1. Welcome to Mu-43.com—a friendly Micro 4/3 camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Pinhole Design?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Wasabi Bob, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 All-Pro

    I'm thinking of trying to make a pinhole "lens" out of the body lens cap on my Panasonic camera. The more research I do, the more confused I'm getting.

    Has anyone tried this? Can anyone suggest the diameter of the hole that needs to be made?
  2. sparkin

    sparkin Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 18, 2010
    Lexington, KY
    I suspect it is possible to calculate the optimal hole size. If I were you, I'd experiment. I'd make the body cap into a mount for holding interchangeable pinholes. Proof-of-principle would be to drill a hole say 1/4" in the cap, stick some black electrical tape over the hole, and poke a hole in it with a needle. That should give some range to experiment with.
  3. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    The easiest way to make a pinhole lens from a lens cap is to drill a small hole in the cap and then use tin foil as the lens. Get some very fine needles to experiment with, starting from the finest available and progressing upwards, until you are getting results that you like. I've got the Skink pinhole lens and the hole in it is laser drilled and very small.


  4. red

    red Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 21, 2010
    Hi Bob

    here are my related experiments:

    The can't-wait-for-the-pinwide project

    Assumed optical rules are that a smaller hole gives a sharper picture but needs more exposure time, and a closer distance to the sensor gives a wider angle...
  5. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 All-Pro


    Many thanks - some great ideas
  6. sparkin

    sparkin Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 18, 2010
    Lexington, KY
    The finest needles I know of are acupuncture needles, and I have thousands of them in various sizes. If anyone wants a few, just let me know where to send them.
  7. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 All-Pro

    So it's truly a pin hole

    So it truly sounds that the "pinhole" is VERY small. I was first under the impression that it was something about 1/32" (.79 mm)
  8. linkedit

    linkedit Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 6, 2010
    New Jersey, USA
    You can always buy a premade pinhole and attach to the bady cap.

    Photographic Pinholes by LENOX LASER

    If you want to make your own pinhole this site has a calculator to help determine the optimal pinhole size.

  9. silverbullet

    silverbullet Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 10, 2010
    with a cheap AGFA Clack* converted to a pinhole cam I made 6x9 b&w shots. Bad for me is the fact that I have only a Nikon Coolscan IV for 35mm...:rofl:

    So many pics are in my head and must be shooted with my Pen......

    *When I set up the cam in front of my Café Noir, the exposure time was so long that I easily walked into the frame and sat down......something like an old school selftimer......:thumbup:
  10. Krang

    Krang Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 19, 2010
    There is a optimal pinhole size for every focal length. The optimal pinhole has the best sharpness, DOF and the least amount of aberrations.

    There are several pinhole calculators around the internet. Like this one Pinhole Size Calculator

    Just make sure that you make as round a hole as possible. After you poke the hole with a needle, use some sandpaper on the opposite side to make the edges of the hole smooth and round. You can also measure the size of the pinhole you made by using a scanner.

    Of course you can just poke a hole and test what it looks like on your camera. It also works quite well :) 
  11. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nice work

    Silverbullet, I checked out your work on Flickr. I especially like the B&W Amsterdam set. These appear to be older film shots, but I might be wrong. So many new comers to digital photography seem to be obsessed with sharpness and never discovered the softness and film grain film delivered. It's ironic, that 35+ years ago I never looked at grain the way I do today!
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.