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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Fisheye Lens For Your SLR

[Bhautik Joshi’s] fisheye lens hack works well and looks OK too. It uses a door peephole from the hardware store as the fisheye and a slide projector lens to enlarge the image for proper sizing on the camera’s sensor. He included an EOS lens adapter so that it is easy to install and remove, then grabbed a soda can and some foam for the rest of the build. This will take those fun bendy pictures but don’t forget that you can correct for that in software if you wish.

Open Source Digital Camera


Those brainy folks over at Stanford are working on an open source digital camera. This is an effort to advance what they call “computational photography”. Basically they’re looking to combine some of the functionality of Photoshop or Gimp right into the camera. One example they discuss is utilizing an algorithm to even out the light levels from one side of the picture to the other. Another trick they’ve already accomplished in the lab is increasing the resolution of full motion video. They take a full resolution photo once every few frames and use the computing power of the camera to incorporate that information into the low-res frames around it.

We like the idea of being able to get at the firmware that runs on our digital cameras. Going with open source would certainly provide that access, but cost will be an issue. The Stanford team hopes to produce a model of what they now call Frankencamera that sells for “less than $1000”.

[via crave]

SLR Lenses On Your Digital Video Camera

Considering all the attention we give digital cameras, I wanted to find an interesting hack for those old school analog SLR cameras. (I spent a fair share of time behind one; I’m fond of the classic Canon AE-1) [Joshua] mated his Sony VX-2000e video camera with a Canon FD lens mount and created this monster. With the new lens mount, he’s got a full selection of lenses without the huge investment of specialized lenses.