Updated 35mm Lego Camera Design

Front3_4.jpg

Inspired by George Bristol’s variation on the film advance mechanism of my Lego camera, I have reworked the design of my 35mm Lego camera. The new camera has several things going for it. Overall it is slightly smaller. It now has an internal shutter mechanism which replaces the clumsy swinging door of the earlier model. Most importantly, I came up with a simple way to rewind the film so now the camera no longer needs to be unloaded in the dark. I have tested a couple of rolls of film with it and the improvements make this a very fun little toy! I am seriously starting to consider selling these, perhaps on Ebay. Would anybody be interested? What do you think it would be worth?

Here are some photos and explanations of the new and improved 35mm Lego camera…

The animations below show the front and back of the camera. You can see that to take a picture you simply lift the piece on top. When the red block is showing I know that the pinhole is uncovered and the film is being exposed.

Back.gif Front.gif

Here is what is happening on the inside: Inside_Camera.gif

Here is a better look at the film advance mechanism that I tweaked based on George Bristol’s idea. The purpose is to create a knob that only turns in one direction. My original solution did the same thing, but this one takes up less space and is a little more durable. This keeps the film tight and prevents inadvertent rewinding. To advance the film one frame, you turn the knob 1.25 turns. Top.jpg

Top_3_4.jpg

My method for rewinding the film takes some explanation. I needed a piece that could fit into the 35mm film canister like this: Film_Canister.gif

There isn’t a stock Lego piece that does this trick, so I had to modify a piece. Using a dremel tool and some sand paper I created this: Rewind.jpg Rewind_Knob.jpg

It will go on the camera like this: Inside_Rewind.jpg

The hole that the new rewind knob goes through needs to be bigger than a normal Lego piece. Here is what the enlarged hole looks like: Top_Hole.jpg

When I get to the end of the roll of film I remove the piece that is pushing into the gear of the film advance knob. This allows the film to rewind by simply turning the rewind knob. If the rewind knob was put into the film canister correctly the advance know will turn backwards as you are rewinding. Once the film has been rewound, it is safe to open the camera and reload.

If you are interested in pinhole photography, Ebay might be a good place to find a starter pinhole camera. Here are the pinhole camera auctions going on right now:

Wireless Pinhole Camera Spy Cam Nanny Surveillance Cordless CCTV
US $23.99 (0 Bid)
End Date: Wednesday Apr-23-2014 8:55:02 PDT
Bid now | Add to watch list

9 Responses to “Updated 35mm Lego Camera Design”

  1. P.J. Onori Says:

    Man, SO cool! I really have to sit down and finally make one of these.

    Great article.

  2. Steve Tucker Says:

    I second that. Really great article you got here.

  3. james Says:

    It’s time to get my old legos out and start playing again. A great toy with an ingenious modification. I would love one.

  4. michel huijsing Says:

    what a fantastic camera you’ve made. When you start selling them on ebay i’ll for sure will order one. this is my first visit to your site, and surely bot my last. I’ve just bought myself a Holga and love old camera’s and making pinhole’s,

  5. unlikelymoose Says:

    You mentioned in this post that you were thinking about selling these on ebay. Have you tried yet? I might be interested.

  6. N. Larson Says:

    Incredible, in my new found intrest of pinhole photography I came across your website by fluke chance and your lego camera is fantastic, even your medium format camrea looks amazing. You mention by chance selling your camera on ebay, any chance of a direct sell to buyer instead of auction?

  7. Simple Pinhole Camera Created with Ordinary LEGO Pieces Says:

    [...] make a lego pinhole camera. The design is mine, however when I was researching online, I discovered this Shutter Mechanism, and decided to use a modified version of it in my [...]

  8. cosmic|techie » Simple Pinhole Camera Created with Ordinary LEGO Pieces Says:

    [...] make a lego pinhole camera. The design is mine, however when I was researching online, I discovered this Shutter Mechanism, and decided to use a modified version of it in my [...]

  9. jacob klimes Says:

    I also made a lego camera that uses 35mm. But I had a lot of light-proofing problems as well as color leaking problems. but in the end, I did get a good picture with it.

    would you like to chat about how we made these? compare and contrast?

    let me know!

    Jake

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