matchbox pinhole: the cheapest camera in the world



 Cameras Photography Photographic Pinhole

The tutorial was posted in 2005 in Alspix's blog, who later created an entire website for it, with every step you need to take in order to create your own pinhole camera for a 35mm film.

 Cameras Photography Photographic Pinhole

Material used: an empty drinks can, a roll of 35mm film, an empty roll of 35mm film with at least 1cm stub of film sticking out, a pin, a matchbox, black PVC electricians tape, plastic from a spiral binder, scissors, a ruler, a sharp craft knife, a black marker pen. Next, we have seven easy steps, in a sharp and direct speech, duly illustrated with pictures, for an easier understanding on how to transform a matchbox into a camera: the pinhole, the shutter (which will double as a clicker), how to load the film, how to isolate the camera from light, how to create a winder. At the end of the tutorial you'll be given refferences of the camera and a basic table with times of exposure for ISO 100 and 200 films, from which you can elborate on what you wish, with photo lab tips for when you take your pictures for developing. The ideal size for the pinhole is 0.2mm and achieving it is the hardest and most decisive part of the whole process. The box cutout is made, for instance, in a 24x24mm format, which will increase the number of exposures films usually allow; the cutting out of this square can be made seeking perfection, or not - our choice will determine the characteristics of the photo frames.

At a time of total binary dependency, building and using a pinhole camera is an exercise in mental hygiene and a return to basics. Alspix's explanation makes this experience possible, even for those who have never took photographs using a pinhole camera (and it even includes a forum for those with questions about it). The webpage www.matchboxpinhole.com is linked to Alspix's flickr gallery, showing his experiences with these cameras:

 Cameras Photography Photographic Pinhole

 Cameras Photography Photographic Pinhole

 Cameras Photography Photographic Pinhole

It is well worth a complete visit; and I'm not only talking about the matchbox galleries :)

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