Introduction: Camera Desk Lamp

About: Hi there! I am a maker and an electrical and electronic engineering student at the University Of Manchester and I enjoy making tutorials in my spare time.

I thought I'd show my love for old cameras by upcycling my old (non-functional) film cameras into a stylish desk lamp. In this instuctables I will show you how you can turn any old camera into a lamp with changeable light bulbs. Even though I will work with only one type of camera, the process is fairly similar for any old film camera but beware, not all cameras are created equally and some might be more difficult to turn than others as I have discovered on my own. The lamp you see in the picture is my first iteration of the lamp. The camera I have used was an exceptionally well built broken Voigtlander camera which meant I spent hours trying to take it apart. So learn from my struggle and try to find a camera of a lesser quality for this project.


This project deals with electrical connections which can be lethal if not handled properly. If you are not sure of your skills, ask an electrician to help you. I am not responsible for any damage that might occur due to attempting this project by yourself. You have been warned.

Step 1: Parts and Tools.

This part is fairly straightforward

  • Old Camera: for the camera just go to the local thrift shop and buy yourself and old film camera which looks good to you. Try to go for one that is lighter to the hand since that is a good indication of it not having a thick metal frame which will be difficult to cut through.
  • Articulated Lamp: I've bought my lamp online. But I do not wish to advertise any lamp companies so you will have to find yourself a lamp you want to turn into a Camera Lamp (patent pending). The process of turning the lamp is very flexible and can basically be done to multiple style of lamps.
  • Various bolts screws.
  • Various screwdrivers
  • Electrical tape or heat shrinking tube
  • Dremel or a drill
  • Epoxy(preferable high temperature resistant)

That should be all, now let's get to work!

Step 2: Taking the Lamp Apart.

Depending on the lamp you have, this process might be differ. I will show you how I took my lamp apart and hopefully you can do the same with yours.

First of all, unplug the lamp form the mains.

I began by unscrewing the two screws at the bottom of the lamp head and then pulling the head away from the main body to make enough room to cut the electrical cable running between the body and the head of the lamp.

After doing that, the lamp body should look like something like in the picture.

Make sure you expose the wires AFTER you unplugged the lamp from the mains.

Now, pull the light bulb socket out of the lamp head and disconnect any unnecessary parts until you are left with only the socket itself.

On my lamp, the part where the head attached to the body of the lamp is a curved piece of metal with two holes in it. You will need to straighten it with some pliers until its flat like in the picture.

That should be all with the lamp for now, put the parts on the side and let's move on to the camera.

Step 3: Choosing the Camera

This is the second time I make this lamp and so I will be using a different camera than the one in the main picture. This just stands to show how universal this method is :).

I will be using the Agfa camera you can see above for this tutorial. This has proven to be ideal since the camera is fairly easy to take apart and I also didn't have to cut any of the main frame of the camera to make place for the light bulb fixture.

Now to show you how to take it apart.

Step 4: Taking the Camera Apart.

Just go ahead and take your time with this part and just poke around since no camera is the same. Check out the pictures for some tips on the camera I used.

Step 5: Puting the Camera Back Together.

This part should be easy since you took it apart in the first place. Just do the opposite of what you've been doing so far. I've included some general picture steps for the camera I used.

Step 6: Drilling the Holes.

Now we have to drill the holes for mounting the camera to the lamp frame and another hole for passing the wires from the light fixture through the camera back cover to the lamp body. Now that he holes are done, we only have to use some self taping screws and attach it to the lamp body.

Step 7: Attaching the Camera to the Lamp Body.

Just screw in the camera to the stand we straightened earlier and then make the electrical connections as required and that's all.

Step 8: Admire Your Work.

You are done now. Relax, grab yourself an ice cold lemonade and admire what you've built!

Lights Contest 2017

Participated in the
Lights Contest 2017