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Pin hole camera


A pinhole camera consists of a closed box with a tiny hole in one side. Light enters the camera through the hole, and an inverted image of the outside world is projected onto a flat or curved surface inside.

If you let the light from an object go through a small hole in a card then on the other side, you can see a real image on a screen. In this demonstration, we make the simple pinhole camera and see which objects can be imaged and which cannot.


The camera we make is a PVC pipe of a few cm length. At one end we fix a paper with a small hole of about one mm of diameter and at the other end we fix a slightly oily butter paper.

  1. Put up two LEDs, one blue and one red, side by side. Connect them to adapters and lit them.
  2. Face your camera towards the LEDs, the hole towards the LEDs. Can you see the image?
  3. Check, which of the image is on left and which is on the right. Is it in the same order as the actual LEDs or it gets reversed in order?
  4. Check if you can see the details of an LED in the image, its round body and so on.
  5. Increase the distance of the camera from the LEDs. What happens to the image?
  6. Face the camera towards other objects like a photo on your mobile screen. Are you able to see the image?

An image is formed when at any point on the screen, you get light from a definite point of the object. In a lens, refraction ensures that. In pinhole camera,the small size of the hole ensures that. The image is faint as only a small pencil of light from a given point of object reaches the screen.


  1. Paper microscope
  2. Experiments

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