This Shoebox is Actually a Pinhole Camera


All images shot by Benoit Charlot, Used with Permission

Pinhole cameras are awesome and cool because of the fact that literally anything to have can be turned into a camera. But Flickr user Benoit Charlot turned this shoebox into a large format camera. He describes how he made it on his blog, but the important thing is how he created the optic. It is the equivalent of 120mm and has a constant aperture of F90. The hole is 1.5mm in diameter–which is actually fairly large.

Read a couple of words from him after the jump. Also be sure to check out the entire Flickr set.

Via F295

Monsieur Be says,:

As to my pinhole camera, it’s actually a shoebox camera. That means it’s made of a shoe box that I painted black, and it’s destined to be used with photo paper and not with film.

It’s not really a pinhole since it’s got a lens, which is a unique convergent lens: a meniscus which I insterted into an old lens of a broken 35mm camera.

The camera is close to a pinhole because it uses a diaphragm which is almost closed (1.5mm wide, four to five times larger than a typical pinhole) in order to limit the opical aberrations, and to achieve a large depth of field since it is not possible to adjust the lens.

The goal of this project was to create the most simple camera of the world. A shoebox, a small lens, black paint and photo paper. No viewfinder, no adjustment, no shutter (only a piece of scoth tape over the lens.) Just a black box.


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Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.