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  • How to Build theHow to Build theIpanorameIpanorame

    Pinhole CameraPinhole Camera

  • How to Build the Ipanorama Pinhole Camera, First EditionHow to Build the Ipanorama Pinhole Camera, First EditionDSC LLC All Rights ReservedCopyright 2003 DSC LLC

    Notice of Rights

    All rights reserved, no part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of thepublisher. For more information contact DSC LLC at

    Notice of Liability

    The information in this book is distributed as-is without warranty. While every effort has been made to assurethe accuracy of the information contained within this book, neither the author or DSC LLC shall have anyliability to any person or or entity with respect to any loss, injury or damage either direct or indirect as asubsequence of following the instruction and producing the product(s) described herein.


    Ipanorama and DSC LLC are trademarks of DSC LLC. Wherein many designations made by manufacturers ,service organizations and publishers are claimed as trademarks, when DSC LLC is aware of these trademarks,they are represented in this book as they appear as requested by the manufacturer. All product names,trademarks and services indentified throughout this book are used in editorial fashion only and for the benefitof such companies. No use, or the use of any trade name is intended to convey endorsement or other affiliationwith this book.

    Printed and Bound in the United States of America

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    Most people are quite amazed by the idea that apicture can be taken by a camera that has nolens. Its the unique qualities light that allowspinhole cameras to capture photographs in theirmost basic form. Youre about to build awonderful camera that takes advantage of thesesimple qualities and produce beautiful, creativeimages.

    The Nature of the The Nature of the CameraCamera

    Since light travels in a straight line, lightreflecting off of a surface will converge into apinhole cameras aperture and emerge within thecamera as a cone of light onto the films surface.

    Pinhole size determines the clarity of the image.Too small a pinhole and diffraction effectsoccur. Too large and the light fails to convergein an organized manner - either way blurring theresultant image

    The proper size pinhole is one that allows thebest image to form on the film and is determinedby the focal length - the distance from thepinhole aperture to the films surface.

    The ImageThe Image

    A pinhole cameras image will be slightly fuzzy,inverted and horizontally reversed. Also, sincethe aperture is so small, depth of field will beinfinite and the image will be in focus across thewhole surface of the film.

    People often feel that the images produced bypinhole cameras are somewhat ghostly anddelicate. This is a desirable characteristic ofpinhole photography and is part of the fun ofbuilding and using your own pinhole camera.

    Construction PhilosophyConstruction Philosophy

    Building a durable and useful pinhole camerashouldnt be a difficult task. With the advent ofmaterials such as Foamboard, its no longernecessary to have a collection of wood ormetalworking tools to create a high-qualitycamera - in fact, the only tools youll need are agood quality metal straightedge, a hobby knife,some T-pins, clothespins and glue.

    To further enhance the enjoyment of thebuilding experience, the printed plans sheetsthat accompany this book are used directly astemplates when cutting the Foamboard . Theneed to perform tedious measurements is keptto an absolute minimum.

    As for the building materials, simplicity is thekeyword. 3/16 Foamboard is the mainingredients with a couple of brass or nylonhardware items thrown in. Total cost should beunder $10 depending on where you purchaseyour materials.

    Patience is a good quality for a photographer tohave, but theres nothing wrong with instantgratification. Building a camera need not be along-term project. During the development ofthe Ipanorama Pinhole Camera, manyprototype, experimental and productioncameras were built. In most cases the totalbuilding time was between three and five hours.Depending on the glue type, you can build acamera in the morning and be out takingpictures after lunch!

    Getting UnderwayGetting Underway

    The first thing to do is acquire the buildingmaterials and tools youll need to construct thecamera.

    This book was written to describe theconstruction of a single camera. However bybuying the required amount of buildingmaterials and saving the template, severalcameras could be built.

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    Building MaterialsBuilding Materials

    Here what youll need. All of it can be found in awell stocked hobby or crafts supply store.Qty Size Item1 Sheet 18 X 22 X 3/16 Black Foamboard1 Sheet Paper thin Brass Sheet1 6-32 X 1/2 Nylon* Round Bolt1 6-32 Nylon* Nut2 6-32 Nylon* Washers

    * Brass could substituted

    Small Nylon bolts, nuts and washers can befound in any of the larger hardware stores. EitherNylon or brass is suitable.

    Construction SuppliesConstruction Supplies

    Qty Item1 Tube Contact Adhesive6 Small Spring-type clothespins1 Box #11 X-Acto type blades25 1 long T-Pins1 Can Stencil Spray Adhesive1 roll Masking Tape (Black preferred)1 Sht Light sandpaper

    The best contact adhesive for Foamboardconstruction is Bond 527 or similar. T-Pins areavailable in craft stores or hobby shops.


    Qty Item1 Aluminum straightedge or ruler1 Hobby knife for #11 blades1 pr Good scissors1 Small Blade Screwdriver1 Small Pliers1 #10 or #12 Sewing Needle

    Your WorkspaceYour Workspace

    Find a well lit, flat workspace that is largeenough to roll out the template plans onto theFoamboard and give you some working roomto hold your tools and materials.

    Youll need a cutting surface such as a section ofLinoleum tile or something similar to cut on soyou wont damage your work surface.

    Some Some Foamboard Construction Notes...Construction Notes...

    GlueGlue -Choice of glue is critical in the successfulcontruction of your camera. Avoid white orwood glue. It simply doesnt have the holdingpower of the newer contact adhesives.

    Gap-filling Super Glue is well suited tobuilding Foamboard structures. It hardensalmost instantly but is is expensive and cangive off irritating fumes. However, you canbuild the camera very quickly using this type ofglue.

    The best glue to use is the Bond 527 available in craft stores. It dries quickly and isvery strong. Although the camera could be usedwithin an hour of construction if handled verycarefully, its best to let it dry overnight.

    With Bond 527 , the most durable glue jointsare made by coating both pieces, pressing themtogether for a moment, pulling them apart andwaiting 30 seconds, then pressing them togetherand securing with clothespins and T-Pins untildry.

    CuttingCuttingAlways use a cutting surface and a new, sharpblade in a proper handle. Keep the blade asstraight up as possible to maintain a goodperpendicular Foamboard edge.

    Cut Foamboard in several passes. Dont tryto cut through all at once. On the first pass, cutthrough the top paper. On the second pass, cutthrough the foam and on the final pass, cut thebottom paper. This will give you the bestcleanest edges and the best results.

    Clamping and PinningClamping and PinningOnce the pieces are pressed together, push T-Pins into the mating edges to establishalignment and some clamping force. Useclothespins to clamp flat board section togetherwhile drying.

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    Start Building!Start Building!

    * If you are going to make several cameras, savethe template page by having it copied at anycopy center or blueprinting service - or - tracethe template onto another sheet of paper firstand save the original.

    Cutting Out the PartsCutting Out the Parts

    Lay out the Foamboard on your worksurface.Prepare the template sheet by lightly spraying itwith the Stencil Adhesive Spray in a wellventilated area away from any open flame-preferably outside.

    Install a new, sharp blade into your hobbyknife. Using the straghtedge as a guide, cut outthe Foamboard parts. Read the instructions onthe template page about the blade thicknessallowance so the parts are cut to the proper size.Cut using the three-pass method describe on thepreceding page.

    Transfer the template to the Foamboard andsmooth it onto the surface as straight as possible.Allow to dry about 5 minutes. Dont allow anywrinkles to form. The Stencil Spray Glue isremovable, so adjust the template as needed tohave a smooth surface.

    Carefully cut the curved edges of the FilmHolder parts and the pinhole aperture hole onthe front board. This is a freehand task. Followthe lines as closely as possible.

    When all the parts have been cut out, lay themaside in preparation for assembly. Wait until apart is to be glued before removing the whitetemplate paper

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    Cutting the Side Panel Channels

    One of the keys to the cameras strength anddurability is its undercut sides. A small channelis cut into three of the four edges on each sidepanel.

    Slide the hobby down the exact center of theFoamboards edges on three sides. Cut into theedge at least 1/4

    Test Fitting

    Test fit each part with its mating part beforeglueing. This assures that construction will go assmoothly as possible. You will need to trim partsto make things fit as needed.

    Glue the Parts Together

    Follow along as the parts are aligned and gluedtogether.

    Place the bottom part on you worksurface.Take the right si


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