Medium Format Camera, From Scratch


[Peter Johansson] has taken it upon himself to build a medium format camera, from scratch. We know this is a shock to some of you, but this camera uses traditional medium. There is no sensor. He will be loading it with (gasps) film. He bought the lenses pre made, but everything else is being constructed by himself. Probably the most notable parts are the aperture and the shutter. The project is about 80% complete right now. We can’t wait to see it finished.

[via Makezine]

9 thoughts on “Medium Format Camera, From Scratch

  1. Like it !

    I love my old medium format camera. The only downside is the cost of processing and you only get 12 shots from a roll. (It really makes you THINK about what you’re going to take)

    A really good extra hack for this would be to build a digital back that can be swapped out for the film one so you can preview your shots before committing them to film like the really expensive medium format cameras have,

  2. Glen,
    I’m actually working on such a beast right now using a scanner for the sensor. I might actually use large format lenses i have instead of medium because i’m not having the best luck with finding sensors the right size.

    as far as slr adapters for medium format lenses there are a few out there current going both directions.

  3. The thing I love about this hack is that it doesn’t require anyt fancy tools – Dude made a working adjustable aperture out of cardboard. I mean how often do you see an awesome ‘diy’ project online only to find out that it’s out of your reach because you don’t have a cnc mill or laser cutter? This guy is my hero.

  4. Glad you posted this. Been working something like this myself, but had to put it aside the past few months because I’ve been stuck on how to make a shutter.

    I’ve salvaged lenses from an old 35mm rangefinder, though I’d like build my own setup. I’ve read about using reading glasses lenses; a couple of +2 diopter lenses back-to-back (with aperture and shutter between) is supposed to work well.

    I ground my own glass using carborundum I grabbed from the lithography stone processing table in the printmaking lab at my school. Starting with coarser grains then going finer, rubbing it in with another piece of glass. It went pretty quickly.

  5. I’ve bought a disposable film camera at a dollar store before. Didn’t even have a flash. but yeah it had film, and you can get cheap film cameras at almost any thrift store, I’ve even got some digital cameras for a buck at thrift stores. Right now I have like 6 or 7 digital cameras. most are 1 mega pixel. I even have a kodak one with a preview screen, and it even came with 128mb of sd memory. for about 3 bucks. Cameras are cheap and easy to make, I know its cool making your own, but still they’re cheap and easy to find.

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