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The Focal Camera – open source DiY modular camera

The Focal Camera – open source DiY modular camera

A really interesting conceptual project by our friend Sergio Subrizi, who is hacking the meaning itself of photographic gear and the approach we use to start taking pictures. Is it possible that the design itself of a camera is influencing our way to shoot? Let’s find it out thanks to Sergio’s project.

The rationale behind this creation is well explained by the author:

Even complex cameras can be made in simple ways. By creating a modular camera platform not only can we create such cameras, but also understand their mechanisms and how to achieve complex functions in simple ways. On this website you will find a variety of designs and instructions that will allow you to build cameras of your own design and participate in the creation of further modules and open DIY cameras.

The modules are lasercut out of any 3mm plate material. Whilst lasercutters are expensive machines, there are many fablabs, maker and hackerspaces that allow people to use them freely, bringing the costs of these modules down immensely. Each module comes with instructions that show how to put it together and what to look out for, but keep in mind these all go hand in hand with the general instructions found underneath.

Some materials are less flexible, such as that of mirrors, for which often front-silvered mirrors are required. For many of such materials there are possible ways of creating cheap functional alternatives (Such as the removal of backing of acrylic mirrors in this case).

Lenses can either be pre-existing lenses that can be fit to lensboards or created from scratch using broken or re-used elements. Old & cheap zoom lenses can be disassembled for a variety of lens elements that allow the creation of a new lens, simply by playing around.

On the website you can find prototypes pictures and, obviously, the downloadable blueprints: The Focal Camera