How long should I expose the frame for pinhole photography?

The answer, simply, is that it depends on many factors, including the image you want to create, the type of light-sensitive material you will be using, and the amount of light. Because of the small size of pinhole cameras’ opening, these cameras take in less light so exposure usually takes longer.

Credits: permoen, lebedev, amaiahodge

With pinhole photography, aperture numbers (called f-stops) can reach up to three digits, compared to typical camera lenses with f-stops such as f/1.4 to f/32.

Exposing with pinhole photography can take less than a minute, or as long as a few months (or a year) depending on the type of image you’re going for. Taking into consideration the material, shots can take a couple of seconds if you’re using film as it is more sensitive to light, and longer if you’re using photographic paper.

Credits: yulia_adamova, scorpie.

With Diana cameras equipped with a pinhole function, such as the Diana F+, Diana Multi Pinhole Operator and Diana Instant Square, you can use bulb mode and expose each frame for several seconds or up to an hour or more, depending on the look you want to achieve.

For anyone starting out in pinhole photography, here’s a useful guide to help you get the optimal exposure when using pinhole cameras:

In different forms of photography, such as solargraphy for example, an image is exposed for months on end in order to capture the dreamy movement of the sun in the sky.

184-Day and 365-Day Exposures with Pinhole Cameras, Solargraphy by Community Member lomuc

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