UPDATE: I’ve added some images of the pinhole camera on a new blog post here.

My eighth grade daughter chose to make a pinhole camera for the science fair and asked me to help out. With this being the 21st Century and all, we opted to make a digital version.

It was actually fairly simple to create. She, along with a schoolmate, took a cardboard box and covered it in foil tape to guarantee that it was lightproof. For the lens, a piece of aluminum soda can was used with a needle hole punched in the center. In place of film on the inside of the box, she put a sheet of white paper.

To add the digital part, a hole was cut in the front of the box beside the pinhole lens. It was through this hole that the digital SLR was used to record the pinhole image being displayed on the rear of the box’s inside. To eliminate any light leaks around the SLR lens, a combination of a rubber gasket made from a bicycle tube and foil tape was used. The lens was set on manual focus at its closest setting.

For exposure, she did a bunch of trial-and-error test shots (pretty much just bracketed her times). She was eventually able to produce some fairly good images. In hindsight, I would have suggested that she used a smaller aperture on the SLR to increase the depth-of-field to overcome the blurred left side of the frame.

All in all, I like what she came up with. It was pretty cool to see the image the was captured through a pinhole in a soda can.

Canon 5D, Canon 24-105 f4/L lens – 40 seconds, f/4, ISO 3200