If you like retro-style cameras and photos, but you’re not confident with shooting film, you’ll love this DIY project. Photographer and cinematographer Ryan Ao brought retro and modern together, blending a Rolleiflex-style DIY camera and a smartphone. I loved his invention so much, that I just had to learn more! So, I chatted with Ryan and he shared a bit of information about “Phoneiflex” along with some tips for building it and the photos he took with it.
A few years ago I built an ultra-large format camera that is 24 inches by 24 inches. While it was a pretty huge camera, it was a simple build it was just two square standards, one for the front and one from the back which was connected by a big bellow.
There was no support base or focusing rails and I just support the two standards by using two tripods so it was not the most stable camera. After a while, I dismantled the whole setup and recycled the wood and the bellows so I thought that would be the end of my Ultra Large Format (ULF) camera building adventures but who knows a while back, my friend passed me a big lens and it got me thinking of rebuilding an ultra-large-format camera again.
This is the story of how I created one of the strangest cameras you may ever hear about. I’ve been working on the design for over a year and I’m finally ready to share it with the world. It’s a long story, but first I want to jump to the end. Here’s what the final camera looks like as well as what a photo take with it:
When the Lomomod No. 1 was first announced, I had the honor of covering the news for DIYP and I thought to myself: “Man, would I like to try this out!” Fast forward four months, and I’ve had the chance to play with this DIY medium format camera and do a thorough review.
The Lomomod No. 1 is a camera like no other I’ve seen or used. It comes in pre-cut pieces and you’re supposed to build it yourself, which is interesting on its own. It’s paired with a liquid-filled 80mm Sutton lens, which lets you change the tint of your images depending on the liquid you use. Sounds pretty cool, right?
In this article, I’ll share my impressions of the Lomomod No. 1. From initially opening the box to seeing my images for the first time, I’ll write about everything I liked and didn’t like about it. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
Perhaps you remember Iranian photographer Alireza Rostami for some of his epic projects. He has turned an old watch and a broken computer into working cameras, and now he has made two film cameras from 35mm film cassettes. One of them is a 4×5 camera with 120film back, and the other is a medium format camera. They don’t only look interesting, but pay a perfect homage to film photography many of us still love and shoot.
Digital cameras have become so high resolution these days that you might wonder why somebody would want to build one of their own from scratch with a resolution that’s not even a fraction of what digital cameras could do a decade ago. But some things just need to be done because they’re fun.
YouTuber Sean Hodgins has been working on this idea for a long time, and now he’s finally made and released a 1-kilopixel DIY camera. He’s also released the files as Open Source so you can download and make your own, too.
At some point in their photographic journey, many people who take up arms with a camera, especially if they start shooting film, toy with the idea of building their own camera. There are a lot of options out there for scratch building, and not all of them easy, requiring a wide array of tools.
Lomography has come up with some very interesting concepts in the past few years. The company’s latest product combines a DIY approach with film photography and environmental consciousness. It’s LomoMod No.1, a combination of liquid-filled lens and a DIY medium format camera made for you to assemble it from scratch and get creative with it. I personally love this concept, so let’s see what you get and how you can use this little DIY film camera and the accompanying lens.
What would you do with a computer you used 20 years ago? Most of us would take it to a recycling center, perhaps feel a bit emotional about ditching it, and that’s about it. But Iranian photographer Alireza Rostami had other plans for his old, broken computer. He dismantled it and turned it into a working large format camera.
Photographer Brendan Barry has made quite a few DIY cameras from most unexpected objects: a pineapple, a mannequin, a loaf of bread, to name just a few. His most famous project is a giant camera and portable darkroom made from a $200 camper. In his latest project, Brendan has converted a shipping container into a fully functional camera with built-in darkroom and teaching space. As he jokingly says, it’s basically “the world’s biggest, slowest and most impractical Polaroid camera.” But it’s impressive nevertheless!