Lego Camera Instructions

I finally finished building the medium format Lego camera in Bricksmith. Bricksmith is a free program with a library of Lego parts that allows you to build 3d models out of virtual Lego bricks. It requires Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) or later, so I apologize to all the PC users out there. I couldn’t get Lego’s Digital Designer to run very well on either my PC or my Mac, and Bricksmith worked extremely well. Maybe somebody can volunteer to rebuild this in Digital Designer and share it with our PC friends.

Without further delay, here are the Bricksmith files for you to download: MainCameraBody.ldr (28kb) Outer_Box.ldr (12kb)

The main camera body is made of 156 pieces. The outer box is made of 63 pieces. I will try and get a parts list up here soon.

Instructions for the 35mm version is in the distant future. Hopefully I will get to it eventually. You can get a pretty good idea of how to build that camera from looking at these instructions because they use the same film advance assembly. If you download the Bricksmith files, please give me some feedback as well as any errors you find.

12 Responses to “Lego Camera Instructions”

  1. justin Says:

    Hey –

    Im almost done with my MF lego pinhole – the first pinhole I’ve ever made. Being that I’m new – I have a question – what size hole should I use. I’ve read that a number 10 needle works – but I’m not sure if this is true across the board.

  2. Adrian Says:

    Justin, glad to hear that you are making a Lego camera. I don’t know much about the sizes of needles. I don’t push the needle all the way through though, so the width of the pinhole isn’t the entire width of the needle. I have been just pushing the needle into the tin until there is a lump on one side. Then I sand off the lump with sandpaper to make the hole. This has been giving me smaller pinholes than I could get otherwise. For a tiny pinhole, my exposure time has been about 1 second on a sunny day. I hope that helps you. Good luck.

  3. justin Says:

    that helps a great deal – thanks.

  4. Jeremy Says:

    It would be really nice if someone could put this in to lego’s digital designer for us pc users.

  5. Yuri Says:

    Hello Adrian, I think all this is fantastic, I’m a design student and I’m going to graduate with a thesis about handmade cameras, I’m doing it right now. So I’m very interested to keep in touch with you and I’m already ebaying to find all the lego pieces. Any help is appreciated 😉 If you know some other ingenious handmade camera please let me know!

  6. Monica Munoz Says:

    I can’t get the instructions downloaded!

  7. Adrian Says:

    Try right clicking on the link and selecting “save linked file as.” The file that it downloads should upen in Bricksmith.

  8. Adrian (another Adrian) Says:

    To clear up any confusion for PC users, these aren’t Bricksmith files per se–they’re LDRAW format .ldr files. They can be viewed with numerous free PC software packages, many of which are available from

    Also, I wanted to mention that those LEGO springs don’t provide a lot of tension–a rubber band pulling a rod with a catch against gear teeth achieves a nice effect: nospring.jpg.

    Also, rubber bands can be used for a good shutter using a similar principle–have the shutter pulled closed with a strong band, then “tripped” open with a push-down shutter which is spring returned to the up position.

    Email me if you want help making instructions for this thing…


  9. Adrian (another Adrian) Says:

    Just wanted to clear things up–I’m not the same Adrian as the Adrian who made this camera. Also, my email server is down and losing messages so if you want to put together some building instructions send email to adeabroad-[AT]-hotmail- dot-[I’m so sick of SPAM]-com.

  10. stuutekeer Says:

    Hi, I copied and modified your design a bit, and posted some photos of the camera on my blog (post of 9th february), along with some photos taken with it. Thanks !

  11. kathryn Says:

    Wow! This is really impressive. I would love to make one. I got the plans to open, but will their be a parts list or a way to see step by step instructions in Bricksmith?

  12. Eric Miller Says:

    I have tried to download the plans but I get a 404 error. I know this been some time. can you email me the plans.

    thanks Eric

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