This LEGO camera is a fully functional pinhole camera and shoots with real 35mm film

Aug 26, 2022

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

This LEGO camera is a fully functional pinhole camera and shoots with real 35mm film

Aug 26, 2022

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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There isn’t much of a shortage of LEGO cameras. We’ve covered a bunch on here before that either look like real cameras, such as Nikon, Olympus, Leica, Hasselblad and Polaroid and we’ve covered a few functional LEGO cameras, too, although most of those require some… non-standard (LEGO standard) components. This one, though, looks just like a real camera and works just like a real camera, too.

The LEGO ZH1 is a fully functional pinhole camera by Zung92 made entirely of LEGO. It features an actual shutter button, film advance, film take-up reel, a wind lever with a wind release, customisable lenses and you can even switch it up between half and full-frame mode.

It’s a very cool design and it’s probably the first functional LEGO camera I’ve seen that actually looks like a camera. There have been others in the past, of course, but most of them look a bit brutal and kind of industrial – or, well, about as industrial as a bunch of assembled teeny tiny plastic components can get. Making something functional, affordable and “as compact as possible” was Zung92’s goal with this. But it wasn’t easy to achieve, as he writes:

The biggest challenge is to make the body lightproof as my first and second film rolls were completely fogged up because of bright colourful bricks that illuminate the light inside the camera body, and it has several holes between the bricks. It took me several days to figure out how to seal it completely and also remained portable.

The LEGO logo printed on it is the legit LEGO logo, although it might not be the one you’re familiar with. This one’s from 1934, which fits in with the camera’s overall aesthetic. It’s something that Zung92 hopes that Lego will turn the ZH1 into a real live LEGO kit that people can buy and build for themselves. It currently has over 2,600 supporters and if it reaches 10K before the deadline then there’s a good chance of it happening.

I have to admit, I haven’t bought any LEGO in years but if this were real, I’d definitely have to buy one, even if just to play with it and see how the images actually turn out. I also have to admit that I’d probably only put two or three rolls of film through it and then never use it again, though. At least it would look cool on the shelf.

If you want to show your support and help bring the LEGO ZH1 to reality, head on over to the LEGO Ideas website.

[via Yanko Design]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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