Soratama | 宙玉

Aerial ball shooting technique : 宙に浮かぶ玉の中の光景を撮影できる宙玉(そらたま)。撮影のためにはどんな機材が必要になるのか? 撮影のコツや作例などを紹介。


Here, we introduce how to make soratama using an acrylic soratama (from maminka)
The soratama sold in maminka is a disk shaped acrylic board with acrylic sphere in the center.


What you need
Camera and lenses that correspond to macro photographing
Close-up rings or Close-up lenses(If macro photographing is not available)
Emply snack box (cylinder shaped) or lens hood
Step-up ring

1) Take of the lid of the snack box. Remove burr (if needed)

2) Prepare for macro photographing. (Fix macro lens, close-up lens or close-up ring)

3) Set your camera so it is focused on the nearest object. Then move the soratama back and forth to see the point where it is focused.
If it is hard to bring it into focus, move the soratama away from the lens. Because the camera tube will get too long, please use standard lens or wide-angle lens instead of telephoto lens.
Photographing with soratama

4) Cut the snack box. Before cutting place a paper surrounding the snack box and draw a line. Using a paper knife, cut along the line. We recommend you cut it long just in case. The snack box we used is called “Chipstar” and the bottom part of this box perfectly fits 67mm step-up ring.

5) Fix the materials above in the order of the lid of the snack box, soratama, the body part of the snack box, and the step-up ring.
Then tape those for now and test shoot is to see if it is focused on the right place and not vignetted.

6) If the test shoot goes fine, put on the lid. If the lid seems to move, place a thin sponge so the lid is fixed firmly.


(1) lid of the snack box (2) acrylic board (3) body part of the snack box (bottom part recommended) (4) step-up ring (5) close-up lens


Step-up ring and close-up ring are fixed in between the camera lens and the snack box.


Fix the soratama on so the clear ball faces inside.

Movie of how to make soratama

About close-up lens
When you use soratama 72 which has metal frame, we do not recommend using close-up lens. The lens might be damaged because of the weight.
However, if you handmake a soratama with paper snack boxes, there aren’t much weight. For this close-up lens can be used.

There are many types of close-up lens depending on the diameter but No.10 seems to fit the standard zoom lens. (It depends on the minimum photographing distance)
Close-up lens without screw shaped egde cannot be assembled with soratama. We recommend close-up rings sold from KenkoTokina.(These have screw shaped edges)

Step-up ring
It is used to connect the lens and the snack box. The diameter of the step-up ring for the lens side should be as same as the diameter of your camera lens.
The diameter for the snack box side should be as same as the diameter of your snack box.
For example, if the diameter of your camera lens is 52mm and the snack box has a diameter of 67mm, please use 52-67mm step-up ring.

For more information on photographing, please see How it works.