Step 4: Assembly

Image 1: The side panels are attached to the rear (film plane) panel and you can see the how the slots for the shutter curtain are right in front of the rear of the camera and film plane.

Image 2: Shutter test fit. You can already see how the shutter fully seals of the rear of the camera and film plane so you can safely advance the film after taking a shot.

Image 3: A different angle so you can see the shutter in the open position. Note how the window frame cutout only allows light to fall on a 35mm section of film, this protects the unexposed area of the film so there is very little waste between shots.

Image 4: With the bottom panel on and the shutter in the closed position, you can see how the shutter slips into the groove at the bottom, creating a light proof curtain so the film can be advanced and be ready for the next shot. Just to play it safe, I keep the lens cap on in between shots.

Image 5:  With the top panel on and the shutter fully open you can see how the piece of wood on the shutter curtain limits the upward travel to only what is necessary to expose the film.

Image 6: With the front installed you can see how the lens opening is aligned with the 35mm frame opening on the film plane.
Hello bro could you tell me about the shutter mechanism you had been talking about. Even a few pointers would help. And also where did you do the research from while making this. Thanks.
<p>Hi, and thanks for checking out the instructable. I actually made the shutter mechanism I talked about and will one day make and post an instructable for it. It is very similar to a guillotine style shutter that I added to the camera you see here. The guillotine itself is simply a flat piece of spring loaded metal (blade) with a slit cut in it that slides through the body of the camera. The current shutter is still used as a dark slide to keep the film from getting exposed while I cock the shutter but then left in the open position to take a shot. The camera suffers a bit from what is called recoil, aka &quot;vibration,&quot; which is the result of there being nothing to buffer the jolt of the shutter at and after release, hand holding the camera is somewhat unrealistic and I had to reinforce the tripod mount significantly. This was no surprise as the entire design is very rudimentary and if it weren't for the somewhat modern lenses I mount on it, the entire camera would not be dissimilar to other early camera designs. The size of the slit was a total guess but using a homemade shutter speed tester I found it was 1/160th of a second. Making extra blades with varying widths would be one way to have other shutter speeds but I have not done that yet. Due to time constraints I haven't done any work on in quite some time.</p><p>I didn't do much research but whatever I did do was done on the web, most of the design came from my head and was just a matter of simplifying a regular 35mm camera. In fact, I actually used the exact focal plane to lens mount measurement of a Spotmatic camera to make sure the distance scale on the M42 lenses would be accurate. The new shutter design was a completely original idea and again was out of a desire to keep it simple. Any complex mechanisms would not only prohibit me from success, it almost certainly rule out anyone without a lot of fancy tooling.</p><p>Best, Rick</p>
<p>Thanks for the fast reply. I was almost dreading this was a dead page and you wouldn't reply. This helped me quite a bit. I am definitely having a go at it. Will post pictures. Thanks again.</p>
Okay so yesterday i was thinking, how about I build a nice wooden box camera and make it out of glass, wood , and metal all from scratch. Im glad I saw this.
Sounds fun!! I'll try to make one refer to yours:)
Simple yet elegant!<br> <br> Reading through the comments I had a thought about the shutter and the speed of it. I have created an image which may help visualising my suggestion : )<br> <br> You will need to work out how to mount the parts and finnesse the mechanism, but in theory it should work.<br> <br> Mount a small wooden shutter at 45 degrees in front of the film, between the start of the lens and the film ( can you picture it yet?).<br> From the top of the shutter is a small wooden protrusion at 45 degrees to the shutter so that the protrusion is parallel to the bottom oh the camera housing.<br> Mid point of the shutter is an attachment for a small spring which is attached to the camera base at the bottom of the shutter pivit point which would be the top of the shutter.( ie, directly below the point that the wooden shutter would pivot up). With me so far?<br> Next, a hole is drilled in the top of the camera housing. (WHAT!!?????) Light leak alert!!!<br> Don't panic - that problem is about to be addressed.<br> Make a shutter button that can be inserted into the kole so that it can be pressed down from the top but CANNOT be pushed through the hole from the inside. THEN, glue a small piece of thin (1mm thick ?) flexible rubber over tho whole on the inside of the camera body.<br> <br> Directly below this, mount a small pushrod with a return spring attached so that it is above the shutter extension.<br> A small notch is carved into the side of the pushrod so that it pushes the shutter extension down until the pushrod goes down far enough that the extension goes into the notch. At this point the shutter is no longer being help open and the spring pulls it back down. Some leeway needs to be made so that when the shutter release button is released, the pushrod is allowed to return back to it's original position above the shutter WITHOUT getting caught at the notch position.<br> <br> I hope the image uploads too so that it aids in visualising my suggestion. This process should allow the shutter to operate at a fraction of the speed that you could manage manually, while acting like a proper shutter, plus being *relatively* simple to build.<br> <br> Any and all thoughts on this are welcome.<br> <br> Best of luck, Kroner.
Wow, Kroner, this is awesome! I really wish you had stopped by and thought this up before I came up with a different way of doing it. I literally just finished a shutter design and I'm almost finished with the instructable. Maybe I'll try this for Ver 3.0.
No problem. Glad you like it. I just wish i had the space for a workshop and tools and the time to make stuff. I have loads of ideas I would love to do but no time or space to try them out.<br><br>Just wish I had proofed my first comment properly before posting. Anyone reading it would think that english isn't my first language. Waaaay to many spelling mistakes : )<br><br>Never mind.
Good design and idea my friend. But what about the shutter?
Funny you should ask, I'm literally working on the instructable for version 2.0 of this design right now. The work is finished, I have added a mechanical shutter and a couple of other enhancements. I will probably need a couple of days to finish the instructable and I still haven't developed the first roll of film yet either, so I don't even know if the new design is a success or not. We shall all find out soon. Thanks for the complement and for taking the time to comment. <br>Best, Rick
question. could you construct this camera the exact same way BUT instead of using the real camera lenses, drill a actual &quot;pin hole&quot; and make a cover to act as your shutter?
In a word yes, but that said I seem to remember that with pinhole cameras there is an ideal distance from pinhole to film plane if you're looking to get as sharp an image as is possible. If the plan were to use 35mm film, then this box could probably be used as it is, but I think if I were going to make a pinhole camera from scratch I would plan on using medium format or larger (cut) film and make it so that each shot would be loaded individually instead of using roll film and make up some slide in inserts with dark slides so that film changes would be possible in the field.
ok. i made a &quot;practice&quot; box camera. and its literally a wooden box with out a back. for the back i have a wooden &quot;door&quot; (for lack of a better word) and it is on a hindge on the back of the box. it has a slot to put the film in. (one 2&quot; strip of 35mm film at a time.) so do i need to put the shutter in front of the film or infront of the lens? (it is actually just a view finder off of a disposable camera) this is just my first attempt of a camera and i really just wanted to see how simple i could make it so im jsut asking for some tips/ oppinions &amp;&amp; btw its 6 and a half mm in depth <br>
If you're planning to put film in the camera one 2&quot; strip at a time, I do hope you realize you will have to pull the film out of the roll, cut the strips, and load them in the camera in absolute complete darkness, right? Assuming you knew that and are still prepared to move forward, as long as there are no light leaks it really doesn't matter if the shutter is in front of the film or in front of the lens, if you can work it out so that the shutter blocks out all light until you open it and cut off all light after you close it, you're good. The key is to only expose the film to enough light to take a picture and not be under or over exposed, but the location of the shutter mechanism isn't important. As for the depth and the viewfinder lens, I'm not good with mm but my recommendation would be, if you've sacrificed a disposable camera for this first attempt, I would use the actual lens as apposed to the viewfinder to play it safe, and I would try to make it so the distance from the lens to the film is the same as it was in the disposable camera, that should achieve acceptable focus. Please let me know how you make out. Best, Rick
ok! so i need to light proof the box &amp;&amp; construct some sort of shutter....i do have a idea though! that will hopefully work lol. &amp;&amp; the view finder is the left over pieces from another project. no camera was unnecessarily destroyed in the making of this one :) &amp;&amp; oh sorry i meant six and a half centimeters. &amp;&amp; yes indeed i do realize i have to cut it in complete darkness! it will be a sight to see hahah &amp;&amp; i used the view finder because no matter the distance you can still see everything clearly. it not as much of a &quot;lense&quot; as it is just like a....filter? i guess hahaha. thankyou for helping me with this project! i pray that i am not annoying you lol
Light proofing is very important. Since this is sort of a test run, you could make the shutter very simple, like maybe even the cap off the plastic film canister, held over the lens with a large piece of tape and just flip it open to take a shot and seal it back up as fastyour you can because your aperture is unknown, but I would guess it is fairly large like around f/4 or larger, so you will have no way of figuring out how long to let light in. My advice would be to take your first test shot in the evening just before it gets dark and try to open and close the shutter as fast as you can if you go with hand actuated shutter similar to my idea.
ok i will certainly figure out how to get a good &quot;shutter&quot; on there! after i take the first shot. will i be able to see the photo on the strip if film immediately or will i have to wait a second like polaroid?
No, you will not see a photo on the strip immediately nor after a minute or two. This is a very common misconception about roll film, that it somehow magically develops inside the camera. Roll film must be developed in chemicals in a dark (pitch black) room before you can see anything on the film. A polaroid is a very special kind of film and paper bonded together inside a plastic liner, and there is actually a thin sack of chemical at the bottom, when a picture is taken, the sack is broken and the chemical washes over the special paper film and develops it into a photograph. If you load regular roll film in your box camera, you must load it in complete darkness and remove it in complete darkness, and it must be put into a container that is light proof until it is developed. If it gets exposed to any light other than the very brief moment you open and close the shutter, the film will be ruined, it will instantly be over exposed to the point where it will be blank when it gets developed. I think you should also be aware that most photo labs would not be able to process (develop) film that has been cut into pieces. They use a machine that can only process the whole roll uncut.
You could make a faster shutter by attaching rubber bands to a sliding board with a hole cut in it, pull it up and insert a pin to hold it, when ready to snap the pic, pull the pin, and the shutter snaps down. You could probably get about 1/250 to 1/500 sec this way.
SpaceRat, when I last replied I stated &quot;the current design wouldn't allow me to pin the shutter open because the shutter also acts as a curtain that prevents light from hitting the film in between shots.&quot; Well, after giving it some thought I realized that it is in fact possible to do this. I will add the new shutter in front of the old shutter (right behind the lens opening in the front panel) and the current curtain will be come a dark slide which will remain closed during shutter cocking and advancing the film in between shots, and left open when taking a photo. I'm working on it now, I'm more than 50% complete, so the idea we both thought of will come to fruition soon. I'm planning on making it so I can change the board, which is actually sheet metal, even with film loaded in the camera, so there will be more than one shutter speed available. Initially I'll only make one to test with, the hole (a vertical rectangle) will intentionally be large enough to only obtain a max speed in the area of 1/125 of a second so it will be usable in a wide variety of light conditions. If it works out well, I make more boards with narrower holes (slots) to increase the shutter speed.
You read my mind. However, the current design wouldn't allow me to pin the shutter open because the shutter also acts as a curtain that prevents light from hitting the film in between shots. That said, right now I am lifting the shutter up AND pushing it back down. The rubberband design could still be implemented by using them to close the shutter for me. This will have two advantages over the current design, the first is the obvious speed boost, I'm sure the rubber band will be much faster than my hand on the down stroke. In addition, it will be less likely to create a light leak from putting too much force on the shutter on the down stroke, which I think is what happened to me with a couple of shots. I tried to open and close the shutter so fast I think I put undue pressure on the seal at the top and created a light leak. With the bands I could lift it up and let it go like a slingshot. Stay tuned, I think I'll add the bands this weekend and load another roll.
I am looking forward to seeing your creation! Keep us posted...
Also, you could remove a lens/shutter combo from an old folding camera. Of course, you would have to build an extension on the front of the box to give more distance between lens and film plane.
Great comments SpaceRat, thanks for checking out the project.<br><br>I considered a shutter out of another camera. I didn't go that route for two reasons, I didn't have one, and I knew it would add another level of complexity. I really had no idea if it would work or be riddled with light leaks and other problems so I decided to try this very simple shutter and just see if it works. Looking at how popular this instructable has been so far (way beyond my expectations,) I think I see a version 2.0 in the future, and a real shutter will most definitely be a consideration, but I might I might decide to fabricate it though, just for fun.
But the /real/ question is, how did you take all these pictures?
I took all the documentation shots with a Nikon D80. I took my N80 out into the field to get light readings and shutter speeds when I shot the Box Camera. The sample photos form the Box Camera were processed at Costco and I scanned them with a flatbed.
Good to know, definitely works.<br><br>But you do know it was a tad bit of a joke, right? Not that i wasn't interested, but i like a good joke
I picked up on it and was preparing a witty answer, but I wasn't sure you were joking so I decided to go with a real answer to play it safe..
I must ask what the witty one was...
My <strong>witty</strong> answer <strong>would have been</strong> along the lines of &quot;The instructable is a complete fake, the camera was riddled with light leaks and ruined an entire roll of film. I really took the pictures with my pinhole camera that I made out of an Oatmeal box, but don't tell anyone OK &quot;&nbsp;&nbsp; ;)<br>
Excelent tutorial, i will try to do
Awesome! Please send me pictures if you do, I'd love to see them. Shoot me an email if you have any questions. And thank you for the complement.
Spouse and I were just looking at our old Brownie Box Camera this morning! <br><br>You wrote, &quot;The shutter is actuated by quickly pulling it up till it stops and then pushing it back down till it stops.&quot; Seems like this would surely blur the image, but your images are not near as bad as most camera phone photos. Do you use a tripod to keep the vibration down?
Hi, which Brownie model do you have? I have a Kodak Duaflex IV box camera that originally shot 620 film. I see there is an instructable to convert it to 35mm, I think I just found my next project.<br><br>Yes, I not only used a tripod, I used a heavy duty one for exactly that reason. However, I have to say, the shutter slides up and down very easily so as long as I'm not trying to go super fast, it doesn't cause much shaking. This just reminded me that I put wax in the shutter grooves to make it slide easier but forgot to mention that in the instructable. I should add that in case anyone decides to make one. The trick was not to attempt any shots where I would be tempted to actuate the shutter really fast so I could go slow and easy.<br><br>Thanks for checking out the project.
I have no idea which Brownie model. I guess I have to go do some research! <br><br>Thanks for the clarification on the use of the tripod.
I love the project and the resulting photos are very impressive! Great job! <br>
Many thanks for the support.
yes great job.
Many thanks for the support.
Great shots for a DIY camera. <br>Makes me want to shoot more myself. I took some pictures of a run down barn recently for entering a photo contest and will take some more this afternoon with my DSLR. I couldn't quite get the shot without a wide angle lens. <br> <br>But real great inspiration...
Many thanks, I'd love to see some pics, send a link if you post them anywhere.

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