CS 194 Project 2: Pinhole Camera

Michelle Ling and Jacky Tian

cs194-26-abk and cs194-26-aev

Setup of camera

We obtained a DSLR camera, an Amazon box from the Amazon locker, and some black paper and tape. We covered the inside of the box with the black paper except for the side opposite of the holes cut out for the camera and adjustable pinhole size - this was covered in white paper. We ran into some difficulties with our initial shoebox being too small of a distance for our camera (which needed a minimum distance of 1.5ft) to focus on. Hence the larger box which we scavenged from the Amazon locker.


For our camera, we decided to use pinhole sizes of 1mm, 3mm, and 5mm. When calculating the ideal pinhole size using 1.9 * sqrt(f * lambda) with a f of 19 inches, we found the ideal size of .98mm which we rounded to 1mm since it was difficult to measure the pinhole size to that degree of accuracy. We generally set our shutter speed to 20 seconds and had an aperture size of 1.8 - 4.0 depending on which pinhole size we used.

Our Amazon box turned into a pinhole camera.

Camera front
Taking pictures

Output images

Wheeler Hall images
1mm Wheeler Hall
3mm Wheeler Hall
5mm Wheeler Hall
Campanile stairs images
1mm Campanile stairs
3mm Campanile stairs
5mm Campanile stairs

For us, we found that the pinhole size that produced the best pictures was the 3mm pinhole. The smaller the hole was the sharper the image, but also the darker the image became. The 1mm did not let in enough light for a sufficient picture to be produced even with the largest aperture size and the slowest (30 seconds) shutter speed. All of our 1mm images were very dark. Our 5mm size was also not very good because it let in too much light causing the images to be too bright. As the pinhole size increased, the image also got increasingly blurry because there was so much light that the image is unable to focus. This was because the light that comes from an object will be able to reach multiple points on the screen if the hole is large enough.

Additional images taken with 3mm

VLSB stairs ft. Michelle
Attempted picture of sign but really building
Zellerbach Hall

Comparison photograph between iPhone and pinhole camera

iPhone Jacky
Pinhole Jacky