Converting 8mm film to digital

Many of us have these old 8mm family videos lying around and many of us have lamented at the perspective cost to get them converted to digital.  [Paul] came up with a pretty slick way of digitizing them himself. He cracked open an 8mm projector and replaced the drive motor with one he could run at a much slower speed, allowing him to be able to capture each frame individually with his digital camera. He’s rigged his remote shutter control to the shutter of the projector so that it would be perfectly synchronized. There’s a video of it in action on the flickr page, and a video of the full 16,000 frame clip after digitization here.

[via Make]

Lego pinhole camera

[Bshikin] built a pinhole camera out of Lego pieces (translated). It is a fully automated unit thanks to the integration of the NXT pieces. It took a bit of careful calculation to get the film spacing adjusted to match the focal length, and quite a bit of tape was necessary to keep light out of the film chamber. But in the end, it’s an amazing build that takes decent pictures. The software has settings for film size and speed, and takes care of exposing and advancing the frame at the click of a button. See for yourself after the break.

If you hunger for some more camera building goodness check out this SLR hand crafted from scratch.

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Upgrading an old Polaroid land camera for 35mm rolls

Ok, we recognize that this is a bit of an odd upgrade, since many would probably think that a digital upgrade would be more appropriate. However, we found this interesting anyway. [Marker1024] has taken this old Polaroid land camera and modified it to accept a standard 35mm roll. His list of materials may sound fairly MacGyver-ish with foil and sculpey, but his results look to be well done and fairly sturdy. We have to say that the aesthetics of the camera itself are quite appealing and we could see carrying one of these around. As interesting as the writeup is though, we can’t help but wonder what the pictures look like that came out of it!

Machining an SLR camera from scratch

It took us a while to stop drooling long enough to write about this amazing machining project. [Denis MO] made a single-lens reflex camera from scratch. The banner image above is not the finished product, but just one step in the production chain. [Denis] has been thinking about doing this project for 25 years and finally took the plunge. From the start, the only parts he planned on NOT making himself were the screws, ball bearings, shutter, curtain fabric, and interchangeable lenses. Everything else is his own creation based off of his own design. Spend some time looking over his project. There’s plenty of information and images of both the machining process, and the drawings he mocked up in the design process. We’ve also included a pic of the finished camera and the contact sheet from his test roll of film after the break.

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Yashica Electro Shutter mod

We saw this picture on Flickr this morning and started getting really curious. The caption says that [Steffanhh1] modified the Yashica Electro Shutter camera to be fully manual. We’re not camera experts so we had to do a little research to see what was going on here. The Yashika Electro got its name due to how the shutter speed is controlled. You have two little LEDs that light up depending on which direction you need to turn the dial (based on ambient light?). [Steffanhh1] really wanted full control, so they hacked in a dial with a knot of resistors under it. The first test photographs are downloading developing, so we’ll have to wait to see the results.

Polaroid instant film, reborn.

The impossible has happened. While that may sound a bit over dramatic, the project itself was titled “the impossible project”. What is it that is so impossible? The revival of Polaroid instant film.  This is not a newer, digital alternative, this is film you can actually buy and plop into your old Polaroid camera. What’s the big deal? All they had to do was start producing it again right? Not really. They’ve completely re-engineered it from scratch. That’s pretty impressive.  We had heard, early last year, that they were going to attempt it, and we’re pleased to see that they’ve succeeded.

That being said, a handheld, home hacked digital instant picture device sounds kind of cool. It would probably be an easy one to build too.

Automated Super8 film scanning

For those of you who have been dreading the day that you have to dig out those old family films in Super 8 format and take them to get digitized, dread no more. Now you could turn it into a cool project. [Photobsen] has posted pictures of an automated system for scanning and compiling the film into a digital movie. There was already software available, called CineToVid, which would take the scanned segments and create a video from them, but doing the actual scanning was quite laborious. [Photobsen] built a quick automated system using an old floppy drive connected to his computer via parallel port. He now scans about 80 seconds of film per hour, unattended.