PetaPixel

Duo is a Build-It-Yourself TLR Camera that Shoots Instant Film

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In October of last year, we shared a beautiful wooden homemade TLR camera by photographer Kevin Kadooka. It was a personal project at the time, and we remarked that it could be wildly popular if Kadooka began selling the camera as a build-it-yourself kit.

Well, Kadooka has done just that: the product, named Duo, will soon hit the market as a camera you can assemble yourself (it’s like IKEA meets vintage photography).

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The Duo is a wooden twin-lens reflex that offers the advantages of TLR photography: a giant waist-level viewfinder (97x97mm), no shutter blackout, and quiet operation. It’s also designed for Polaroid instant film rather than medium-format or 35mm film.

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Buy a kit, and you’ll receive laser-cut birch plywood pieces, a mirror, ground glass (with frosted framelines), and various hardware components needed to put everything together. What it won’t include are a 105mm f/3.5 Mamiya-Sekor lens pair and a Mamiya M80 Polaroid back (or a roll film back of your choice) — you’ll need to acquire those pieces yourself.

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Here are some sample photographs captured using the Duo:

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Check out this video for a better idea of what the kit is like:

Kadooka has turned to Kickstarter to raise funds for the project and to collect preorders. A $199 contribution will effectively preorder you a complete basic Duo kit. Add $100, and you’ll receive a Deluxe kit that includes a roll film adapter and a stainless steel focusing knob.

Finally, for those who want the camera without the hassle of building it themselves, you can pay $649 for a completely assembled Duo camera that you can start using straight out of the box.

Duo: A DIY twin lens reflex camera for instant film [Kickstarter]


 
 
  • Samcornwell

    Dear me, that’s gigantic. I bought this cheap one one off eBay for £9. Do a search for DIY TLR.

  • miki

    for less than 600 you get the entire mamiya with lens. I call this bullsh….

  • Samcornwell

    …and I should say that the Kadooka kit looks wonderful and much sturdier. I wasn’t trying to take anything away from what looks like a lovely piece of equipment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/i.am.toua IAm Toua

    $199 is still a lot for someone looking for a TLR, and you still have to buy the lens and polariod back, plus you have to assemble it yourself. LOL! I recently bid and won a working but older Yashica Mat TLR on ebay for $50.

  • 3ric15

    But it has a Polaroid back so it’s an instant-photo TLR. Haven’t done any research but this is probably one of a kind.

  • RHNason

    Look at the image size peoples, this is NOT a 6×6 CM camera .. Kudos to Kadooka for making this Gullivers style camera available..

  • http://www.facebook.com/balmir77 Mircea Balan

    Ok,i will buy one immediatly….none of my cameras can get that kind of lousy pictures that you can get with this kit….

  • KH

    Meh… not worth the dough imho.

  • seanmo

    umm its an instant camera people…try taking instant shots with the yashica mat or a rolleiflex. Awesome project…just backed it.

  • tttulio

    This is aimed at Hipsters not photographers.
    It is HUGE, at first I thought it was a bag looking like a TLR. That I would buy. You can buy Polaroid peel apart cameras for $10. You can buy a Polaroid 190 for that money.

  • DamianM

    I use my 4×5 with a a Polaroid back if I want to use Polaroid.
    I still then have the option of using 4×5, a roll-film adapter, and the Polaroid.

  • DamianM

    or an entire 4×5 kit if you want to use a Polaroid back.

  • DamianM

    You have a point, its a niche fad market stunt and the hipsters are the fools that will spend there money on this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/leoabreuphoto Leonardo Abreu

    Very compact this is.

  • Maikip

    May I say that may not be what the creator was going for. This camera does have a certain niche, but I do not agree with that it is aimed towards hipster fools.

    Since it is aimed toward the DIY crowd, it allows the photographer to create on a whole new level. Gives them a chance to engineer and customize their own camera. It is not for a crowd seeking for instant gratification or the cheapest way to get a TLR. He doesn’t say anywhere that this is the cheapest way to get a TLR, so give him some credit guys.

  • maikip

    May I say that may not be what the creator was going for. This camera
    does have a certain niche, but I do not agree with that it is aimed
    towards hipster fools.

    Since it is aimed toward the DIY crowd,
    it allows the photographer to create on a whole new level. Gives them a
    chance to engineer and customize their own camera. It is not for a crowd
    seeking for instant gratification or the cheapest way to get a TLR.

  • Joakim

    Cool idea but way over priced. If you get the “ready-to-use” kit for $649 you still need to send them your lens and Polaroid back.

    So more then 600 USD for a wooden box?

  • tkmedia

    Strangely enough I already have a mamiya C 10.5 cm TLR lens and a extra polaroid back from mamiya press.

  • DamianM

    There is a whole DIY website out there. Mostly Large format but still you don’t need this kit.

    http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/forumdisplay.php?31-LF-DIY-%28Do-It-Yourself%29 << for anyone interested.

  • coby bray

    I purchased a plastic twin lens kit off ebay for $15 that runs 35mm film and waighs less then the 105mm lens suggested for this kit, but still this kit looks cool.

  • Jim

    This is a nice idea… to get an idea of the size of a 4×5 TLR, search for “Gowlandflex”. I can see the prices of Mamiya 105mm lenses climbing rapidly as 40 people start looking for them…

  • junyo
  • quickpick

    wow, that’s something fun and cool! only wish they had a bargain digital back to it available as well not so high in megapixels, yet sufficient dark shooting capabilties… :)

  • DamianM

    Gowlandflex did this.

    this is not new, not original, and certainly not worth the money.

  • DamianM

    for that you can build a couple diy cameras.

  • James

    The Tomiyama Art-Flex also did it.The Graflex Super D is similar in concept, but an SLR. When’s the last time you saw one of those in use, or could afford to buy one? I don’t see anything wrong with reviving it in the 2×3 format, let alone in a form that you can make yourself.

    If you don’t like it, don’t support the project. Or stop poking holes and say something constructive for a change.