now: