|I led a workshop at the Maker Faire Bay Area in 2019 on making a camera obscura out of cardboard.
This was my first workshop, and things did not go as smoothy as I would
have liked. The instructions I gave were incomplete and there was not
enough time to do a good job. Still, most participants were able to
finish the camera. Those who commented said that they liked the project
and thanked me for leading it. If anyone didn't like it, the kept quiet
about it out of politeness.
I will make a YouTube video so that anyone can do the project at home. I'll make an announcement here when the video is ready.
Newly Made Camera (1980s)
After Vandalism Repair (2000s)
|This is a pinhole camera made of
cardboard that takes real pictures. The camera holds a single sheet of
4-by-5-inch film, so it can take only one picture at a time. It must be
loaded and unloaded in total darkness. The lens cap serves as the
A pinhole camera is simply a dark box with a tiny hole at one end and film on the other end. There is no lens to focus the light. Instead, the pinhole projects a dim upside-down image on the film. You can find out more about pinhole cameras by entering "pinhole camera" into your favorite search engine.
I built this camera back in the 1980s. It's a scale model of my favorite camera at that time, the Pentax MX 35mm SLR (single-lens reflex) camera. In 2005, burglars broke into my home. Looking for valuables, they ripped open my cardboard camera -- a strange place to look. Fortunately, the damage was not too hard to repair, and the camera is again in working order. The near-loss of my camera prompted me to write this description and post it on the Web.
Questions or comments about the Pentax MX pinhole camera? Go to the Dog Daze Guest Book
More cardboard construction: Detachable cargo/carry box for bike rack
photo to the left, the two smaller cameras in the foreground are small
paper models of the real Pentax MX camera behind them. You can download
and print the paper models as flat sheets and then
fold them to make the camera bodies and lenses. For details, go to the Stonefield
Alas, these fold-up cameras are not meant to be used as pinhole cameras. However, with a little extra work, you might be able to modify them to work that way. A pinhole camera is just a light-tight box with a pinhole in the front and film in the back. See How to Make and Use a Pinhole Camera by Kodak.
|What you see to the right is
not a real Hasselblad camera. It's a cardboard model and a working pinhole camera built
by Kelly Angood,
a professional illustrator and designer of sets and props. Ms. Angood sells pinhole camera kits at the Pop-Up Pinhole Camera Company.
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