Vol. 09: Project: Panoramic Pinhole Camera

Lenseless and low-tech, pinhole cameras have always been maker-friendly. But forget the Quaker Oats carton, and go wide with this roll-film, panorama design.

+ Downloads & Extras:

Links and Resources

General pinhole info: mrpinhole.com, f295.com

Homemade Pinhole Flickr Group: flickr.com/groups/homemadepinhole

"World Pinhole Day" (April 29th, 2007) – finish your Pin-o-rama camera and join the fun! pinholeday.org

Recommended 120 film source: bhphotovideo.com


(Click thumbnail to view full template)


Make the Viewfinder

A viewfinder helps you visualize the Pin-o-rama's curved image area, which is pretty nonintuitive. The idea is to replicate the geometric relationship of the pinhole and film gate, but turn it around 180 degrees so that your eye is where the pinhole would be.

Refer to your template from Step 1a to make 3/4-scale versions of your camera's top and bottom pieces, cutting them out of 1/4" plywood. Glue them together with side pieces proportionally scaled down from the height of your rails. Hot-glue a washer in back for an eyepiece. For mounting to the camera, glue a block underneath, then drill a clearance hole for a mounting screw, and an access hole in the top piece for a screwdriver.


Use a 1 1/2" wood screw to attach the viewfinder, centered, to the top of the camera. Don't tighten it yet.


Use a ruler to check if the side edges of the viewfinder are in a plane parallel to the front of the camera. Make small adjustments, and when the viewfinder is aligned, screw it down completely.


That's it! Your camera is now ready to use.


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