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Thread: Plans for foam core camera

  1. #1

    Plans for foam core camera

    Hello Group,
    If possible could you please direct me to any plans you know of on this site or another for making a foam core camera.

  2. #2

    Plans for foam core camera

  3. #3

    Plans for foam core camera

    Much information on pinhole photography, including construction of several types, is at

  4. #4

    Plans for foam core camera

    Thank you.

  5. #5
    Administrator Tom Persinger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Pittsburgh PA USA

    Plans for foam core camera

    try Alan Greene's book 'Primitive Photography'
    each of those cameras could be made from foam core as easily as wood.
    or, take his workshop at the f295 symposium in april

  6. #6

    Plans for foam core camera

    What would be really great would be if Alan Greene would publish somewhere a simplified version of his camera plans for foamcore! I bought Primitive Photography and frankly it's a little, no scratch that, VERY daunting. I wish there was a genuinely simple step by step instructional somewhere for this type of this type of thing because I personally know that i'd rather spend 25 dollars ona manual than 100s on foamcore for all the mistakes I would make following shoddy instructions or worse my own intuition about lens camera design. ever since i set out to make my own LF camera out of foamcore I've spent to date about 65 dollars on foamcore alone, minus all the rolls of electric tape and bottles of glue. For anyone thinking of buying Greene's book a word of caution: anyone looking for specific instructions will be both pleased and greatly dismayed with the book. An example? In the lens making section of the book, all of the instructions are presented as ideal steps in the creation of the lens. I've scoured the section for as much specific information as I could but Greene leaves his reader mostly in the dark with nothing but a chart and some equations to aid in figuring it out yourself. I have limited money to work with and if i'm going to buy a 35 dollar 400mm Achromat I want to know that it will fit the design put forth in the instructions. Only one of the lenses described specifically could even be built and result in a "normal" not "wide angle" view for either of the cameras he describes in the first part of the book.

  7. #7

    Plans for foam core camera

    I'm new to the forum also. I just finished (about 2 weeks ago) a homemade camera and lens based on the directions in Primitive Photography. I agree, the book is a bit daunting to assimilate. I spent about 2 weeks reading and making notes. I had one abortive attempt before my second (successful!) attempt.

    The camera is made out of foamcore, low-temp glue-gun glue, black silicone gasket adhesive, black felt, and flat black paint. The fake ground glass is a 4x6 picture frame glass taped with Scotch matte tape all sealed in two pieces of foamcore. The lens is made out of a magnifying glass I had lying around. I made a few simplifications to the design in Alan Greene's book so as to be able to complete a working camera, and I figured I would learn from that to draw up plans for a second, more sophisticated camera.

    My camera is fixed-focus (on infinity). Closer subjects are brought into focus through depth of field (using an aperture in front of the lens). The lens cap is the shutter. I did make some helpful alterations for my purposes, including a pinhole that can be interchanged for the lens, and filter holders for each to use 52mm filters.

    The key to designing the camera, I found, was to build it around the film holder. I use standard (old, wooden) 4x5 holders, scoured off of eBay. Finding the focal length of the lens is important, so that you make sure the lens is mounted no further in front of the film plane than that.

    I wish I could offer you a specific plan with step-by-step instructions, but I really don't have such a thing. I calculated approximate measurements for one step, then calculated approximate measurements for the next step, and so forth.

    Here's one of the first pictures I took with it, outside my apartment building (just as a test) using the magnifying-glass lens. It's on Delta 100 at f/64 with an ND8 filter for 1 second. I believe I spent about $35-40 on this camera, and could have spent less except I overbought a few items.

    Again, I don't have step by step instructions or measurements, but I'd be glad to try to provide some broad strokes on my process if you think it would be helpful. I don't have plans for a focusing model in mind yet. If I can, the next model will be a focusing model with a true shutter. But I'm happy with this one for now....

    Good luck! It's a worthy project. Attached files

  8. #8

    Plans for foam core camera

    Hello, Would it be posible for you to send me a couple of pictures of the camera? They can be taken with a digital camera if you have one available. I would love to see the lens setup. I have finished my foam core 4x5 camera and will be taking pictures with it this weekend. I will try to post some images by the end of next week.
    Arthur, NYC

  9. #9

    Plans for foam core camera

    I'd be glad to share some pictures of my camera with you and the forum. I will try to get them posted by the end of the week. I can't wait to see the pictures from your camera as well.

  10. #10

    Plans for foam core camera

    I would love a few pictures as well. The lens sounds interesting, you just set up a lamp at the end of a hallway at night and checked the focal length?

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