GoPro cameras may be ready to migrate from helmets to film schools thanks to the Ribcage, an in-development assembly that allows the tiny action cams to be outfitted with interchangeable lenses. Read more…
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.
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.
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.
Image credits: Photographs by Jalo Porkkala/AlternativePhotography
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.
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.
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.
If you’re itching to save a buck and make like MacGyver, Instructables has a handy how-to for a Canon cable release — though it doesn’t look nearly as geek-chic as Avancini’s mod.