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Do-It-Yourself Camera Projects
"Necessity is the mother of invention" observed Plato. Serious photographers are tinkerers and adapters, inventing simple or complex devices to meet their picture-taking needs.
Forum for anyone interested in modifying and hacking single-use digital cameras and one-time-use camcorders.
Collaborative forum on photography and studio lighting, tutorials on homemade muslin backgrounds, flash softboxes, light tents and more.
Favorite Classics / Camera Test Equipment
The only way to know a camera is working properly is to test its functions. Henry Taber identifies six basic functions, shutter speed, shutter curtain speed, aperture opening, light meter accuracy, flash sync and focus. In a series of articles, he shows how you can make test leads (also called jumpers) for checking continuity, a battery holder w/battery, an adjustable light source, a shutter speed tester, a combination shutter speed/curtain speed tester, an aperture tester, flash synchronization tester, EV tester and lens collimator for testing focus. If you don't already own a digital multimeter, he offers recommendations.
Medium Format Cameras Library Page
Compilation with hundreds of articles on medium format cameras. Homebrew camera gear tips, low-cost camera bag alternatives, homemade Nicad battery packs, do-it-yourself lens filters, lens hoods, make your own light table, fabricating your own repair tools, low cost shutter testers, homebrew lighting equipment and more. More than a decade of work by Robert Monaghan Editor's Note: web site apparently has a limit on the amount of traffic permitted. If bandwidth has been exceeded you will get a 404 error message saying "file not found." For instant gratification use the Wayback Machine at archive.org or visit another day.
How to Reuse a CVS Disposable Video Camera
David Randolph describes how you can reuse single-use video cameras sold by CVS. Requires some electronic know-how, a low-wattage solder iron and software from Sourceforge. Same author also reveals how to modify your CVS disposable camcorder into a night vision cam.
How to Take a Single-Use Digital Camera and Use It Again and Again
Fascinating video showing you exactly how to hack a one-time-use digital camera such as those sold in drug stores, and make it reusable over and over again for less than $20. Requires modest soldering skills.
Lens Caps, Lens Hoods, do-it-yourself
Lens caps for classic cameras can be difficult to find. They often have “odd” sizes which are not regularly stocked, or else are obsolete. And if ever they are found, they are usually expensive. Jay Javier shows how you can make your own custom lens caps and lens hoods from cardboard, glue, and matte black paint. Suggestions on replacing the felt lining on loose lens caps. Vintage cameras with uncoated lenses have unacceptable lens flare and loss of contrast which diminish picture quality. A home-made lens hood greatly improves picture quality, see lens hood comparison photos at the bottom of this page.
Lighting - Home-made Softbox for Electronic Flash
Photo-illustrated article by photographer Gary Yelland shows how to make a durable softbox for your on-camera flash.
Projects for Your Fuji Digital Camera
Do-It-Yourself projects for the Fuji Finepix 4900z, 6900z, s602, s5000 and s7000. Some of the ideas can be modified for use with other digital cameras. Make your own filter / lens extension tube, photo-illustrated disassembly and cleaning the Fuji 6900z CCD sensor, make your own SmartMedia card slot cleaner, do-it-yourself shutter release cable adapter, make your own external battery packs and battery checker for your NP-80 battery (4900Z & 6900Z owners) or your 4xAA Ni-MH battery set (Fuji S602z) and much more.
Rangefinder Cameras, do-it-yourself wide angle viewfinder
Involves taking the viewfinder lenses from a disposable film camera, constructing a box to house them and adding a foot to mount on the camera's accessory shoe. Cost is almost $0 and the fabricated viewfinder covers the same view as a $200 Leitz 35mm brightline finder. John Wilton gives credit to Jay Javier's wide angle viewfinder for his inspiration.
Re-Stitching a Camera Case
If your vintage Eveready-style camera case is coming apart at the seams, here's an llustrated step-by-step description to repair it. Covers conditioning the old dry leather surfaces and seams with mink oil, tips on removing the old stitching and re-stitching the case with nylon carpet thread or waxed linen and tapestry needles. Bill Davis, author.
Shutter Speed Tester
Homemade shutter speed tester for those with electronics knowledge and experience in fabricating printed circuit boards.
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Revised October 10, 2008