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This Guy Built an Aluminum Medium Format Camera at Home


Photographer Lucus Landers has built one of the most impressive do-it-yourself cameras we’ve ever seen. Called the Landers AL6, it’s an all-aluminum camera that shoots medium format film.

“I have recently completed my most recent camera build,” Landers tells PetaPixel. “With the exception of the lens and shutter, everything is handmade in my Brooklyn apartment.”

While most homebrew cameras are made with wood and ingredients that are easier to work with, Landers opts to do metalwork.

“I live and sleep mere feet away from a welder and milling machine,” he says. “To build this camera, I use a combination of casting, machining, and welding.”

Landers started the project by making sand molds using a red sand called Petrobond.

Melting down and pouring aluminum into the mold produces the camera’s lens cone and top plate.

Other plates of aluminum are welded together to form the camera body.

A rangefinder is installed into the top cap.

A back door is installed on the camera with a hinge to allow film to be loaded. A pressure plate with leaf springs helps keep film in the camera flat.

The camera even has a camera strap mount.

Here’s what the finished Landers AL6 looks like:

Here are photos Landers has captured using the Landers AL6:

Landers documented his entire build in a 9-part video series that you can watch on his YouTube channel.

There’s also a still photo step-by-step walkthrough in this online album.

You can find more of Landers’ photography and homemade cameras on his website.

Image credits: Photographs by Lucus Landers and used with permission