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Flatpack pinhole camera gets back to photography basics


April 11, 2013

The Pop-Up Pinhole project enables a pinhole camera to be constructed entirely from thick printed and die-cut recycled card (Photo: Kelly Angood)

The Pop-Up Pinhole project enables a pinhole camera to be constructed entirely from thick printed and die-cut recycled card (Photo: Kelly Angood)

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Pinhole cameras – that use a pin hole rather than a lens – have been around since the beginning of photography and could be, to coin a popular phrase, a form of "vintage" innovation. A recent Kickstarter project aims to bring this established photographic methodology back to today's users in the form of an assemble-it-yourself cardboard pinhole camera.

The Pop-Up Pinhole project enables a pinhole camera, dubbed the Videre, to be constructed entirely from thick, printed and die-cut recycled card.The medium-format camera's relatively large negative size helps produce good image quality, although the placement of the pinhole is very important.

A curved film plane is used to provide a consistent exposure to the edges of the negative and compensate for light fall-off. Of course, the images are only viewable after the film has been developed, which combined with a limited number of exposures per roll of film encourages a more considered approach to taking a snap.

London-based creator Kelly Angood describes the camera as "anti-tech" and all about getting back to the basics of photography, although she admits to being asked how many mega-pixels the camera has. The project aims to minimize environmental impact by using recycled card and vegetable-based ink.

Given the Videre's estimated delivery date of November, Kelly has also made a 35mm pinhole camera available to download and print from the project blog, for those that can't wait for a low-cost introduction to photography.

The Pop-Up Pinhole project has already exceeded its funding goal at the time of writing, although the campaign is still active. The current price for the 120 Videre kit, that contains a flat pack camera, instructions and spare medium format spool, is £30 (US $46). You can see the project story in the short video below.

Source: Kickstarter

About the Author
Donna Taylor After years of working in software delivery, Donna seized the opportunity to head back to university and this time study a lifelong passion: Architecture. Originally from the U.K. and after living in many countries, Donna and her family are now settled in Western Australia. When not writing Donna can be found at the University of Western Australia's Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts Department. All articles by Donna Taylor

I keep forgetting that cameras are not about getting good pictures.



Oh, that terrible law of unintended consequences! Just when film is going out of production, along comes an ideal use for it. Slowburn is perfectly correct: cameras are not (all) about getting good pictures. A pin-hole camera can let you photograph buildings where there is passing traffic and as if by magic make the traffic disappear. If any photograph has atmosphere, it is one produced with a pin-hole camera.

It is a nice idea that harks back to an age when you really needed to know your camera in order to get a photograph that you would be proud to show to your friends.

Just one minor gripe: I don't think that 'snap' can ever be used with this form of photography

Mel Tisdale

Hipsters will love this! No wonder they've already met their goal... 99.99% of all sales coming out of Portland and Seattle. Looooool.

Joe Apperson

Cool camera.Cool idea from a very talented person

George Brown

This is very cool. There are other pinhole camera kits available. But this one looks very groovy. I want one!

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