This week I picked up a kit to make your own camera out of cardboard. The box said it was OK for ages 12 and up so there was a vague possibility than even I might manage to build it! I’m not known for my patience, but I managed to construct the camera in the end.
It’s a 35mm pinhole camera with a manually-operated shutter and manual film advance. The camera is styled like a traditional SLR, but it is actually a lot smaller – the size of a small 35mm compact camera. The pentaprism “hump” is simply a tiny viewfinder, and none of the controls do anything (except the film advance knob and the shutter slider). However, the lens barrel is detachable with a bayonet mount!
I’m pretty sure this camera will have light leaks because the construction isn’t watertight, but some say this adds to the art (if you’re a hipster).
The diameter of the pinhole itself seems to be about 0.4mm, judged by comparing it with a set of pinholes that I had cut last year. The distance between the pinhole and the film is about 35mm, despite the manufacturer’s website claiming it is 32mm. This means the speed of the pinhole is about f/88 which is a useful figure to bear in mind, whether you are calculating the exposure in your head or using a handy app.
Given that it’s such a slow lens I’m going to have to wait until there’s some sunlight, but watch this space for some pictures from this camera!