Build a Camera Obscura, a Spectroscope, a Pseudoscope, a Microscope, Upside Down Goggles, and other models with our AstroMedia cardboard kits that really work!

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Here you can find our kits that fall into the category “Optics” and are not telescopes. Lots of beautiful, interesting, and educational kits like our Magic Lantern, the Camera Obscura, the World’s cheapest Spectroscope, the Pseudoscope, a Macro Lens for the iPhone, and many more.

The Magic Lantern

From the 17th century on magic lanterns made a huge impression on fair ground spectators. This is a kit for an elegant and fully functional cardboard replica in original size. It comes complete with electric lighting, three lens optics (3x OptiMedia lens 7), and one classical picture strip. Of course you can make your own slides for projection.

Size: 29 x 13 x 24.5 cm

Download Instructions

Construction in pictures


The Camera Obscura

All our modern cameras have one common ancestor - The Camera Obscura: the light of the outside world falls through a pinhole onto the opposite wall of a room and produces an upside-down picture. In the 16th century the camera obscura was greatly improved by an objective lens, which produced much brighter pictures and around 1750 many painters, like the Venetian Canaletto, used it to make sketches for their paintings. Then in 1836 Nicéphore Nièpce projected the picture on a light-sensitive plate and the photographic camera was born.

Our beautiful, sturdy Camera Obscura is equipped with a powerful lens (62mm diameter, 275mm focal length) and a mirror for an upright picture, like the one Canaletto used. The picture is projected onto a 16x16cm screen with transparent paper on which it can be viewed or copied by pencil.

Pre-punched kit with black and gold printing, complete with lens, mirror, clear screen and transparent paper.

Construction time: about 3 hours

Size: 280mm x 190mm x 190mm

Download Instructions

Construction in pictures


Macro Lens Adaptor kit for iPhone 4/4S and 5/5C/5SE/5S

It is well known that the iPhones 4/4S and 5/5C/5SE/5S take excellent photographs, but also that real close-ups, not to mention macro photography, are not possible because the iPhone cannot focus at very short distances.
This is where our Macro Lens Adapter kit comes in. With its 25 x magnification, you can get as close as 2 cm to an object. This comes close to transforming your iPhone into a picture taking microscope.

Pre-punched cardboard parts for the casing, the lens mount, and the storage box and bracket.
1 precision lens with +30mm focal length made from optical grade acrylic glass


The Kaleidoscope

Literally translated a kaleidoscope is a “beautiful-shape-to-look-at”. Already known by the Greeks , it was re-invented in 1816 by David Brewster. The appeal of this beautiful kit is that you can change the filling of the viewing chamber to produce the most wonderful patterns. Complete with lens and mirrors.

Size: 23.5 x 6.5 x 6.5 cm

Download Instructions


The Hand Spectroscope

With this easy to build spectroscope you can examine the spectrum of any light source: glowing bodies (sun, incandescent light bulb), fluorescent lamps, etc. On the nano-meter scale you can read the wave length to 5 nm accuracy (examples).

This kit is not pre-punched, the parts need cutting out with scissors or a craft-knife

Complete with diffraction grating and magnification lens.


The Pseudoscope

In the current hype for 3-D effects and movies it is easily forgotten that the basic principles for these have already been laid down 180 years ago by the English scientist Charles Wheatstone.

We see the world in three dimensions because our eyes perceive objects from two different angles. To prove this theory Wheatstone invented, apart from the well-known stereoscope, also the much rarer pseudoscope. This device swaps the two images perceived by the eyes and therefore reverses our depth perception: close objects appear far away, remote objects look close. You have to see it to believe it!

Pre-punched kit with gold printing.

Includes: 2 front coated glass mirrors and 2 high quality acrylic mirrors

Dimensions: 29cm x 8cm

Download instructions


The Reversing Goggles

These amazing Reversing Goggles allow you to view the world upside down! The plastic goggles hold two Dove prisms, which invert the image.

Back in 1896 the American scientist George Stratton conducted an experiment to see what would happen if he viewed the world through an inverting prism. He found that after 4 days, his brain started to compensate, and he could see the world the right way up again. 

The kit includes a lightweight, ventilated plastic housing, two prism holders made from MDF (medium density fibreboard), two high quality Dove prisms in lightweight plexiglass giving a 35x20mm view, plus a small file for smoothing edges. 

A small amount of assembly is required. You will need a protractor in order to measure a right angle and some 2 component glue that hardens quickly.

Download Instructions


The Prism Kit

A kit for a prism made from acrylic glass. Cast acrylic glass blank with all necessary polishing material to produce a highly transparent prism, instructions included.

Suitable for children.

Size: 22 x 22 x 22 mm

Length: 55 mm

Download Instructions


The Periscope

Rugged, intricately printed cardboard kit with two unbreakable, highly polished stainless steel mirrors. This continuously adjustable periscope lifts the eye level by up to 40 cm. It even permits to look behind you and around corners. Great fun and educational too!

Size: 5.5 x 12.5 x 32(-50) cm

Download Instructions



No 320.MOI


No 222.LMC


No 419.COB


No 223.KLD


No 415.PER


No 406.HSP

The cheapest spectroscope in the world!

Here is what one of our customers thinks about this kit.


No 421.PSK


No 579.UBR

As seen on BBC Two:

QI, Series N, Episode 8


No 409.PRI

File set

Set of three files (each fine and medium), ideal to smooth and clean edges and burrs of our cardboard kits. Also suitable for wood and soft plastic.



No 400.SBF

The Pocket Zoom Microscope

A small sensation for a small price: With this kit you can build a fully functioning zoom microscope with a variable magnification of 20x to 40x! The optical system, comprising 4 high quality acrylic lenses, is computer calculated and produces a sharp, colour-corrected image.

Ideal for hobby, nature lovers, and also school projects.

Pre-punched kit with black and gold printing, 4 high quality acrylic lenses, transparent stand that allows for lighting of the observed object. 

Size: 2 x 2 x 11.5(-15) cm

Download Instructions



No 223.KLD


Use our Solar Photo Paper to turn your sketches into prints (great for personal greeting cards, etc) !

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Please contact us if you want to buy larger quantities e.g. for educational purposes. We can offer you the following discounts:

10 of one article: 5% discount

20 of one article: 10% discount

30 of one article: 15% discount

100 of one article: 20% discount

(If you order through the PayPal checkout system, we will manually refund you the correct discount when we process your order)

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A green light means that the article is in stock and will be shipped in 1-2 working days.
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Articles with a French flag are also available with French instructions. If you want the French version, just let us know on the checkout page.

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