This is my Pinhole Camera (Science Museum Kit)

My dad bought me a pinhole camera kit from a car boot sale.  It’s made by Science Museum and is a plastic kit that fits together very simply.

pinhole camera - science museum kit

You make the pinhole for the exposure using aluminium foil and so you can adjust the hole (and exposure) between films by replacing the foil.

It has a “shutter” mechanism which is basically a cover between the pinhole and the inside of the camera with a “spring loaded” mechanism (elastic band in this case) to keep it in the shut position.

I think the use of the shutter adds to camera shake rather than being able to keep the camera steady and remove a cap.

pinhole camera - science museum kit

It takes 35mm film and has a winder with a ratchet to keep the film from slipping back.  The winder has an arrow on so you can estimate a new frame by winding a complete turn.  As the film winds on though and the roll gets fatter the exposures get more and more spaced out.  It’s a toy and not a precision camera! 

The processor’s scanner couldn’t pick up the exposures because so many didn’t turn out they were very widely spaced.  Luckily my home scanner did better with the cut strips of negatives.

I wasn’t too hopeful of any results from my first film as all I had was 400asa film.  This is really too fast for a pinhole exposure.  But I did manage to get a few photos to turn out.

pinhole3

pinhole2

pinhole1

pinhole4

pinhole6

pinhole7

I’m looking forward to trying it out again with a slower film and seeing if I can get less blurry images!  But it’s a start and was fun.

pinhole camera - science museum kit

If you’re interested in buying one for yourself  then UK people can try here on amazon.co.uk

I’m not sure they are stil making this particular kit as I can’t find it their own web site www.sciencemuseumstore.com

They come up 2nd hand on ebay from time to time or I did find it here in the US where it appears to still be in stock store.exploratorium.edu/browse.cfm/4,2602.htm l or here on amazon.com

If you do a search there are other pinhole camera kits around like www.discoverthis.com/pin-hole-camera-kit.html or www.discoverthis.com/pinhole-camera.html

Both of these are also on amazon if you search for “pinhole camera kit”

Or you can always make your own! Try www.flickr.com/groups/pinholephotography/ for some ideas.

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Posted in Art, Artist, camera, Equipment, Photograph, Photography
14 comments on “This is my Pinhole Camera (Science Museum Kit)
  1. Wow, I’ve never seen anything like it. Must be very difficult to use.

  2. Ursula says:

    Rachel, whilst I am an appreciative afficionado of photographs (and art in general) I know why I’ve never picked up a pin hole or pastels: It’s all too technical for me.

    Also, and thanks for that, you and your blurred pictures had me look for my glasses once more. Have a heart.

    U

  3. Nina Bunin says:

    Wow — this is definitely the space-age child of my old shoebox pinhole camera from 3rd grade:-)

    I like the blurry pictures. And BTW, seems like you are doing a LOT!!

  4. This is the fruits of a couple of months of doings ;o)

  5. cusp says:

    Love it, want it ! In the deep dark (or should that be light) days before I was a bit poorly I did a lovely pinhole workshop with a bunch of children. We made the cameras out of black cardboard and then took pics of a giant toy panda I had — very contrasty in the bright sunshine. Have you seen the pinhole made from a can of Spam ?

  6. Spam pinhole? No I haven’t seen that.

    I’ve heard you can make pinhole cameras out of boxes and drinks cans seem very popular. This one feels almost like cheating 🙂 Is cheating possible when you’re dealing with pinhole photography?

  7. cusp says:

    Here you go…….You could both be living on Spam for weeks whilst you practice getting this little project right ;0)

    http://www.chriskeeney.com/photography/pages/ck_SPAMera.html

  8. Good grief! The SPAMera looks amazing but whoah! Maybe a bit too much work for me at the moment ;o)

    The other link is inspiring too. Interesting stuff!

  9. Mikki says:

    The Spamera is just too fantastic for words.

  10. Paul Groves says:

    Right. I guess I’ll add Spam to the shopping list.
    But as you pull a face whenever a Spam ad appears, I expect it will be Fly and me who ends up eating it all – Spam fritters; Spam sarnies; Spam surprise (you don’t want to know what the surprise is).

    Spamera does sound kind of cool though 🙂

  11. Ian says:

    Just bought me one of these badboys. I have no clue about film though – what am I looking for on the film box to show that it has slow exposure? Thanks.

  12. Hi Ian.

    You want to go for film with a low number asa (or iso) like 100asa or 200asa. The higher the number the more sensitive to light the film is, thus you can use a shorter exposure.

    You want to avoid 400 or higher. I started with that and the majority were so overexposed they didn’t come out at all. Unfortunately 400 asa seems to be the most commonly sold!

    200 asa or 100 asa will do nicely. You can sometimes get 160 and 50 which would also be good.

    If you’re in the UK I can recommend great priced film from 7dayshop.com who stock a range of brands, types and asa.

    Choose a 135 colour print film

    If you wanted to go black and white you’ll need to remember that it will have to be processed by a specialist lab. You can send away to Ilford but it will cost a bit more.

    Unless you want to get quite technical on exposure times (which I’m not able to!) then just guess the exposures. Experimenting is half the fun after all. My first roll I took the same photo 2 or 3 times with different exposures from a split second to 20 seconds!

    Enjoy and let me know how you get on!

  13. Babs says:

    I’ve just shot a film with my Science Museum camera and am wondering how to get the film out without exposing it to ambient light as there is no rewind facility. What did you do Rachel so that you could send it to be processed?

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RachelCreative

Rachel Groves, Artist
Lichfield, Staffordshire, UK

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