Step 3: Making a Bellows

you really dont need a bellows for a pinhole camera any light tight box will do
but a bellows gives this camera foldabilty , multiple focal lengths{like a zoom lens} and just looks so cool.
now im not going to go into microscopic detail on how to make a bellows cause ive already done that here..... http://www.instructables.com/id/EDITKGPCR7EP28788U/ ....but i did take some pictures and also came up with an alternate method to score the fold lines.

heres a quick rundown of the steps
the first step is to cut the sheet of bristol board into 4 equal sections.
then you need to score parallel lines in it one half inch apart (this is to make it easy to fold)
then you decide if you want straight or tapered bellows{stick with a straight one until you have made at least one}.
measure how big your bellows needs to be and make your sides one half inch less than you need {the folds will take up the rest..there is a real danger of making your bellows too large for the box}
lay out two adjacent sections side by side 1/2 inch apart but with the lines matching.
using the hockey tape {this is the trickiest bit} carefully cover the joint between the sheets keeping them parallel .
then turn the sheet over and tape the other side of the joint so you should have two sheets with a 1/2 inch gap covered in cloth tape{duct tape will not fold up correctly but it can be used in a pinch}.
now join the third and fourth sides to the others in same way.
when its time to close the fourth side to the first place the tape on one side from the bottom or inside of the sheet gently position the other side then when its right and aligned press it down and put the last tape on top .
now what you should have is a square box about 11 inches high by 7.5 inches wide and 9.5 inches wide.
next you need to fold over one of the top edges turn the assembly 90 degrees then fold the next top in the opposite direction from the first one. once you have folded all the way around start on the next line down and fold it in the opposite direction from the fold above{i suggest you practice first or read this http://www.instructables.com/id/EDITKGPCR7EP28788U/ } much better detail there really

the new way i had of scoring the lines involves the paper cutter in the pictures
it has deep slots at 1/2 inch intervals that are square with the top bar . by holding the sheets onto the cutter i was able to score the lines using a dead ball point pen as a stylus{the pen came back to life during this step and i made a mess over myself lol].
i dont think its likely many people will have such a thing but i thought id mention it
Here is the camera I made, thanks to your bellows instructions. The set that is currently on the camera was our first rough attempt. The bellows on the table is our second attempt. I am currently in the process of rebuilding this camera and taking the craftsmanship a bit more seriously. This was a &quot;proof of concept,&quot; but it worked perfectly the first time. I will upload photos of the camera with our new bellows. <br> <br>The next time I build a camera, I will document for this site.
very nice. <br>never thought to use a floral on them. <br>nice work
I tried out this method for making a bellows for a large format 8x10 camera and it worked like a charm! I was very skeptical that I would have the patience or ability to fold this well, but I have now added cloth to the bellows in a daring bid to &quot;get fancy&quot; with it. Thank you for posting this! I ended up building a fully functional camera because I was able to make custom bellows. Without this instruction I never would have thought to make one myself.
im so glad you found it usefull. <br>you didnt by any chance make an instructable of your build did you? <br>i for one would like to see a picture of your camera. <br>thanks for looking
YOU SAID POP TIN nobody where i live knows what that is they say &quot;SODA&quot;
Actually everyone from where I come from calls it &quot;POP&quot;, but it doesn't mean we don't know what &quot;SODA&quot;means :)<br><br>My wife is from Atlanta and they call everything &quot;COKE&quot;
actually we dont call it that here either we just say coke can or pepsi.<br>lol i was trying to be less obscure. so much for that.
when I finish my boxes in photo class, I'll use them to make one of these. Except it would be a 5x7 format.
Want to ADD to your Pinhole Camera experimenting? Use an Electronic Flash for exposure. Set up your camera indoors. Flash the light from another flash camera or flash gun manually. Cover the pinhole and develope your paper film. Just visited your page...great photos...You can make an easy tripod base for use on the camera that doesn't have a tripod thread on the base.. Use a piece of 1/4&quot; thick plywood or plastic. Drill a 1/4 inch hole in the center. Use double-face carpet tape or layer of rubber cement on face of the wood/plastic base and layer on bottom of camera. Stick together for a permanent bond. Screw your tripod screw into the hole and you're all set. Want 'simpler'? Lightly duct-tape it to tripod. Removes easily. Idea is to hold the camera still and level..this'll do the trick. Great Instructable mind-refresher for me...have been in photography all my lifetime...'1200 Year Old Highlander Immortal', y'know. :-) Which reminds me...Do you know what Jesus said to the Apostles at The Last Supper? &quot;All you guys who want your picture taken, sit on this side of the table with Me&quot;. Moses was The First Photographer. He used a Pinhole Camera and Bolt Of Lightning for the FLASH. Came out pretty good, eh?
Awesome ive tried making a few pinholes cameras whith varying succes , however most of my pictures come out with very little contrast ive tried reducing the aperture on my enlarger but it still seems dull and washed out... any tips on how to get better contrast in?
you can try using a high contrast paper or graphic arts film.<br /> if all you have to work with is polycontrast paper try exposing it without any contrast filters in.<br /> you might also try mixing your paper developer stronger.<br /> and last but not least scan your paper negative and adjust the contrast in photoshop or some other editing program.<br /> hope this helps.<br /> len<br />
I love your tutorials!!! They are awesome
Reading your comment about wearing gloves while handling the development and printing chemicals made me giggle a bit. Last year I took photo class and we just used our bare hands and the occasional tongs. The unfortunate thing is that our development cannisters were often leaky, so I had to wash my sweatshirts very often, lest I wanted to offend people with my carcinogenic cologne. I also think we used that same timer for our enlargers. Its by crab labs or something like that, right? With outlets on the side?
yep its a crab labs timer alright. i have used similar ones from different makers before so i suspect its a widely copied design. an occasional finger dip in photo chemicals shouldnt hurt you but multiple exposure{23 years worth }will cause you to develop contact dermatitis complete with such lovely side effects as peeling fingers and sandpaper hands.
I have the same enlarger timer!! i use it in my kitchen, ill never leave anything in the oven too long.BZZZZZZ!!! God, what an irritating sound. good instructable, i want to make a 35mm pinhole camera, im thinking about using sheets of brass from the hardware store, or just leftover copper sheets from the shop, i need more research before i do anything. whatever i do ill be sure t post an instructable.
actually mine isnt hooked to a buzzer .instead it turns on the safelight when the exposure is finished. i tried a 35 mm one once made from a steel 35 mm film tin that a 100 foot roll of film came in it worked but the pic wasnt very clear when blown up. i always prefer to work in the size of print that i want. thanks for looking
how long was your exposure??? And how big was the actual image? Did it take up most of the paper?? thanks in advance
it was about 2 minutes but that was in bright sunshine. and could vary from pinhole to pinhole. the image you see is the entire surface of the 8x10 paper sheet. if you get all the image in the center then the camera is too short. thanks for looking
Kodak is trash. Fuji Flim rules!!!
Hear, hear! Well, mostly I reject Kodak because of their long history of planned obsolescence. Think of all those cool antique cameras that are mechanically very functional, but have obscure spool sizes. Also the film stocks that they have 'retired' despite all the objections of devotees. [yes, 120 film can be wound onto those odd spools, but that does not diminish my argument] Fuji has yummy greens, blues, and reds anyway.
Nicely done! It not only works but it looks cool as well. How about an Ilford box?
oh ya ilford boxes are good. its not readily available where i live and work but if ya got em smoke em.
Back in the day when I was doing some photography in college, my friend's neighbor sponsored our B&W film and paper. All the film and paper we needed. He was the local Ilford rep. I burned though quite a bit of film that quarter, and printed more than I would have other wise. I like the film canisters Ilford used. They were color coded caps.
Cool. I'll be using this for my world studies project. Can't wait to get started.
Cool man, I've always wanted to make a pinhole, but all the instructions I found were crap, I can't wait to build ths thing.
just a tip, when I made my pinhole camera, i took the soda can, took a large needle, tapped it on the metal to make a dent, then took some fine sandpaper and stroked it across the dent a couple of times. this made the tiniest hole imaginable. works great.
that is pretty much the only way to make one out of brass shim stock and i have made aluminum ones that way but that day i was building in between rain squalls and so did not take the time to do it properly
Love it! Simply love it! A pinhole cam that looks like an old large format cam is so cool! And the result is awesome, the "vintage look" of the pics is amazing.

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Bio: i am a photolab technician and an incurable packrat. i have made swords ,chainmail, crossbows.cameras,bike trailers,kayaks,guitars{slide and electric},knives,various ... More »
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