OpenCamera - Lux
IntroductionThis page details my efforts to design a completely homegrown camera. Until now, all of my camera- building efforts utilized parts repurposed from old, obsolete cameras, and for good reason. Each constituent part of the modern camera, from the shutter, lens, aperture diaphragm, and film transport, are much too complex and delicate for the average hobbyist to reproduce. Borrowing parts from old cameras is usually the go-to solution for most DIY'ers (myself included), however I don't think this is a sustainable technique.
My goal is to design and produce a fully-fledged camera, using easily purchased off-the-shelf components, without having to rely on anything pulled from a potentially valuable piece of equipment. A secondary goal is also to make this camera completely open source through rapid-prototyping techniques such as laser cutting and 3D printing, and the Arduino physical computing platform.
|Type||6x6 Box Camera|
|Media||120 Roll Film|
|Objective||65mm f/5.6 Single Element, Coated|
|Viewfinder||Waist-level Brilliant finder|
|Shutter||Electromechanical single-leaf, 1/125-1s + B&T|
|Aperture||Rotating diaphragm, f/5.6-32|
|Dimensions||7.9 x 9.4 x 11.7 cm|
|Construction||SLS Polyamide (body), Stainless Steel (shutter, aperture)|
|Adafruit Trinket 5V||1||Adafruit|
|Adafruit Quarter-size Protoboard||1||Adafruit|
|Transistors, TIP120||2||Adafruit||Perhaps a bit overkill|
|Rotary Switch, 10 position BCD DIP||1||Jameco||Could be substituted by a 10K trimpot|
|Rocker Switch, SPST||1||Jameco|
|Resistors, 1/4W, Asst. Values||?||eBay||1% tolerance recommended for binary adder|
|Battery, 7.4V 500mAh Turnigy LiPo||1||HobbyKing||You will also want a charger|
|Connectors, JST PH||4||eBay||If you want to avoid hard wiring|
|Connectors, JST BEC||1||eBay||Female battery connector|
|Momentary Button, SPST w/ LED||1||eBay||Any 12mm momentary button will do|
|PCX Lens, f=30mm, d=15mm||2||Anchor Optics||Brilliant finder lenses. A tad pricey. Coated lenses available. 23084|
|Positive Meniscus Lens, f=80mm, d=19mm||1||Anchor Optics||Objective lens. Coated. AX73931|
|Mirror, 17 x 23 x 1mm||1||Anchor Optics||Brilliant finder mirror. AX31417|
|M3 CSK Machine Screws||10||McMaster|
|M3 Hex Nuts, Thin||10||McMaster|
|1/4"-20 Square Nuts||1||McMaster||Tripod Nut|
|Spacer, L=2.5", d=0.25"||2||McMaster||Makeshift film rollers|
|Ball Bearing, d=3mm||1||eBay||Lens helical bearings|
|Screws, No.1 L=1/4"||1||McMaster|
|Screws, No.0 L=3/8"||1||McMaster|
|Screws, No.0 L=1/8"||1||McMaster|
|Machine Screws, 4-40 L=1/4"||1||McMaster||Film roller screws|
|Torsion Spring||1||McMaster||Shutter return spring|
|Stainless Steel Plate||1||McMaster||Mat'l for laser cut parts|
|Magnets, d=3/8", t=1/16"||2||eBay, CMS|
Shutter CircuitI'm not an EE, so be warned! Only the breadboard layout of the Fritzing file is accurate. The Perma-Proto board nets are not routed.
Fritzing (You may need to download Fritzing HERE)
Arduino CodeYou'll need to install the Arduino IDE and Trinket drivers available from Adafruit. Adafruit has a version on the Arduino IDE compatable with Trinket HERE. You still need to install the Trinket USB drivers HERE.
The Trinket bootloader isn't as plug-and-play as say, an Uno.
Part FilesHere are all of the part files you need to make Lux for yourself. The STL files can be printed by a service like i.materialise or Shapeways, using the "Polished White Polyamide" or "Polished White Strong & Flexible" materials, respectively.
You will need this file to make metal parts for the aperture wheel, shutter, pressure plate, focus distance scale, etc. A laser cutting service like Pololu will know what to do with this file. (Note! There is a typo - these should be cut from 0.025" stainless steel)
This section is a work in progress.
ThoughtsAt the time of writing, I've run about a roll-and-a-half of film through Lux. Thus far it's been a pleasure to use, with a few nagging issues (see below). It really works about the same as any other old film camera - turn on, make exposure adjustments, frame, shoot, wind, and repeat. With color negative film, the lack of an exposure meter isn't too much of an issue - in most outdoor conditions it's possible to use the Sunny 16 rule and make adjustments from there. Loading and unloading film is pretty easy, winding and counting frames is a breeze. And so far - no light leaks!
My main complaints: