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Video: How to make a DIY telephoto pinhole camera with a Pringles can

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Photography company Fotodiox makes a wide range of photography products and accessories, including lens adapters, lighting equipment, filter systems and more. The company also has a lively YouTube channel featuring product videos, tips and tricks and fun DIY projects. One such DIY project includes making a telephoto pinhole lens using a Pringles can.

Before diving into the newest pinhole lens video, Sean from Fotodiox previously made a pinhole lens DIY video. In that video, he turned a regular camera body cap into a wide-angle pinhole lens by drilling a hole in the cap and taping a piece of metal with a small pinhole to the cap. It was a wide-angle pinhole lens because of the short distance from the pinhole to the image sensor. By instead using a long tube, such as a Pringles can, and attaching it to your camera, you greatly increase the distance from the focal plane to the pinhole, thereby making a lens with a longer focal length.

For this build, you need a ‘Grab n’ Go’ size Pringles can, which is shorter than a regular Pringles can, a soda can, sewing needles, gaffer tape or black duct tape, a box cutter, scissors, and then two rings. In this case, Sean uses a Fotodiox 67mm Sony E macro reverse ring and a 77-67mm step down ring. To see each step in detail, watch the video below.

Sean from Fotodiox has an E-mount camera, so those are the adapter rings he used. However, you can do the project for other cameras provided you have the right adapter rings, including a 77-67mm adapter ring. With the Grab n’ Go Pringles can, the pinhole lens is equivalent to about a 140mm lens on a full-frame camera.

There are drawbacks to the setup, says Sean. The image will be blurry. But then again, it’s a pinhole lens. You don’t make your own pinhole lens for spectacular image quality. You will also need to shoot at a very high ISO or use long exposures. With his Sony A7S II, Sean could even record video by using high ISO during the day. ‘Is it good looking video?’ asks Sean. ‘No. It’s terrible, but it’s definitely a unique look, and I think it’s pretty cool that I’m shooting through a piece of a soda can and a Pringles container.’

If you want some more fun DIY projects to try over the holidays, head over to the Fotodiox YouTube channel. We’re also sharing some of their latest holiday-themed videos below, including a Christmas cats photoshoot and a video about building your own DIY ornament reflection rig.


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