Alternative focusing screens for DSLRs aren’t hard to find, but they usually don’t have any guide lines geared toward photographers who are used to framing scenes in a square format. Zurich-based photographer Howard Linton is one such shooter. Linton decided to take matters into his own hands by modifying his DSLR’s focusing screen with custom lines etched in using an X-Acto knife. Read more…
Photographer Maciej Pietuszynski has posted a (hopefully tongue-in-cheek) step-by-step tutorial over on his blog on how he was able to give his Canon 40D a square aspect ratio viewfinder by applying some tape to his focusing screen.
It could be a funny prank for convincing people that you have some kind of special, limited-edition DSLR, but be warned: focusing screens are extremely susceptible to dust and scratches. Unless you want to risk messing up the viewfinder of your camera, you might want to refrain from doing this mod yourself.
After seeing the “woodenized” Canon F-1n that we featured earlier this month, Vancouver, Washington-based photographer Charlie Boucher decided that he wanted to give the mod a go. Unable to find any wood shoots locally, Boucher decided to go with a somewhat different (but slightly related) material: cork. Read more…
Have an old Polaroid camera lying around collecting dust? Did you know that you can use it for wet plate collodion photography? AlternativePhotography writes,
Most collodion photographers are using dedicated wet plate cameras, because wet plates are not nice to put into any ordinary modern cameras. There are instructions on how to use some normal medium and large format film cameras in the wet plate process. Most modern large format cameras are readily usable; only a special wet plate holder is needed. The drawback is the silver nitrate, possibly dripping from the holder inside the camera and eventually ruining it.
There are, however, certain types of cameras that you can use as is, without any modifications. Polaroid 100 – 400 series cameras were designed for Polaroid instant pack film, and the empty film holder can be converted to an excellent wet plate holder.
Once your film holder is modified to hold wet plates, you’ll also need to give the camera a makeshift “bulb mode” by covering its ‘Electric Eye’ light meter with black tape. The tutorial also discusses how you can expose wet plates using an enlarger and/or digitally printed film.
San Diego-based photographer Robert Benson had a curious problem a while back. He had a $6,500 Leica Noctilux 50mm f/1 lens, but no camera to use it on. Not being able to afford the Leica M9 at the time (and unsure if he wanted to ever buy one), he decided to make massive modifications to his Canon 5D Mark II so that it would accept any Leica M lens without needing an adapter. The frankencamera above is what emerged from the brand-change operation. Read more…
Modder Andy Rawson needed an easy way to find air leaks in his 100-year-old house in order to improve its energy efficiency. Not wanting to spend thousands of dollars on a thermal imaging camera, he decided to go the DIY route. He built a box containing a 64-zone temperature sensor, and managed to connect the device to his iPhone via the dock. By overlaying the temperature data onto the iPhone’s camera display, the $150 attachment instantly turns the iPhone into a cheap thermal imaging camera. Read more…
Self-described creative technologist Thiago Avancini hacked this Atari 2600 joystick into a shutter release cable — complete with an autofocus control for his Canon T2i. The controller is considerably larger than the average cable release or remote control, but it’s a pretty nifty. Avancini has more photos of the contraption on his site, but so far, no DIY instructions.
Ken Rockwell posted some links to photos of a Canon AE-1 Program Digital a couple days ago, and photo-enthusiasts around the web have been discussing whether or not it’s a real camera.
From the photos and videos showing the camera, it’s pretty clear that it’s fake, and that someone with a lot of time on their hands hollowed out a Canon AE-1 Program camera and lens, put in a PowerShot SD 870 IS, and got the thing working.
It’s pretty amazing that the AE-1 was modified so that all of the controls on the PowerShot are still accessible. Here’s a video posted to YouTube showing that the camera actually works:
There’s also a separate video on YouTube with a few more still photographs of the mod. Addition photographs posted by Rockwell are here, here, and here.
Anyone know how they were able to get an “AE-1 Program Digital” logo on the point-and-shoot?
Hong Kong photographer Lok Cheung found that manual focusing his Olympus E-P1 Micro Four Thirds camera was a pain because it lacked an electronic viewfinder (EVF). He then discovered that attaching a Rollei TLR viewfinder to the camera provided a makeshift EVF:
The result is really good. Although the LCD on E-P1 is not in very high resolution and you can see every single pixels with the Rollei viewfinder, manual focus is almost as fast as you can get on a true manual camera, and the viewfinder is almost directly behind the lens which even closer to SLRs and rangefinder.
LCD viewfinder attachments already exist for DSLR systems, and help make focusing easier and more precise by magnifying the LCD screen and blocking out sunlight. Using a film viewfinder to do this for an Olympus E-P1 is pretty clever.