Cut-out pinhole camera, published in 1979 in the magazine An ABC of Young Technicians and Natural Scientists in former Czechoslovakia. Created by: Martin Pilný, Mirek Kolář and Richard Vyškovský.
A few notes about the original instructions
The camera must be cut out of stiffer paper than ordinary ofﬁce paper (or thin card). If the paper isn’t entirely opaque, youneed to stick very thin black paper underneath the important sections so that no light gets into the camera. This is particularly important for sections 1, 2, 3, 10 and 23. It is very important to print the cut-out to the correct size, i. e. 1 : 1. When you are printing from the Acrobat Reader, the option “Fit to page” MUST NOT be selected, otherwise the pages might come out smaller and the ﬁlmwon’t ﬁt into the Dirkon camera. I’ve added a ruler on each page so that you can check that the size is correct. The instructions recommend using Foma 21° DIN ﬁlm. This was ﬁlm made back in former Czechoslovakia but it’s similar, for example, to today’s Ilford PAN 100. You can of course use any 35 mm ﬁlm, even colour. I discovered from the makers of Dirkon that, even when it was published, people oftencame up with improvements on their model. The design was signiﬁcantly improved by sticking on a thin piece of metal with a hole, rather than making the hole in the paper, as described in the instructions. I didn’t follow this suggestion, however, since I wanted to experience the real magic of Dirkon photography. David Balihar
These are the original instructions printed in 1979:Who isn’t familiar with the pinhole camera, the predecessor of today’s modern camera? You would certainly have heard about it at some point. Today you can have a go at making it, and experiment to see how it used to “capture images” in the past. The principle is the same, except that it requires modern ﬁlm. You need to get a classic 35mm ﬁlm. The best to use in this case is Foma 21° DIN. Highersensitivity enables a short exposure. After you have stuck the various parts of the camera together and let it dry properly, insert a ﬁlm roll containing ﬁlm into the right-hand small side box (viewed from the back). Pull out the ﬁlm approximately 6–8 cm and insert the end into the other reel – a second, empty ﬁlm roll. You can get these in any photo-lab. Turn the “key” on the empty cassette (section15) so that the marker on the key goes through 360° + 180°, i. e. three half-turns. You make your exposure by moving the shutter (10) down and up, thus opening and closing the “lens”. You have to play around with the exposure to get it right. With Foma 21 ﬁlm, it’s about 1 second on a really sunny day. Naturally,
you have to place the camera on a ﬁrm base and it mustn’t be moved at all whenhandling the shutter. And now for the instructions on how to put the camera together. First you take an ofﬁce paper clip and bend it as indicated in the drawing (25). Then you make cut-outs in sections 1, 2, 7, 11, 13 and 24. Now take part 10 and, using a press stud (popper), ﬁx it to your completed section 1 at point A, where you make a tiny hole with a small nail. Put section 1 together, attach thesmall side boxes (sections 2, 3) which will have been made beforehand. These boxes serve as containers for the ﬁlm rolls. Stick section 12 together and attach it to section 2. Then section 24 to 3. From sections 4, 5 and 6 make a fake view-ﬁnder for the top and place it onto the main section 1. “Lens”: attach the outer part 8 to section 7 and stick it together from inside with section 9; thenstick this whole section to the front of 11. Now stick the whole “lens” to the camera. TAKE CARE only to stick down the side, lower and upper ﬂaps, and make sure that the shutter can move freely in the space between the camera and the front cover with its “lens”. Before putting on the cover at the end, check that the press stud (popper) fastening is secure. Now work on the additional parts using...