Building a camera from recycled material

Not sure if this goes to the right section, if not, Im terribly sorry and tell me why I'm wrong so it doesn't happen another time.

For a project I'm going to build a camera capable of taking picture (no duh) build with old materials. For my documentation process I was looking for anything that anyone already did, to inspire me and learn more about the building process.

I found a lot of guides about pinhole camera and I wish to know if the process is the same if Im going to use a len. Naturally I would say yes and I would make the hole as big as the diameter of my len, or less and maybe I was wrong thinking that.

The photography paper Im going to use is 10x13 centimeters and I would adjust the distance of the paper from the len.

Also, I would like to know if covering part of the len (let say it's  5 diameter and 4 diameter is covered) is going to do anything to the outcome. The size of the len was never discussed in my lesson.

Thank you.

gmoon7 years ago
A 10x13 "objective" is almost precisely equal to the most common view camera film size-- 4x5 in. So you should find LOADS of online info.

If I recall correctly from my college days, the standard focal length of a 4x5 view was about 210mm (equivalent to 50mm on a 35mm full frame), or 150mm to 180mm if you prefer a slightly wider frame.

If maximum quality isn't a concern, you might find an appropriate lens from either photographic enlargers, or overhead projectors.

Older view camera types utilized "barrel" lenses. At one time they were cheap... Might search ebay for those.

But projector lenses and some barrel lenses didn't have adjustable apertures, and finding any of these with built-in shutters will be  a longshot.

FYI--view camera lenses are specially designed so the lens board can use "swings and tilts"--there's a wider area of coverage than simple lenses.
Kiteman7 years ago
(Moved to photography)

You will need to match the length of your camera to the focal length of the lens.

Do you already know it?
Yes this is a very doable project.  First regarding covering the lens, you will be reducing the effective diameter while keeping the same focal length, this increases the F number and "slows" the lens, requiring a longer exposure.

Since you want to use a lens, and I assume not a camera lens, you need one with a very long focal length to get a relatively flat focal plane.

A very long time ago, I built a camera that used blue print paper, I used an objective lens from a telescope, it was about 4" dia with a 20" focal length, the camera was constructed from foam board and light blocking window curtains, the focal plane was a piece of plexiglass "frosted" with steel wool, and that would be swapped out with the film, so there's just some ideas to start.