How and Why I Built My Own Bellows-Style Dynamic Digital View Camera

Why does someone build their own camera? Maybe for technical reasons, usability enhancements, or perhaps personal style and artistic outlook. The raison d'ètre for the experimental camera I made here falls somewhere between all of the above.

Using a Vintage 1910 Lens on a Modern Sony a7II

Paris-based photographer Mathieu Stern released this short and sweet video showing how he took a 105-year-old folding camera lens from 1910 and mounted it to a Sony a7II mirrorless camera using bellows for focusing.

"The lens is incredibly sharp for a 105 year old lady... but it also gives some strange lens flares and light leaks that are pretty dreamy," Stern says. The video contains some sample footage shot using the lens.

How I Built Myself a Large Format 4×5 Monorail View Camera

I’ve been taking photos all of my life. Something that I realize now started from a young age: I’ve been genetically disposed with bad eyes, but it was only discovered around the age of ten. This forced me to look closely at what was in front of me for a long time. Once I got tested and got glasses an entire world opened up. As a result, I’ve always looked at things and people with an appreciation I doubt I could’ve had any other way.

It’s a hunger to try and capture what I see in the moment as it presents itself, be it a theme or a feeling, a relationship or a time. There’s always a story to tell and that’s why we take photos.

How I Made Myself a 16×20-inch Bellows Camera

Starting back in May of 2014, I finally put my first foot forward in the making of a 16x20 inch bellows camera. The idea to build a camera was nothing new to me, but I was always hesitant to begin construction since I am the type of person that prefers to work off a set of blue prints and directions. Unfortunately, since my drawing skills aren't amazing, it was pretty difficult to visualize and plan a solid blueprint of the project - which ultimately forced me to bite the bullet and simply begin construction of the camera and problem solve along the way.

90-Year-Old Pocket Kodak Lens and a Homemade Bellows

Remember the 102-year-old lens experiment we shared a week ago? Daire Quinlan did something similar -- he combined his grandfather's 6x9 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.