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DIY Weekend: Hacking a pinhole camera

Leonard Goh of CNET Asia merges his DIY tin can shooter with a pinhole camera.

DIY pinhole camera kit
Leonard Goh/CNET Asia

Editor's note: This installment of DIY Weekend comes courtesy of Leonard Goh, our colleague at CNET Asia.

While spring-cleaning my room recently, I found a DIY pinhole camera kit I got from Hong Kong two years ago. This prompted me to recall the tin can shooter I was working on. That sparked a brainwave: why not merge the two?

First, I opened the pinhole camera kit to see which parts are available. Since this is a snap-together kit, no screws are required. The instructions in the manual were minimal as well. It seemed the hardest thing I had to do here was put the spring into the shutter mechanism.

The hole at the shutter was approximately the width of an F8 aperture, which allowed me to hot-glue the lens onto a plastic cap (with a hole in it) and place this over the shutter eye.

One gripe I have with this DIY camera is that the shutter mechanism doesn't fire at a consistent speed, as I have to manually hold down the lever to expose the film. I'm still looking online for some kind of hack that can make it open for exactly 1/125 second.

Also, the distance between the lens and the film is not optimized and I probably will get blurry shots. But I guess I won't know until I finish the roll of film inside and process it.

Next up in DIY Weekend: A homemade 10-rocket launch system.

To share your DIY project, simply e-mail a description of 350 words or less, including all the geeky ins and outs of your invention, plus relevant links and photos, to crave at cnet dot com. Please put DIY Weekend in the subject line.