Us at DIYP love repurposing old and broken stuff. After all, that’s what DIY is all about. Photographer Fabian Oefner repurposes old cameras in a unique and artistic way, and I absolutely love it. In his project CutUp, he uses resin and a good ol’ saw to turn vintage cameras into amazing, trippy sculptures.
In 1912, Eastman Kodak first introduced Vest Pocket Kodak, a tiny camera that was barely larger than today’s smartphones. It was a camera of choice for the soldiers in the First World War. Recently, Mathieu Stern got his hands onto a 100-year-old lens from one of these cameras. He carefully placed it onto a Sony A7III and gave the lens a new life by shooting a video with it. Take a look at the result in the video below.
In the past couple of years, we’ve heard of many photographers switching from DSLR to mirrorless. Some of them have gone the other way around, and yet some have changed from MFT to mirrorless. They all have their reasons for these decisions, but switching systems isn’t a trend that came with mirrorless cameras. The “godfather of sports photography” Don Morley changed systems a couple of times in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. In 1976, he ended up using Canon and he told the story about why he made the final switch.
From vintage golden rings to lifelike animals, hidden cameras come in many interesting shapes, sizes and purposes. But in a recently sold collection of Russian spy cameras at Aston’s Auctioneers in the UK, one of them caught my eye. It’s a spy camera disguised as – a camera. Sometimes works best to hide things in the most obvious places, and this is a perfect example.
We’ve seen some cute, romantic and totally epic engagement photo sessions and ideas so far. But here’s an idea I haven’t seen so far, and I think it’s a bit crazy and brilliant at the same time. Travis Durham proposed to his photographer girlfriend with a huge and gorgeous tattoo of a vintage camera.
We’ve seen some pretty amazing eBay camera gear listings (this is my personal favorite). At the moment, an eBay seller is offering the last Leica M3 camera ever produced. The seller claims that it’s never been used and that it’s in the condition “as it left the factory more than 60 years ago.” And this rare piece of gear will set you back mere $595,000.
“Everybody now has a selfie with a phone,” photographer Louis Mendes says. This is why he chooses to be different. He has been photographing people and streets of New York for over forty years using a Speed Graphic camera from 1940s. His camera is followed by his classy ‘40s style, and The New York Post has made a short video about this legendary New York photographer.
When you think of Leica, one of the words to pop to mind is probably “expensive” (even if it’s not even a real camera). At the 32nd WestLicht camera auction in Vienna, a Leica camera set a new world record for the most expensive camera ever sold at an auction. A rare Leica 0-series from 1923 was sold for €2.4 million (approximately $2.95 million).
Sometimes photographers find real gems among the vintage cameras and lenses. Dutch photographer Martijn van Oers found an original Zeiss Ikon 520/2 in a second-hand store, dating from around 1929. The folding medium-format camera had a roll of film inside, with the word EXPOSÉ on it. It got him intrigued, and he decided to develop the film and see if he can get something out of it.
He contacted a friend Johan Holleman, who has been into film photography and film developing for the most of his life. Johan warned him that the chances were slim to recover the images, considering that the film was produced between the 1940s and 1970s. However, after the careful developing process – the photos were there! It turned out that the film was nearly 70 years old, and it contained the portraits Martijn and Johan retrieved after all this time.
I found a WWII British Air Ministry Pentac 8 inch f2.9 lens in a second hand store about a year and a half ago. It was made under a military contract during the war and a number of British manufacturers filled this contract. The best of the lot were made by Dallmeyer, the original designer of this lens. This lens sample isn’t marked to indicate the manufacturer, and it doesn’t have a traceable serial number, so the maker remains a mystery. Like many lenses that were made for aerial reconnaissance work, they were intended to be mounted on a camera with a built in shutter. To make this lens usable in a modern sense would involve controlling the timing of an exposure. Mounting this lens in a large format leaf shutter can be an expensive undertaking, and due to it’s size, the shutter options are somewhat limited. Because I’m of dutch descent (thrifty, cheap, frugal…), I took it upon myself to find an inexpensive solution to this particular problem… Bonjour Marie Antoinette.