The DIY SLR: Machine Your Own Film camera

[Photo: Denis MO via Collection Appareils]

We at GeekTech have seen some pretty interesting things machined, including chess pieces, iPhone cases, and even car brakes. But a digital camera? French Hacker Denis MO over at Collection Appareils designed and machined his own functioning film single-lens reflex (SLR) camera.

Denis’s challenge: building his own 24-by-36mm SLR camera on his own. While he built as many parts as he could on his own, including gears, spools, and the body, he didn’t make the shutter curtain, ball bearings, and screws. Lenses he left to the experts as well, but the best piece of glass in the world won’t work if the camera’s internal optics don’t work. The focal-plane shutter was inspired by that of a Leica II.

What were the major obstacles in constructing this camera? Making it light-proof, and also similar in size to modern SLR cameras. Denis designed the camera’s internals using CAD software, then machined everything from the spring-loaded winding drums and the film sprocket (pictured below).

The assembled winding drums. [Photo: Denis MO via Collection Appareils]

Imagine Denis’s satisfaction at getting the first roll of film taken by this camera developed! Se some more photos and learn more about this project over at Collection Appareils. We think this is a pretty cool project; let us know what you think in the comments.

[Collection Appareils via Hack A Day]

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Alessondra Springmann accidentally took her beloved Canon DSLR swimming in salt water last weekend. Maybe she’ll make her own replacement. Follow her and GeekTech on Twitter.

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