I recently received a lovely pinhole camera as a gift from Evan. I had never shot with a pinhole until recently, so I am still in the “this is new and I have NO clue what I’m doing” phase.
One of the fun things about pinhole cameras is that you can turn pretty much any container, as long as it’s light-tight, into a pinhole camera. The one I have was handmade by a seller on Etsy, and you can take a look at their inventory of pinhole cameras here.
The aperture on the pinhole I have is approximately f/130, which is an extremely small aperture, especially when you consider that the aperture on your SLR lenses typically goes as wide as f/2.8, or wider, depending on your lens.
One of the things that I love about this camera is that it uses the 6X6 (square) aspect ratio!
Because of the wide aperture, my exposure times are long, depending on the light where I am shooting. For my indoor shots, my exposure time was around 2 minutes using ISO 50 film. If you are into the blurry movement that occurs during long exposures, pinhole cameras are definitely a way to achieve that look.
Pinhole has an amazingly transformative quality to it. Especially since my camera has a particularly wide angle, distortion is crazy-cool, and, if I am close to my subject, angles become distorted and surreal.
The biggest challenge with the pinhole, for me, has been the element of chance involved, and the process of experimentation. There is no viewfinder on the pinhole, so composing my shots is a bit of a challenge. However, the excitement of seeing my images after they are developed, and the fact that they often look even more interesting than what I had originally planned, is part of the excitement of this camera.