Re: Help!

From: jason livingston (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Feb 23 2010 - 13:30:22 PST

Please note Ben's p.s. on this valuable thread

I had the unique pleasure of sharing an office w/Tom while we were graduate students at the University of Iowa, and watching him go through many pinhole tests. All his work resulted in a beautiful film, with homemade microphones (tweaked speakers, if I recall) thrown in the mix as well.


Date: Tue, 23 Feb 2010 10:42:59 -0600
From: email suppressed
Subject: Re: Help!
To: email suppressed


I've made a few films in this fashion (here: and here: and have had the best luck on the pinhole front by putting a pinhole'd piece of aluminum foil in the filter slot of the Bolex. Paint/sharpie one side of the foil black, poke the smallest hole you can with a needle into the foil, put the foil into the filter holder, remove the lens, and there it is.

This approach gets the pinhole as close to the film plane as you can - you can figure out the effective f-stop of the pinhole by punching in a few measurements here: or you can go crazy with scanners in this fashion:

You might also look into purchasing some machine'd pinholes on thin copper or tin - the disadvantage with aluminum foil is that your pinhole will have burred edges and you might get weird reflections/aberrations on the image. My sewing needle + foil approach gave me something around an f92, and I've been able to shoot at 24fps on 500D film in the sunlight. Obviously, the smaller the f-stop the faster your film stock will need to be. Shooting at slower frame rates on the Bolex is also an option, as is hand-cranking it (disengage the motor and use a rewind crank).

Good Luck,


PS Everything I know about pinhole cinema I learned from Tom Comerford (

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

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For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.