If you buy a camera today, chances are quite good that it’s digital. Considering the resolution now availble for very reasonable prices, film has, understandably, declined in popularity. There are, however, people like computer science student Adam Piekarski, who are still interested in the art of film photography. One can still buy this type of camera, but Piekarski decided instead to build his own 35mm pinhole camera.
A pinhole camera is extremely simple in concept, using a hole to allow light to shine onto film without a lens.
There are kits available to make pinhole cameras, but Piekarski decided to use an oven tray (coincidentally a 35cm model) to form his own, using screws and wall plugs to turn the film as needed. As he puts it, if you follow along with this project (an abbreviated version is shown below), “you’ll discover just how bad I am at planning and designing things.” He also adds that “it was still an enthralling experience.”
Sometimes I think I tend to overplan things. This is good in most cases, but sometimes it’s fun to just get started with a vague plan and fix it as you go. As seen in the picture above, he did eventually get his camera to function, and there are two more examples of his work in the gallery below.
You may notice that there is a separate hole section attached to the frame. This is made from a beer can as the baking tray body was too thick to pierce with a pin at roughly .4mm. Also of note is that the inside is covered with electrical tape and other types of dark material to keep light out of the body. This is certainly important, as any leaked light could be absorbed by the film in use.
Piekarski, as you might suspect, is not new to making unusual contraptions. We featured his Wi-Fi enabled Raspberry Pi-powered kettle in May of this year. Hopefully we’ll see more cool stuff from him in the future!