Get crafty and make a pinhole Leica camera you can actually use

London-based designer Matthew Nicholson's paper templates make it possible to make your own working camera
Matthew Nicholson's paper pinhole Leica camera
Matthew Nicholson's paper pinhole Leica camera

If you've ever longed for a stylish watch or sophisticated camera but lacked the funds, then designer and photographer Matthew Nicholson's project Making the Desirable Accessible through an A4 Printer (2011) could be the answer. He has created a series of do-it-yourself templates for high-end products. You can download the paper template, print it on an A4 printer and then make your own Rolex watch, bespoke gentleman's suit or personal CCTV.

Our favourite template is Nicholson's version of the Leica M3 camera - the real version is used by professional photographers like Henri Cartier-Bresson and Danny Lyon. However, Nicholson's fully-functioning and wind-up version uses the common 35mm film and has the advantage of being much cheaper. We particularly like the detailed dials and Leica logo of his design.


Follow the link to DIY Photography for instructions to building your own camera.

You May Also Like

Related Gallery


Phaidon is the premier global publisher of the creative arts with over 1,500 titles in print. We work with the world's most influential artists, chefs, writers and thinkers to produce innovative books on art, photography, design, architecture, fashion, food and travel, and illustrated books for children. Phaidon is headquartered in London and New York City.
Read more