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Pringle Tube Pinhole Camera

In this article we are going to see how to use a Pringle tube to simulate a pinhole camera. Not for taking photographs but just to illustrate how a digital camera works.

We have a general article on pinhole cameras explaining how they work and another project a pinhole for your DSLR,   plus two further projects using pinhole camera technology.

So this article is a quick simple project, that should take you no more than 5 minutes, that just demonstrates how a pinhole camera works.

All we need is a Pringles tube, and yes you can eat the Pringles first, and a piece of translucent paper out of a cereal packet, or tracing paper. Something to cut the tube, and something to put a small hole in the base.

  1. Cut the tube off about 2 inches or so from the base, you don't have to measure it. I used a bread knife and sawed through it quickly.

  2. Dust it out, to make sure there are no bits of card or Pringles left.

  3. Cut a piece of the cereal box inside packet or tracing paper to just a bit larger than the Pringle lid.

  4. Make a small hole in the centre of the base of the tube. In the first version I made, I just stabbed it with a knife and although this worked it was a slit rather than a round hole, in a second tube I used a bradawl and hit it with a hammer.

  5. Put the tracing paper or cereal packet over the open end of the smaller part of the tube and put the transparent Pringle lid over it to hold it in place.

  6. Use the remaining part of the Pringle tube to form a viewing shield.

  7. Tape it together if you want or just hold it.

  8. Stand in the middle of a room and look through it at a window, with your other eye closed, the tube being large makes a good light seal around your eye even if you are wearing glasses. 

  9. Stay with it a minute or so for your eye to become accustomed to the light level.

  10. Ignoring the bright light from the pinhole and looking at the image on the tracing paper, move the tube about and you will find the pin point can be made to vanish and the image moves about.

Notice that the image is upside down and back to front.

The Pringle tube pinhole camera complete

Don't forget to show it to children they will find it magical.

The component parts, with the base cut off


See aAlso:

Experimental photography

Pinhole cameras

A pinhole for your DSLR

Using a pinhole to Get a zoom/wide angle effect 

Using a pinhole to simulate the rising front on a camera

Pinhole cameras - further information  

Pinhole Photography Section

Stanton Drew Stone Circle - Pinhole Gallery

and watch out for more projects.


By: Keith Park Section: Pinhole Photography Key:
Page Ref: pinhole_pringle Topic: Pinhole Photography Last Updated: 03/2011

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