Pinhole Cameras

A pinhole camera is a simple optical imaging device in the shape of a closed box or chamber. In one of its sides is a small hole which, via the rectilinear propagation of light, creates an image of the outside space on the opposite side of the box.

Pinhole camera image

The Kodak Pinhole Camera

Eastman Kodak Pinhole Camera, circa 1930

The Kodak Pinhole Camera was distributed to school children as a science project in and around 1930. It was a 'kit camera', consisting of five pieces of cardstock, gummed tape, a pin (for the hole!) and instructions for use. Instead of taking Eastman rollfilm, the Pinhole Camera took 3 x 4 inch exposures on a single plateholder.

Although the v-shaped pencil lines on the camera look like primitive angle-of-view lines similar to those found on the early Kodak and Brownie cameras, they are actually registration marks to help the photographer put the pinhole in the proper location for to expose the plate.

The only Kodak markings on the camera were on one piece of cardstock (facing away from you in the image above, but illustrated at left) - where it says "Made from parts supplied by the Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, NY."

Due to limited availability and fragile construction, not many of these cameras have survived the years. Even less common is to encounter an unassembled kit in its original Kodak envelope.



Sally Clark    George L. Smyth

Harlan Wallach   ms-chievous

KopfLuc Ewen - Wilhelma 2004Luc Ewen - Ronchamp - 2004


Functional art pinhole cameras - Wayne Martin Belger


Retinal implant