Project 2 - Pinhole Camera

Amit Talreja - cs194-26-agt

Sean Lobo - cs194-26-aex

Nikhil Patel - cs194-26-afv


Pinhole cameras are simple devices that consist of a container with a small hole in it to let in small amount of light. As shown in the diagram below (taken from ksimek on github) the light projects an upside-down image of the object on a screen. For this project we included a camera aimed at the screen so that we could take capture the resulting images


We constructed our pinhole camera by lining the inside of a shoebox with black paper to absorb excess light that made its way into the box. We cut a hole to use as an aperture in one side and another hole adjacent to it so that we could insert a camera to take pictures. We covered the inside of the box opposite these holes with white paper to act as a screen for the images.

To allow for different aperture sizes we created an exchanger system consisting of pieces of paper with differently sized holes cut in them and a slot in front of the aperture on the box in which they could be inserted. Pictures detailing this part of the box are included below.

Pictures of our camera

camera box

camera inside detail camera inside detail 2

Here's some views of the inside of our camera, showing the screen and the black paper covering the inside of the box.

camera aperture detail camera aperture detail 2

A detailed view of the slot and cards we used to alter the aperture on our camera.

Reference Pictures

We tested our camera with aperture sizes of 1mm, 3mm, and 5mm. To show what the images are supposed to look like in an ideal scenario, we took the following two pictures with a cell phone camera


A succulent!


A glass bowl filled with ... other succulents

1mm Aperture

1mm bowl

1mm succulent

3mm Aperture

3mm bowl

3mm succulent

5mm Aperture

5mm bowl

5mm succulent


We felt that pictures taken with the 5mm aperture subjectively looked the best, so we used that setting to capture additional images. They are included below, again with corresponding images taken with a cell phone camera so that you can see what the picture is supposed to look like.

banana 5mm banana

ink 5mm ink

tape 5mm tape

gator 5mm gator