I mean how can you not make a camera out of an iPhone box. It's almost exactly the height of a 120 reel.
My used iPhone 5, which didn't come with a box, turned into an attractive little brick one day this winter, and I'm not sure I can live without Pinhole Assist, so I bought a new iPhone SE. I suppose the boxes for the 6 and 7 are close to the same width, just a little longer.
There's a rich tradition of making cameras from iPhone boxes. I've seen 6 x 6 cm and 6 x almost 9 cm for 120 and versions for 35mm. I'm pretty sure I saw several simple versions loaded with photo paper using tape for a shutter (which would take about 10 minutes to make) this year reviewing submissions for Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day.
It's a really good box. It's a double layer of pretty high quality card which is reliably opaque. The printed outer layer wraps completely around the box so there are no seams or overlaps. It is still paper but it's pretty durable. I used a damp cloth to clean off excess glue several times, and you can erase pencil marks and fingerprints without damaging the surface. The top fits on the bottom precisely with hardly a gap between the two.
Of course there are things you can't change. It's 36mm from pinhole to film. Kinda wide but that's actually pretty popular. (The Zero 2000 is 25mm.) With a 6 cm film width that makes the angle of view 80°. In order to make it a roll film camera the front of the camera needs to be the bottom, inner part of the box. I can think of ways around those but Occam's Razor ya' know.
I decided to make it 6 x 6 cm.
The box is about 20mm wider than I need. I put a double layer of black foam core at either end. The interior structure is made from flat pieces of black matte board. Vertically, it's just a little longer than the 120 reel, so in the film bays, there's a single layer of matte board at the top.
I made a .26mm pinhole. Mr. Pinhole says .253 is optimal. That makes it f138. Kinda fast, but that's part of why these short pinhole cameras are so popular.
One thing I like about the SE box is that it has an image on the phone that's relatively symmetrical around both a vertical and horizontal axis, so I could make the camera in it's horizontal position without it looking like it's laying on it's side. The only thing that really determines what's upright is where the tripod mount and viewfinders are. Since the format is square, it really wouldn't matter if you made it vertical (which I have done a couple times with Scotch boxes.)
My original intent for the film counter shutter was to cut out the iPhone image, but I was afraid I couldn't cut it out neatly enough. I just made the shutter from black matte board with a couple of laser printed copies of the image to imitate the original appearance of the box. Again, the image gave me plenty of room with featureless black areas, so I didn't have to match anything too exactly.
Again in a bid to be as unobtrusive to the design as possible, I used white beaded pins for the viewfinders.
So what kind of pictures would be appropriate to take with an iPhone box camera?
The iPhone practically invented the selfie. I love how prominent the new scar on my right knee is.
People post a lot of pictures of cats on the internet that are probably done with iPhones.
Meals seem to be another popular subject - brocolli and cheese quiche with watermelon.
I see people using iPhones to capture local sights and attractions such as the statue of Chief Oshkosh in Menomonie Park. I love it that he's looking out over Lake Winnebago facing away from the city.
I wonder how close I can get with this thing - it's a little tricky with this wide angle.
One night I had a fit of insomnia and you're not supposed to read on your iPhone if you ever expect to get back to sleep, so I read a book about the Photo-Secession.
Our first iPhone was a 3GS in 2009. About that time a home decorating store in Oshkosh gave away these black sheep pillows as some sort of promotion. I decided it would make a good head rest where I sit on the couch. As we sat down that evening, I asked Sarah what we should name it. She was engrossed by her first transcendent experience with the source of all knowledge in her hand and immediately replied "Steve Jobs."
Sarah's family farm is over the ridge from Ellsworth, the nearest town, and cell reception varies from awful to non existent, but there's this spot under the tree toward the barn where it's a little more reliable.
And I'm sure vegetarian Steve Jobs would approve of a picture of tomatoes and a garlic scape from the farmers market, and home-grown orange cherry tomatoes.