The Story

This idea of a multiple apertures pinhole camera came from the inspiration of Jeff Korte work. I figured wouldn’t it be fun to make such a device. I wasn’t quite sure as to how one would build such a construction. Having a selection of boxes stored away in the basement for this very thing. I had a choice at least of pretty boxes to choose from, but how to build such camera? Where to start?

The real joy of pinhole is surely in the making, the playing and the learning from the results. While the results are  never as to be expected but just a guideline or a surprise too. That you are having the hope that things are going in the right direction. The exposure is even down to a guess at least, a ballpark. Sure you can measure everything to exactness and get laser holed pinholes from the Internet but where’s the glory in that ?

Pinhole Perfection is when the image is more inspiring and provoking then in focus or exposed.

So on the weekend it was time to construct and build the 9 cameras in one. I’ve compile the list and so instructions or a guide to build your own. Please do comment or send me your creation if you like. As of course I’d love to hear from folks who have made such a multiple aperture camera.

Negative from the Chocolate Box Camera


What you need ?

  • Chocolate Box
  • Black Permanent Marker
  • Scissors
  • Thin metal copper plate or a soda can
  • Small hand file or sand paper
  • Paper or cardboard
  • A needle to make a hole of 0.20 mm
  • Black spray paint
  • Paper tape
  • Dremel tool for cutting the back
  • 4×5 holder / back.


Step 1

First choose a suitable box, the depth should be between 20 – 40 mm .  The box used here is a chocolate box made of hard cardboard. It has a depth of 35 mm while the dimensions are 145 mm x 145 mm.

  1. Take your box outside and spray the inside with black paint. (The outside doesn’t need to be sprayed.)
  2. To make the pinhole take some thin metal sheet which is easy to push a pin through. However it should be strong enough to tape down into the box. (Tinfoil or Aluminum foil wouldn’t be suitable for taping down as it easily tears.) Cut 9 pieces with a scissors into square 15 mm x 15 mm.
  3. Using a fine needle make a central hole in each of the metal squares. The hole should be about 0.2 mm. (You can use a flatbed scanner to scan a pinhole along side a ruler. Then in Photoshop you can measure and compare the two.)
  4. Sand away the edges around the pinhole with sandpaper or a hand file gently.

Multiple Aperture Pinhole Construction

Step 2

Multiple Aperture Pinhole Construction

  1. Once the inside of the box is sprayed black and dried. It’s time to tape in the pinhole plates.

    Multiple Aperture Pinhole Construction

  2. Then respray the inside of the box while using a tiny bit of tape to cover the pinhole. It’s important to protect the pinhole from the spray otherwise the hole maybe blocked.A small tip, using a small piece of paper tape  put half of the tape as a cover over the hole and the other half sticking up. This way you can pull it off after spraying once dry.
  3. Blacken the bare metal parts of the pinhole with a permanent black marker as shown below.

Multiple Aperture Pinhole Construction

Multiple Aperture Pinhole Construction

Step 3

The back side of the box, trace out the size of the film you wish to expose to. Then cut it out with a knife or a Dremel tool. As shown below.

Multiple Aperture Pinhole Construction

Step 4

  1. Make a lattice 3 x 3 out of paper or cardboard. Ensure the pinholes are centered to each section. Seal up the edges and crossovers with tape against light leaks.
  2. Spray the lattice black.
  3. Mount the film back onto the box using tape or any other method that keeps the film back secure and stable.
  4. It’s important everything is light tight.


Multiple Aperture Pinhole Construction


Multiple Aperture Pinhole Construction

The Results

Here is first of the results scanned without photoshop-ing the compostion. This is how mine turn out. I really love how the shapes and a side are not too straight to me this is pinhole perfection. Pinhole Perfection is when the image is more inspiring and provoking then in focus or exposed.

Graz Mausoleum

Actually there isn’t too much on the old Internet regarding Multiple Aperture Pinhole Cameras. So I hope this post helps. If so please share and give a little feedback.

How do I rate this camera

Best for sunny days and good light, because of it’s fixed exposure.

Fun Factor:  9 out 10
Build Quality: Depends how well you made it!
Ease of Use: Tricky requires so thought and feeling.