Jan.20, 2014

Instead of buying a new camera, grad student and enthusiastic photographer Kevin Kadooka decided to make one of his own. You may recall Kevin from his wonderful Duo TLR which ended up as a successful Kickstarter project. Kadooka has built all of his previous cameras using parts repurposed from old, obsolete cameras but he doesn’t think it’s sustainable, because eventually we’ll run out of old cameras.

So for his latest project Kadooka decided to design a completely homegrown camera based around Arduino-compatible electronics, parts available from retail and some home-made parts. "My goal is to design and produce a fully-fledged camera, using easily purchased off-the-shelf components, without having to rely on anything pulled from a potentially valuable piece of equipment. A secondary goal is also to make this camera completely open source through rapid-prototyping techniques such as laser cutting and 3D printing, and the Arduino physical computing platform. " says Kadooka.

Dubbed “Lux,” the 100% open source 6×6 box camera (120 roll film) is equipped with a brilliant viewfinder, PCX lens, positive meniscus lens, mirror, and an electromechanical single-leaf shutter. Inside are Arduino powered components running open-source code. Other components include Adafruit’s quarter-size protoboard, transistors (TIP120), diode (1N4001), 5V solenoid, rotary switch (10 position BCD DIP), rocker switch (SPST), resistors, 7.4 battery, connectors (JST PH, JST BEC), and a momentary button (SPST w/LED).

The body of the Lux is constructed of plastic panels produced by a 3D printers at Shapeways, using the "Polished White Polyamide" material. Kadooka's design, including all 3D files is now available for anyone to replicate, so you can build your own from scratch. All you need is a 3D printer or access to your local 3D printing services, and a little patience.

The results are impressive. As Kadooka explains, "It really works about the same as any other old film camera - turn on, make exposure adjustments, frame, shoot, wind, and repeat. With color negative film, the lack of an exposure meter isn't too much of an issue - in most outdoor conditions it's possible to use the Sunny 16 rule and make adjustments from there. Loading and unloading film is pretty easy, winding and counting frames is a breeze. And so far - no light leaks!"

In the future Kadooka would also try a TLR based on the Lux body and add push-button power breakout, custom PCB's for main board and rotary DIP breakout and removable battery. You can check out Kadooka’s work and detailed instructions here.

Here are some scanned pictures taken with the Lux:

Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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