Digital Pinhole Camera

Digital Pinhole 1 (2009)

Digital Pinhole 1 (2009)


Just a quick post to update you on the digital camera disaster (see previous post).

So…the lens was ruined, but I had no real way to tell if the camera body was also damaged. I had managed to download the latest images off the camera – which was a good sign. But without a lens, I had no way to check the camera’s functions and sensor had not also taken a battering.

Sitting in my small technician’s room one lunch time – I wondered if you could create a digital pinhole camera. This train of though mostly came about through my frustration at having an expensive camera body but absolutely no way of affording a new lens to make the thing usable in any sense!

That line of thought lead me onto the most basic form of photographic image – the pinhole camera technique.

So, thinking that there was no reason it shouldn’t work, I set about turning the Nikon Digital SLR body into the most expensive and technologically advanced pinhole camera the world has ever seen!

So far – I have only done a basic test to prove the theory correct and the process would work. To do so, I just got a bit of black mounting card, poked a very small hole (a pin hole no less!!!) into the middle of it and cut the card to be slightly bigger than the lens housing on the camera body.

Digital Pinhole 2 (2009)

Digital Pinhole 2 (2009)

I then firmly held the card over the camera body where the lens would normally fit, and took a photo as normal (this has to be done in fully manual mode; otherwise the camera goes mental trying to find a lens). I also had to experiment with exposure times for a while to try and get that right.

However – I was quite pleased with the results – three of which are displayed here. I didn’t Photoshop them other than a very small tweak on the levels. So what you see is what I got.

I am quite excited by them truth be told! Think there could be some mileage in this ironic form of digital image making!

So – my next project will be trying to make a slightly more permanent lens attachment so I can use the Nikon as a digital pinhole camera until I get the funds together to buy a real lens!

Or perhaps it will change the way I take photographs for ever?!?!

I will post more results on the blog as I get them.

Digital Pinhole 3 (2009)

Digital Pinhole 3 (2009)

In the mean time – try it yourself! It will fill you with a smug satisfaction to use such expensive and advanced equipment for such a basic task!

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