If you’re ever in beautiful San Francisco, you might want to pay a visit to the Camera Obscura, a room sized “camera” built in 1946 and based on a 15th century design by Leonardo da Vinci. It’s designed to look like someone left a giant 35mm there with its lens pointed to the sky. The 10-inch mirror on top of the camera rotates 360 degrees, beaming a view of the area magnified by seven times onto a six foot parabolic table inside. In 2001, the Camera Obscura was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Here’s a short clip showing what you see on the table inside, shot by Amit of Photojojo:
Reviewers on Yelp suggest going to the camera 1.5 hours before sunset on a clear day for the best experience. It’s open from 11am to 5pm on “beautiful days”, and costs $3 for general admission.