How to Make a Pin-Debonair Camera

Posted: 04/21/2013


April 28th is World-Wide Pinhold Camera Day. In celebration, I sent FPP listener Ross Togashi a FPP Debonair Camera which he converted into a pinhole camera. Below are his instructions and beautiful images shot with the Pin-Debonair!

Blog by Ross Togashi

The Debonair is a basic and very affordable plastic toy camera from Hong Kong (available HERE in the FPP On-Line Store).  It uses 120 medium-format film that provides sixteen 6x4.5cm exposures per roll.

The Debonair's simple design and plastic construction makes it very easy to convert to a pinhole camera.  Not needing to build the pinhole camera totally from scratch is time saving and simplifies the project significantly. Let me show you how.


All the components needed to create your new Pin-Debonair can be purchased inexpensively from your local camera, hardware, or hobby store.  A few wood-working tools will also be necessary.

The project is uncomplicated and straightforward.  Most people will need only a single day to complete it, and overnight for the glue to cure.

To illustrate the project in more detail, I created a short YouTube video.  Please check it out HERE (or watch it below)!

Your Pin-Debonair can be further modified and tweaked to your own preferences, but here are some of my Pin-Debonair’s features:

● 26mm focal length
● 0.21mm pinhole diameter on brass shim (0.002”)
● f/125
●  Angle of view: 82º horizontal, and 98º vertical

The Pin-Debonair is simply an enjoyable camera to use.  Compared to my other wooden medium-format pinhole cameras, it is light-weight and compact in size.  It is also nearly fail-proof.  Taking up little room in my camera bag, I see myself using it regularly, and for a long time.

The following are a few sample pinhole images made with the Pin-Debonair Camera (Kodak Ektar 100 film).




I hope this short article has piqued your interest.  If you haven’t tried pinhole photography and are handy with common hand tools, this can be a neat introductory “starter project”.  For those who already have some experience with DIY pinholing, it will be a fine rainy-weekend project, or one to share with a friend or family member.

Best of luck building your own Pin-Debonair, and happy pinholing!


Contact info:
Ross Togashi (aka “art y fotos”)
rtogashi at gmail dot com

What's World-Wide Pinhole Camera Day on April 28th? Check out the site!

Additional links about the FPP Debonair:

Buy an FPP Debonair Camera HERE

FPP Debonair Blog by Brian Moore HERE

Alex shoots with the Debonair Blog HERE

Michael Raso's FPP Debonair Video HERE


FPP Newsletter

Enter your e-mail address and receive our newsletter directly to your inbox.