Lego pinhole camera

[Bshikin] built a pinhole camera out of Lego pieces (translated). It is a fully automated unit thanks to the integration of the NXT pieces. It took a bit of careful calculation to get the film spacing adjusted to match the focal length, and quite a bit of tape was necessary to keep light out of the film chamber. But in the end, it’s an amazing build that takes decent pictures. The software has settings for film size and speed, and takes care of exposing and advancing the frame at the click of a button. See for yourself after the break.

If you hunger for some more camera building goodness check out this SLR hand crafted from scratch.

[Thanks Vasili]


  1. noonv says:

    habr go on! :)

  2. walt says:

    wait. so there’s another purpose for pinhole cameras besides installing them in bathrooms?

  3. derwin says:

    i think they’re called pinhole cameras because they use a tiny hole instead of a lens to capture the image, but i could be wrong. i don’t know anything about photography.

  4. addidis says:

    Am i the only one who thinks a pinhole camera is a small tiny even video camera . Not a film camera , the size of a basket ball.

    Its still an awesome build. But im dumbfounded at its description.

  5. strider_mt2k says:

    Race to the bottom accomplished before comment three…

    Way to be classy.

  6. a212 says:


    “Pinhole” simply refers to the lack of a lens, it technically has nothing to do with the size of the camera as a whole.

  7. macw says:


    A pinhole camera is called that because instead of a lens, it uses a tiny pinhole poked in a thin piece of metal. This was the meaning of the term for more than a hundred years. A tiny spy camera, like what you’re talking about, used to be called a “buttonhole camera”, but no one understands anything about buttonholes anymore so they latched onto a much more common term that just “sounds” right.

    So no, you’re not the only one who thinks a “pinhole camera” is a tiny video camera, but you’re wrong about what it is.

    No mention of tiny video cameras. People who use the term for those are just plain wrong.

  8. addidis says:

    Fair enough , makes sense. I learned something new.

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