How to Make a Pinhole Camera for Instax

Are you ready to make a pinhole camera that uses instax mini film?

In this article, we’ll make a pinhole camera using an Instax Mini film back, some black aluminum foil called “Cinefoil,” and a little creativity.

You’ll see process of making a pinhole camera out of an instax body, and you’ll see some example Instax photos I captured with this simple-yet-powerful creative tool.

The Simplest Camera: A Box with a Hole

At its core, a camera is nothing more than a light-tight box with a small hole on one side.

For our Instax pinhole camera, we’ll be using the Instax Mini film back designed by Lomography for their Diana camera.

Instead of attaching the film back to a Diana camera, we’ll cover the open part with Cinefoil, which is a a malleable black foil that will serve as the front facade of our camera.

Instax Pinhole Camera Closed And Open

Creating the Pinhole Aperture

The key to a successful pinhole camera lies in the aperture. Using a needle, carefully poke a small, well-rounded hole into the Cinefoil.

The size of the pinhole determines the sharpness of your image and the exposure time required.

A smaller pinhole will produce a sharper image but require longer exposure times, while a larger pinhole will result in a less sharp image but shorter exposure times.

The Magic of Pinhole Photography

In our camera, the pinhole is located approximately 8 inches from the Instax film plane, giving us a field of view equivalent to an 80mm lens on a 35mm camera.

However, unlike a glass lens that requires focusing to ensure sharp images, a pinhole camera produces equally unsharp results from front to back.

This unique characteristic allows you to place your pinhole camera very close to your subjects, creating stunning macro photographs with ease

Capturing the World with Your Instax Pinhole Camera

One of my favorite shots was taken in my hotel room during an AV job where I’d been sent up to Los Angles for the weekend.

I set up the instax pinhole camera facing downward, supported by two drinking glasses, with colorful candies as my subject.

With the subdued lighting in the room, I allowed the camera to expose the image of the candies for about 8 hours. The result was a delightful pinhole photograph with fine details visible on the candy’s printed M.

I also experimented with pointing the camera out the hotel window for another 8-hour exposure, resulting in a beautifully hazy cityscape.

Later, I took the camera to Balboa Park in San Diego, where I captured instax pinhole images of a leaf and the iconic California Tower.

These bright, daytime exposures required significantly shorter exposure times of around 5 to 6 seconds.

The Joy of Instant Pinhole Photography

The beauty of using an Instax camera for pinhole photography lies in the nearly instant results and the simplicity of the camera itself.

With just a single piece of foil and an instant film back, you can create stunning, one-of-a-kind images that showcase the world in a unique way.

The close-up potential for Instax pinhole photos is virtually limitless, allowing you to explore the world of macro photography like never before.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab some Cinefoil, an Instax Mini film back, and start creating your own instant pinhole masterpieces. Remember to come back and share your results – I’m excited to see the incredible images you capture!

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