360° Pinhole Fun with the Panopticam


Want to try something different for this years' World Pinhole Photography day? Why not make crazy scrambled 360° panorama pinhole photos? Find out how in this tipster!

Credits: stratski

I really like the Spinner 360, and I also really like pinholes. So, I had the idea of combining the two and making a 360° panorama pinhole, by making several pinholes around a round camera. As soon as I had thought of this, I realized it wouldn’t work like this. Optics, you know…

Because the lens/pinhole flips the image around, a row of pinholes will not produces a continuous image, but rather a series of inverted images.

Still, why let reality hold you back, right? I still wanted to see what the result of my brainfart would be, so I made my 360° camera anyway.

Start out with two cookie tins, a large one, and a smaller one that fits into the large one.

Around the large tin, make six evenly spaced holes. I gathered six would me the appropriate amount of exposing the entire film without too much overlap. The tin opener on my pocket knife did a good job making some holes. Afterwards, give every hole a good whack with a hammer to flatten stray bits of metal.

Next, spray paint the inside of the large tin, and the entire small tin black to reduce reflections inside the camera.

Add a pinhole behind every hole. Six bits of black tape will become shutters.

Finally, kit the small tin in the middle of the large tin.

I baptized my design Panopticam.

A panopticon (well, according to Wikipedia anyway).

To load the camera, go inside a darkroom or changing bag and wrap a length of film around the smaller tin. Fasten with a large paper clip. I simply cut off a piece of film, since I do my own processing. You could sacrifice a few degrees of field of vision and keep your film intact. This way you won’t antagonize your lab people too much I guess. I leave it up to you how you expose the other half of you film then…

To use it, place the panopticam on a steady surface, and one by one remove and replace the shutters. Staying in one spot yourself will mean you’ll be in the picture (several times even). If you want to avoid this, walk around and stay on the far side of the open pinhole. Also, not removing the shutter-tape all the way may result in unexposed bits of film.

Credits: stratski

written by stratski on 2013-04-22 in #gear #tipster #tipster #round-panopticam-panopticon #pinhole-tipster #requested #camera #pinhole #360 #pinhole-masters-and-magic #pinhole-panorama #panorama-tipster


  1. adi_totp
    adi_totp ·

    wooow!! worth a try!

  2. kablelvuku
    kablelvuku ·

    it's very good !

  3. mafiosa
    mafiosa ·

    Brilliant!!! Thank you for sharing this. Very inspirational - i am definitely going to try this!! Your results are fantastic too.

  4. ehmahh
    ehmahh ·

    very interesting!

  5. lostlittlekid
    lostlittlekid ·

    I was playing around with the idea of bending the film for distorted shots, but this is insane! Brilliant idea, great tutorial and super cool shots! Great job!

  6. stratski
    stratski ·

    @adi_totp @kablelvuku @mafiosa @ehmahh: Thanks for your kind words. I really enjoyed this little project, so I'm happy you like it too!

    @lostlittlekid: Thanks! If you really want distorted shots, try anamorphic photography: www.lomography.de/homes/stratski/blog/95920-anamorphic-expe…

    (I did an article about it as well, but it hasn't been accepted yet)

  7. istionojr
    istionojr ·

    just brilliant!

  8. sirio174
    sirio174 ·

    you can use photographic paper too!

  9. jimbobalero
    jimbobalero ·

    Why not make a vertical slit on the inner tin and feed the film through it so the 35mm cannister is not in shot. tuck the end of the film in the slot as well and you could effectively wind it on. Just make sure you cover the slit edges with tape or something as they will be sharp.

More Interesting Articles

  • Outrageous October at Lomography NYC

    written by mindofmyra on 2014-10-02 in #events
    Outrageous October at Lomography NYC

    October is a great month for fun! With Halloween around the corner, Lomography NYC has prepared a month-long, photo-filled month. You don't want to miss out on all the great photography, parties, and exhibitions. To keep things interesting, we're teaming up with BLOCKS NYC, Crazy 8 Cartoon Festival and more.

  • Roundup: Film Photography Day 2014

    written by shhquiet on 2014-06-03 in #news
    Roundup: Film Photography Day 2014

    Did you miss this year's Film Photography Day celebration? Here's a recap of all the events that happened in April, in honor of our love for analogue photography. Of course, remember that you can always make any day a Film Photography Day if you wish; just gather your friends and organize a LomoMatrix in your area! For inspiration, check out what Lomography Gallery Stores and Lomography Embassy Stores from all over the world came up with.

  • Paragon and World Pinhole Photography Day

    written by akula on 2014-04-30 in #lifestyle
    Paragon and World Pinhole Photography Day

    The afternoon of April 27, 2014 was spent on a Langley farm in Canada taking pictures with a homemade paint can pinhole camera, celebrating World Pinhole Photography Day. I am akula, a high school photography teacher, and this is why pinhole photography works for me.

  • Shop News

    Summer Inspired Camera at 20% off

    Summer Inspired Camera at 20% off

    The brazilian summer inspired camera is now at 20% off! You can now celebrate life in full color and treasure every culture in a snap! This summer is no exception; make sure you’re prepared to capture all the sporty action with the Fisheye No.2 Brazilian Summer Camera!

  • A Hodgepodge of Snaps Made With Pinhole Cameras

    written by bgaluppo on 2015-04-13 in #gear #lifestyle
    A Hodgepodge of Snaps Made With Pinhole Cameras

    Have you tried shooting pinhole before? This early method of photography requires longer exposure times and is perfect for creative experiments.Who needs a lens?! Forget the viewfinder and standard techniques — you'll get amazing and unpredictably soft-focused snapshots. Go old-school and check out this showcase of pinhole photos our fellow Lomographers have taken!

  • Fun Close-Up Portraits Courtesy of the Lomo'Instant!

    written by chooolss on 2014-06-24 in #news
    Fun Close-Up Portraits Courtesy of the Lomo'Instant!

    Lomography's on a mission to conquer the world of instant photography, and we need your help to reach this goal. Find out how you can contribute (and be rewarded with a super cool close-up lens, too!) after the cut!

  • Make Loading Your Horizon Camera Much Easier with This Simple Tip

    written by alienmeatsack on 2014-12-10 in #gear #tipster
    Make Loading Your Horizon Camera Much Easier with This Simple Tip

    Do you love taking photos with your Horizon panoramic camera, but loading the film makes you crazy? Try this tipster to make your favorite Horizon or similar swing lens camera a joy to load and shoot.

  • Shop News

    Sit, Stash & Fold

    Sit, Stash & Fold

    Get both appealing LomoDices for your home! These cardboard cubes can be used for different things – they make great, stylish seats but you can also stash small items inside and fold them for storing!

  • Unlock Your Creativity with Skillshare and Lomography Rumble

    written by givesmehell on 2015-04-02 in #people #competitions
    Unlock Your Creativity with Skillshare and Lomography Rumble

    Film Photography Day 2015 is an exciting event happening on Sunday, April 12. To celebrate this day, Lomography has teamed up with Skillshare to launch a series of FREE classes to help you make the most of your Lomo cameras. To throw in a little more fun, we're also hosting a competition to win a Diana Deluxe Kit and a full year of premium membership to Skillshare to take tons of awesome photography classes. Read on to find out more!

  • How to Make Special Aperture Plates for Your Petzval Lens, Halloween Edition

    written by jillytanrad on 2014-10-29 in #gear #tipster
    How to Make Special Aperture Plates for Your Petzval Lens, Halloween Edition

    Halloween fever is in full swing. Everything ghostly, scary or freakishly extraordinary are either on display or being spoken of in hushed voices through spine-chilling tales. Apart from wearing the scariest costumes and taking photos of of your petrifying selves, why not amplify the Halloween spirit a notch higher by using Halloween-themed aperture plates with the New Petzval Lens? Here's a quick tipster that'll teach you how to make special aperture plates and make the most out of them this Halloween!

  • Newcomer of the Week: elimpacto

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-10-12 in #lifestyle
    Newcomer of the Week: elimpacto

    He joined the Community not only for the crazy photographs but also for the creative and informative tipsters. In fact, one of his goals is to try out as many tipsters as he can. Let's get to know our Newcomer of the Week from Leipzig, Germany, elimpacto!

  • Shop News

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Shoot wider and bigger with this new instax camera that has film format twice the size of the instax mini films!

  • My Lomo’Instant Quick Tips

    written by tomas_bates on 2014-11-12 in #gear #tipster
    My Lomo’Instant Quick Tips

    I backed the Kickstarter project for the Lomo’Instant earlier this year and was thrilled to receive it last week. I love how the camera naturally encourages you to experiment with its different features, whether it’s through flashing your multiple exposures with different colors or trying different creative techniques after your shots has been ejected. Here are a few tips from what I’ve discovered from playing with the camera so far (and a couple of tips I want to try out in future)!

  • Photographer Michael Ciavolino Tells the Story Behind 'Boat Ride, Rye Beach' (1962)

    written by chooolss on 2014-06-27 in #lifestyle
    Photographer Michael Ciavolino Tells the Story Behind 'Boat Ride, Rye Beach' (1962)

    Photographs with sprocket holes exposed are practically a dime a dozen these days but, of course, this wasn't the case more than 50 years ago. However, former freelance photographer Michael Ciavolino was already able to create one of the earliest examples of this technique back in the early '60s in his groundbreaking photograph called "Boat Ride, Rye Beach." Find out the fascinating story behind this photo, as well as how and why he did it in this exclusive Lomography feature!

  • Make Your Very Own DIY Waterproof Camera Case!

    written by cheeo on 2014-07-03 in #gear #tipster
    Make Your Very Own DIY Waterproof Camera Case!

    Still keeping a look out for an affordable waterproof case that can take a beating? Well, if your neck’s a bit sore from all the looking then why not make one yourself? Check out how to do it with this quick tipster!