Picture of How to make a Concrete Camera
As a photography enthusiast I have cameras of all shapes and sizes, some analogue some digital, some low tech & some high but none so satisfying as the one I made myself! It doesn't take too long to whip your very own concrete camera so let's get started...

Firstly I am rather new to concrete and casting so please forgive any glaringly obvious mistakes I make along the way, I know there are definitely some things I would do differently next time around (more on that later) but if you have ideas on how any of this could be improved please share in the comments. With that said, this is how I made my own concrete pinhole camera...

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Step 1: Making the Cast - Part One

Picture of Making the Cast - Part One
The body

The body of the camera is basically a box shape with two walls inside that create separate compartments for the film to travel through. The first photo shows the dimensions of the inside part of the cast which I built out of laminated sheets of 5mm foam. I then created a box to enclose this inside part which when poured in concrete would create the walls of the camera.  Finally I found a pen which had about the right diameter (12mm) to make the hole in the front - where the pinhole would be attached, and also the two holes in the top - used for advancing the film and rewinding the film once it is exposed. I glued these three pieces in place before pouring the concrete.

Step 2: Making the Cast - Part Two

Picture of Making the Cast - Part Two
The Base

The base fits snugly into the bottom of the camera to make it light tight. I made my cast being generous with the measurements then using a file I shaved the edges off the base until it fit snugly into place. 
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rflippo0011 year ago
How far do you know to wind the film to get to the next frame without over lap? and does the distance of the pinhole to the film make a difference on sharpness? or is it the size and shape of the pin hole? Yours looks so cool I tried to help my son make a pin hole camera but most of our shots where a little blurry. we used 400 iso film and hand held. the light exposure was good for his guesses based on some formula he read like your link. What film speed did you use and was your camera mounted for stillness? Thanks your shots are very cool.
amuu (author)  rflippo0011 year ago
I simply watched the top of the second spool turning and did one full turn between each photo, I think both the distance and size/shape of the pinhole will effect the sharpness but this is something I have to look into further because I also want sharper images! I used 100iso film and all of my shots were placed on the ground.

This is a good article. Making a camera with concrete is a good idea. A very rare and cool one. I love it. It look good and creative. Also I have come acoss another one here-

Bjarke1 year ago
You should enter the analog photography competetion thingy.
Love it! What a great idea! Looks good. Does it work? ;)  
poofrabbit1 year ago
Just wanted to say congratulations on being a finalists in the Concrete & Casting Contest! This was one of my votes so I'm so happy you are one of the finalists! LOVE this idea, so out of the box!! Good luck!
amuu (author)  poofrabbit1 year ago
Thanks for the support poofrabbit :) I totally appreciate the vote!
I love this idea. I take star trails and this sure would be a solid and steady camera :-)
One hint: use a fine fretsaw for cutting the shutter as a hacksaw is soooo unwieldy!
amuu (author)  Vikingtrader1 year ago
Thanks - do you have any links for your star trails I would love to see them! A fretsaw look like it would be great to have for this job but for now I'm just using what I got.
Oh I didn't mean any criticism of your technique. The fine saw just makes the job a lot easier :-). Umm I'll have to put some photos up on line - if you are on Facebook I'll put some there

Best wishes
amuu (author)  Vikingtrader1 year ago
None taken :) I would seriously love to own a whole shed-full of tools but alas its just not possible now... but it is a good hint for anyone else following along - thanks!
Really cool
amuu (author)  hobo marcus1 year ago
gldfshbob1 year ago
Nice reconstruction of the Camera I sold you kudos to you for using a new material than the MDF one you bought - But printing my copyrighted instructions ( even down to the one hippopotamus ) and passing them off as your own tsk tsk please put more thought into your plagiarism next time
amuu (author)  gldfshbob1 year ago
Hi Gldfshbob, I still have and love your wooden panoramic pinhole camera and even after all these years I remembered your explanation of f stops and shutter speeds to be correct & easy to follow so I re-wrote it in my own words here, I am sorry if you feel I have copied your work - do you have a link for your cameras so I can show it as inspiration for my instructable? Or would you like me to change the exposure explanation so it doesn't reference yours?
gldfshbob amuu1 year ago
your whole exposure calculations are a direct copy of my copyrighted work - I don't see how you think you have "re written things in your own words" Even the formating is the same as my work and the Hippo stuff come on -- either remove it or state that the exposure tables are the copyrighted property of Dr Evan Reece
amuu (author)  gldfshbob1 year ago
I have updated the text to credit you for your exposure table and I have also added a link to your website, I removed the 'hippo stuff' from the picture too.
Might try curving the film holder, so the negative behind the lens is curved? You have my vote, mainly because I think I'll try this as I'm also a photo bug!
amuu (author)  kblanding561 year ago
Hmm I will look into that and see what effect that would have - thanks for the vote!
I put a pinhole disc where my DSLR lens should be. It worked!
amuu (author)  Green Silver1 year ago
Cool I've seen that before and always wanted to try it!
Monty^1 year ago
Hi Amuu, I linked this project to another site and received an interesting comment you might be interested in seeing from Colin Carron , Aug 26, 2013; 04:53 a.m.
amuu (author)  Monty^1 year ago
Hey thanks for linking, That is interesting - I didn't know that concrete could be so specific! He's right you should always wear safety equipment when working with cement ie: gloves & mask however my fingertips seem to be just fine :)
gldfshbob1 year ago
Nice reconstruction of the Camera I sold you kudos to you for using a new material than the MDF one you bought - But printing my copyrighted instructions ( even down to the one hippopotamus ) and passing them off as your own tsk tsk please put more thought into your plagiarism next time
fazgard1 year ago
ladylissa1 year ago
I LOVE this!!! It's brilliant. One of the coolest pinholes I have seen! It also makes it basically impossible for the wind to blow it over if your taking super still shots! Awesome!
amuu (author)  ladylissa1 year ago
Thank you! Yup it's pretty sturdy - would be cool to see if I could leave it somewhere overnight and get a really long exposure out of it!
Negomi amuu1 year ago
a friend of mine did some amazing 6 month long exposures... try it longer than overnight?
ladylissa amuu1 year ago
Try it and post the results!
icsnerdics1 year ago
this is aaaaaaaaaawesome
agis681 year ago
imagine after all mobility and portability strenght of decades appear in store the first anti-theapt so quarranted heave nobody will attempt to not get crazy about this instructable (not any obvius use) but for experimental purposes i vote yes
You are so welcome. Good luck and I wish you the best.
Really awesome
amuu (author)  I like chicken nuggets1 year ago
gustmv1 year ago
This is amazing!! I wanted to ask if I could use your pictures to post this tutorial in the site with a Spanish translation. I would give all credit to you and place a link to here. Thanks!
amuu (author)  gustmv1 year ago
Hey as long as you put a link I'm happy for you to translate into Spanish :)
I love this idea, and your finished product looks beautiful. I have only one concern, but it's a major one: your "shutter door" should create a light-tight seal across the front of the camera, or it's going to leak around the edges where wood meets concrete, and any light that comes around is likely going to spoil your photos. You might paint your aluminum pinhole square black as well as the inside of your shutter door and the passage between the front face of the camera and the pinhole.

Anyone who has ever made an oatmeal-can camera knows that a little tab of gaffers tape works great because it blocks light and creates a seal when you press it down, closing the shutter.

I hope this isn't a problem with yours, and I can't wait to see your set of pictures from your cool little brick-cam. Please post!
amuu (author)  BeefDivision1 year ago
Hey - as Kasm279 said I did put felt on the back of the shutter door to make it extra light tight although my final images do show a light leak which I think may be coming through the hole on top of the camera. I think making 2 winders rather than 1 should fix this problem though and would provide some extra light proofing for those holes on the top.
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