Symbolic Forest

A homage to loading screens.


In the footsteps of Fox Talbot (part four)

A bit more papercraft engineering

After a few weekends without touching it, I did a bit more work on the papercraft pinhole camera (previously discussed here, here and here) today. I’m sure The Children have completely forgotten that it was supposed to be for them originally.

Today was the moment that some of the key engineering parts of it dropped into place. Firstly, the film take-up spool was glued into its position.

Film take-up spool

The main stem of the spool had to be threaded through a triangular hole in a small piece of card with small flaps on the inside of the hole, and these flaps had to be glued to the spool without sticking anything to the main body of the camera, so that the spool is free to rotate. My biggest worry was not pushing that piece of card far enough up the spool, because the spool has to be wide enough to hold a roll of film. It’s one of those things we will only find out about when we try to put a film into it and wind it on, I suspect.

You can see, also, that I’ve tried to fix my earlier mistake building half the camera upside-down, by hacking at the body with a scalpel and extending the frame mask downwards a little bit. I might touch up the edge of that with a black marker.

Next, the shutter mechanism, made by laminating six pieces of card together, trapping a sliding shutter piece in the middle. The sliding piece—itself laminated from two thicknesses of card—is the rectangular piece in this picture.

Starting on the shutter

When the whole mechanism is built up it’s a fairly chunky-feeling assembly, complete with a functional bayonet-mount on the back just like an SLR.

Finished shutter

The main “pinhole”, which is a metal sheet, is then stuck in place in front of the shutter assembly with double-sided tape, and various semi-cosmetic rings of cardboard are stuck on in front of it, partly to make it look like a real camera lens and partly to hood the pinhole from glare. I’m quite pleased just how well the shutter itself seems to work, but not really confident in my cardboard-rolling ability for the next step.