Posts Tagged ‘homemade’
While adding movement to time-lapse videos is cool, the special equipment (e.g. dollies, cranes, etc…) you need can be pricey. Derek Mellott couldn’t afford to shell out hundreds of bucks for a dolly, so he decided to make his own using things found in his garage. His resulting setup included tripods, a cable management tray, a TI-calculator as an intervalometer, and a BBQ rotisserie motor to slowly pull the camera along.
Over at Leica User Forum, member dkpeterborough wrote a series of posts detailing how he and a fellow member of the Peterborough Photographic Society named Tony Lovell created a beastly 900mm lens. The lens uses optics salvaged from a government flight simulator projector lens, and cost only hundreds of pounds in parts (comparable lenses cost thousands).
If you want a lens with a similar range for a similar price, but don’t have the technical know-how to make your own, check out this Opteka 800mm mirror lens on Amazon that sells for $200.
You’ve probably seen do-it-yourself pinhole cameras or even large format cameras created with foam core, but what about a solid metal do-it-yourself 35mm camera? That’s exactly what Denis Mo decided to create, posting his step-by-step documentation to French camera forum collection-appareils.fr.
Denis had wanted to do such a project for 25 years, but it wasn’t until he was almost 42 that he had the technical know-how to actually do it. Except for the shutter curtain fabric, ball bearings, and screws, all of the individual pieces that were used to create the camera were custom made.
The lens is an Industar 37 Russian large format 300mm designed for their FKD cameras. The shutter is a Sinar, takes standard 8×10 film holders.
Remember the 102-year-old lens experiment we shared a week ago? Daire Quinlan did something similar — he combined his grandfather’s 6×9 Pocket Kodak lens from 1920 (90 years ago) with homemade bellows to create his own tilt-shift lens to play with. Unlike Timur Civan, who used his 102-year-old lens on a 5D Mark II, Quinlan used his frankenlens with a Nikon film camera.
Mats Wernersson’s website is aptly named, “The Camera Maker“. Wernersson creates his own custom cameras by hand, making everything from 9×12 field cameras to “frankencameras” created for specific purposes from existing bodies. The above camera is a 3D 35mm camera created by fusing two Konica FS1 bodies together.
Jonathan Berqvist needed a shoulder rig for stabilizing his Canon 7D when filming, and his father Erik is quite good with woodworking, so they built a do-it-yourself a wooden shoulder rig using a a single tree branch. What’s awesome about the shoulder rig is that it has follow focus built into one of the two handles used to hold it.
Berqvist also created a neat video showing the construction of the shoulder rig, starting from tree branch stage. After watching this, I found myself with a strong desire to learn woodworking:
If you want a reflector to play with lighting, but don’t want to shell out money for a real one, you might want to try making an aluminum foil reflector. They’re cheap, easy to make, and decent at providing fill light for harsh shadows.
How to Make It
What you’ll need:
- A large, flat board (i.e. cardboard box, display board/foamcore)
- Adhesive (i.e. tape or spray-on adhesive)
- Aluminum foil
The process of actually making the reflector is very intuitive. Simply modify your board to the size and shape you want, and attach aluminum foil to the surface. One thing to note is that aluminum foil usually has two different surfaces:
One is more reflective than the other, so it’s up to you to choose which you’d like to use. Instead of choosing, I covered both sides of my cardboard with aluminum foil, with a different surface on each side. This allows me to choose how much light I’d like to reflect.
Also, some people choose to crumple up their aluminum foil before attaching it to the board, since this provides a softer and less directional light. You can also spray paint the foil to change the color and quality of the light you reflect.
Here is how my personal reflector turned out:
I chose to use a cardboard box since it was cheaper than a foamcore and could be folded up and tucked away, while having enough surface area to provide a significant amount of light.
How to Use It
These reflectors can help you add fill-light to an outdoor shot where harsh lighting would otherwise cast unflattering shadows on your subject. Take the following “portrait” for example:
You can use the reflector in this situation to fill in the shadows:
Here’s the portrait that results. Hover your mouse over it to compare it to the original:
As you can see, the reflector can help you overcome undesirable lighting conditions and can add a glint to your subject’s eyes that brings any portrait to life.