camera obscura

i've been trying to figure out how to make a camera obscura. i have seen a diagram of one but i can't find any instruction on how to make one. the cheapest one i've seen for sale is $198. i want one so i can use it to draw, so preferably a small camera obscura as opposed to room sized. does any one know how to make one or where i can get more information on doing so? thank you!!

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craftyv7 years ago
Please have a look at a book by David Hockney the UK artist who has written a book about this and shows a variety of camera obscura. The book is about art and how even "ancient" artists used them. Sorry can't remember the name of the book but it's well worth a look. Good looking.
jasmine_nora (author) 10 years ago
okay. thanks for the help. the one that i was trying to make was using a mirror so the image would project straight up, and i could trace from the top of the box. i didn't use a lense though, and that may be where i went wrong.
Yes. A mirror would work fine for projecting to the box's top, but at least one lens is absolutely required. Any old magnifying glass would do.
jasmine_nora (author)  LasVegas10 years ago
okay, so i'm having some difficulty with the camera obscura. i placed a mirror inside so the image would project upward (and i bought a magnifying glass). is the image supposed to actually project onto the plexiglass , or are you just using the plexiglass top to have a hard surface to trace onto? and the image that you see is actually just the image that is on the mirror? because the image that i see is just a small round image (about the size of a tennis ball on my paper) that is projected onto the mirror. does this sound right? sorry this is so confusing...but i'm confused!! thanks!
You're right... The Plexiglas is just to create a hard surface to draw on. With a single lens. your only going to get what's within the lens. The further your trace paper is from the lens, the larger (and dimmer) the image will be. Perhaps your box is too small. It sounds like you're having some success! I'd like to see pictures of your work!
jtobako LasVegas10 years ago
Focal length may end up being a problem. I believe that the original camera obscura were pin-hole style, and didn't need a lens but did need a dark room.
Actually, the first camera obscura used a far sighted man's glasses as a lens.

Turn of the (first) millennium camera obscura was a pin hole.
All cameras have lenses, even pin holes. With a large room, just a small hole wouldn't work. They used far sighted glasses. Trust me, this was drilled into use in photo class.
I've used pinhole cameras many times, and the principle is the same as a camera obscura. A camera obscura usually uses a bigger hole and a bigger room. What differentiates it from a normal camera is the fact that it doesn't use a lens.
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