Luckily, there are plenty of DIY kits out there; collections of components, complete with instructions that explain how to build the camera. To better understand any process, it is worth taking some time to understand how it works in order to come to terms with the principles. Doing this with cameras will almost certainly improve the way you take a photo.
We found five different ways to build a camera, from pinholes to DIY kits compatible with 35mm film, all the way to digital cameras.
Back to basics with the Obscura / Pinhole Camera
Who would have thought that by sticking a hole in a darkened box, you could create a camera?
But this is precisely the origin of modern photography, thanks to the physics that allowed first the camera obscura (which uses a room, not a box) and then the camera obscura.
To build your own camera obscura, all you need is a sealed, non-luminous box, usually painted black on the inside, with space for a piece of photographic paper (or 35mm film if a winder is available) and a small hole, probably made with a pin or other narrow metal spike. You also need to have something available to close the aperture after the photo is taken.
Using a camera obscura for photos is not at all like shooting with a smartphone or DSLR, but as with these devices, there is a certain exposure to take into account. In the case of a camera obscura, it is useful to have a reference, since different weather conditions and locations require different degrees of exposure. This guide from lilblueboo.com gives a good diagram, but you will need to set everything up to suit your own environment.
Genuine Fashion Model DIY Lomo Camera
If you have time, this Fotodiox DIY lomo camera will take you 1 to 3 hours and includes 68 items. As with all the DIY kits listed here, you’ll need to make sure you already have 35mm film, as well as a small Philips screwdriver.
This is a TLR camera — dual lens — which means there are two lenses in the finished assembly, one for the viewfinder and the other for the actual photo. To keep costs down, the lenses are made of plastic, but the camera is tripod compatible and has adjustable focus.