Introduction: CAMela Project - Compact Film Pinhole Camera

This is my first instructables and talk about my first attempt to build a reusable compact pinhole camera.
The camera is named CAMela, the name come from the main piece, the "dark room", made out from a cigarette pack.
The depth of the cigarette pack is 23 mm, and the depth is the focal length. Thanks to the mrPinhole's camera design calculator we can see that 23 mm of focal lenght is almost perfect. But we have to do a hole of 0,2 mm.
On mrPinhole's website can also calculate the exposure, in a sunny day is 1/2 Sec.
You can design a pinhole camera better than mine with this calculator.

You can find all photos on:

All the materials used in the project are easy to find and simple to mount.
Good instructabling.

Step 1: "not So Dark" Room

In this step we take the center of the two biggest faces of the pack.
You can discover the center using a ruler to trace two lines from the opposite angles, as you can see in figures.
Once we know where center is, on one face we can draw the rectangle shape of 24 mm x 36 mm (the full frame format of 35mm film). In the other side we later made a little hole.
The inside of the pack is white, we have to turn in black.

Step 2: "now Dark" Room

To transform the cigarette pack in a dark room pick up a matte black spray can. And carefully but fast sprapaint it black in the inside, do not use to much paint or the paper pack become too wet and destroy.
Wait until the paint dry, if some part remain white retouch with a black marker.

Step 3: Closing and Cutting the Frame

After all the paint dried, you have to close the pack and "secure" with some black adhesive tape or gaffer tape. So the light can't enter from nowhere. Later we use the tape again.
To open the frame window use an xacto knife or a cutter o your teeth if you prefer, and cut long the line we've draw. After that tape the window like the figure.
Now with an open window on the inside you can see more white part of paper cover it white the black marker.

Step 4: Film Container

Take the black film container with your xacto knife friend cut a line in the plastic. This cut is where the film exit (figure 2), impress your smile and later re-enter in a film container like that but at the opposite part of the cigarette pack.

Step 5: Backside

We need to close the back of the camera, 'cause now the film is getting all the sun. To do this get a piece of hard cardboard, spraypaint it black and tape it to the back and base of the camera. Now you've did it a hinge with black tape, so you can open and close the back.
At the base of the camera, under the frame window, I've glued a little piece of cardboard (height 1cm), this is the guide for the film, so it don't go away and remain horizontal.
At the top back of the CAMela i've taped a film cover thing (figure 3,4) to protect from light and lock film.
At least cut the back side cardboard at the same height of the CAMela

Step 6: Glueing Film Containers

This step, is simple.
Take the two cutted film containers and glue, i've used silicon glue, to the side of the pack.
Pay attention that the cut is parallel and at the same level of the side of the pack, so the film remain straight. After that wait until the glue drie.

Step 7: It's Time to Pin!

After the simple step the "hardest" one.
As said at the beginning the hole must be 0,2 mm, to do this we need to use a pin or a needle.
The smallest needle i've found is in the figure 1, the broad side is thicker than 0,2 mm but I've used only the point.
The hole is in the center of the pack, right on the penis of the famous camel man.
To hole it, push the needle through the paper, with calm, and with a finger from the other side of the cardboard feel if the point is passed. If yes, stop it.
If is all ok, you have a pinhole!

Step 8: Film Winding Spool

At this point the CAMela needs a spool for the film.
I've created with the cap of the container, screw, fischer, nuts..etc The screw is screwed (sorry) in the container cap.
The fischer come with a cut on the side, perfect to lock the film, the "disc" is to sustain the film inside the container.
The CAMela needs a rewind spool, but i've don't made it. So to rewind I made by hand in completely dark room.
For the spools be creative, made it from anything you want. let me know how you made it, if you made it.

Step 9: Finishing the CAMela

The shutter is made with a piece of magnet hinged to the camera with tape. And around the pinhole i've taped a piece of metal (figure 2) so once the shutter is closed, stay close good. Tell me if you have better ideas.
The back side (figure 3) remain closed thanks to our friend gaffer tape, i've made a "lock with it".
In the next CAMela update i'll put it a piece of velcro to close.

Now the camera is finished. Close all the possible light source with tape.

Coming soon:
- A video to see how to load the film and use the CAMela
- Printed photos made with it

Good pinholing!