How-To: Pinhole Light Proofing


    Light proofing a pinhole camera is essential to get consistent results, If we follow some very simple steps we can expect no light leaks in our homemade cameras. 

Step 1: Paint the inside of the camera using flat black paint. 
    Any flat/matte black paint will work, you don't have to use spray paint.
    Do not paint the camera with the pinhole installed because you can easily close the pinhole with the paint. I took the pinhole out and add a piece of tape to keep the painting inside the canister. 
If you are using spray paint take all the precautions and safety measures recommended.  

Step 2: Add light seals
    Light seals are just a barrier to avoid light getting inside the camera. You can use a variety of different materials. I've successfully used:
  • Felt.
  • Black foamboard.
  • Black sponge.
  • Light seals foam.
     Felt is the cheapest and easiest material to find. Any art store has it and works really well.
The idea is to install it in the places the camera opens to stop any light enter into the camera. I'm gonna put a strip inside the camera using double-sided tape. 

    And that's it! The last line of defense against light leaks is tape. Add tape outside the camera on the places light could get inside and you're set. 

Time to test it!

I'm gonna test it using Instax Film, even though I'm still figuring out how to expose it correctly. 

The exposure time for f/161 is 1/2 a second, The least I could do is 1 second. This is the result

    The photograph is a little over-exposed but I can see that has no vignetting. I was expecting this considering I use Mr. Pinhole data to define the size of the negative
    I would like to point out that the optimal pinhole size for this specific camera is 0.286mm in diameter. Since I didn't have the exact size I ended up using the Pinhole I made that is 0.3mm in diameter. Still, the photograph doesn't look too soft. My point is that you don't need a laser-drilled pinhole as long as you can measure the diameter of your homemade pinhole. 

Have fun!


Popular Posts