Experiment: "The Box-Camera"
Experiment: "The Box-Camera"

To own a Camera nowadays is quite normal. But how are Cameras made?

Experiment: "The Box-Camera"

To own a Camera nowadays is quite normal. But how are Cameras made?

In this issue we want to build our own Camera in order to understand how they work. PLAKA colour is well suited for the task that lies ahead, as the inside of the Camera has to be painted completely Black. Only in doing so will we be able to produce the required pictures.

  • A square cardboard box
  • A cardboard roll
  • A magnifying glass
  • Food wrapping paper
  • A pair of scissors
  • Sticky tape
  • Pelikan PLAKA Black
  • A paintbrush


This is how it's done:

Start by painting the box with the Black PLAKA colour.
Make sure to leave no blank spots. Also paint the inside of the White box.

In the second step cut a hole with the exact diameter of the cardboard roll in the rear inner wall of the box. We require a tight fit, as the cardboard roll is supposed to just about fit through the hole.

Now it gets a bit more complicated:
Now the food wrapping paper is spread across the open side of the box. It is very important that the paper does not crease while doing so and that the opening is completely covered. The wrapping paper can then be attached to the box by using the sticky tape.

Now the magnifying glass is attached to the open end of the cardboard roll. To do so, use sticky tape spread in even margins around the glass. It this case it is again very important that the glass is attached to the roll as tightly as possible.

Now our Box-Camera is ready for action. A good motif is one that is either lit really brightly, or one that forms a complete contrast to its background.

Now focus the Box-Camera on a desired object. Have the transparent paper side of the Camera directed at the object. This is caused by the rays of light being crossed by the magnifying glass in the boxes innards. Once crossed, the rays form an upside down image on the wrapping paper.

The magnifying glass also has great influence on the pictures focus. The closer the picture was taken to the image, the clearer the picture and visa versa. The picture can be focused by simply stretching the cardboard roll outwards or inwards.