Introduction: Polaroid Pinhole Camera
To do this, all that is needed is a Polaroid Land camera, some small screwdrivers, and a small sheet of thin metal. These cameras can be found on eBay, or better yet, at yard sales. It will be made into a pinhole camera with several pinholes that can be switched into place, for use in various light conditions etc.
With a thin blade, pry off the cover plate on the front of the camera. Remove
the plastic ring around the lens, and discard it. Unscrew the lens, and set it
aside (this will be made into the lens cap). Cover the small semicircular slot next to the lens with a piece of electrical tape, to prevent light leaks.
Open the back of the camera, and remove the 4 small screws around the lens
that attach the bellows to the front of the camera. Then, remove the screw on
the front of the camera that attaches the lens assembly to the frame. Then it
can be swung out to allow access to the back; Remove all the screws on the back of the lens assembly, then pry off the thin metal plate on the top of the lens assembly.
Cut the cable between the the camera and the circuit board, and remove it from the lens assembly. Pop out the lens in the back of the lens assembly. Remove the screws holding the circuitboard to the front of the lens assembly.Remove excess parts from the front and back of the circuitboard (refer to photos
to see what is needed).
Take off the small metal arm holding in the plastic dial: remove the screw, then carefully pry off the tiny metal spring clip. Do not bend this out of shape, as it will be needed when reassembling. (If it gets bent, or lost, there are several other of the same clips in the unused parts of the circuitboard that were removed). Remove the spring resting against the center of the dial and save. Take out the plastic dial with the holes in it.
Prepare the pinholes. Use a thin sheet of metal (I cut and flattened a piece
from a soda can). Make 4 small squares (about 1/2 by 3/4 inch) In the center of each piece, pierce a small hole of varying sizes. I made 3 with holes, and one with a tiny slit. To pierce the holes, use a thumbtack, nail, etc., and I used a utility knife to cut the slit. Sand off the burr from the back of the pinholes, and blacken one side with paint or a Sharpie. Superglue the pieces of metal to the dial, centering the pinholes in each of 4 holes. Write a small number at the bottom of each sheet of metal, to differentiate each pinhole. Keep in mind that, when reassembled, the number that's visible will refer to the pinhole on the opposite end of the dial.
Replace the dial on the circuitboard (with the pinhole side facing out).
Replace the plastic spring, then replace the metal arm that holds them in place
(replace the screw and the tiny metal clip; place it on the top of the small
metal rod and push straight down).
Reassemble the camera. Replace the pinhole contraption in the front of the lens
assembly, and replace the screws. Attach the back of the lens assembly and those screws, then the screw attaching this to the frame. Collpase the bellows, then open the back of the camera and replace the 4 screws to attach the bellows. Superglue the metal plate to the front of the camera.
To make the lens cap, simply superglue a small piece of metal to the back of
the lens, making sure to cover it entirely. Screw it back into place.
To take a picture, set the dial to the desired pinhole, set the camera in
place, and remove the lenscap for the desired amount of time. This will vary
considerably, depending on the size of the pinhole and the light conditions of
the subject. In bright sun, an exposure will be around 10 to 20 seconds; indoors, it can be several minutes to 45 minutes or so). Replace the lenscap and remove the film, allowing it to develop.
These are some pics taken with this camera. I tried to include photos taken under various light conditions and with different exposure times. Ive found that the best film to use is Fuji FP-100 or Polaroid 669.
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