DIY SLR

The tech industry has spent millions on the development of camera technology to enable people to take sharp, properly exposed photographs where they can see the results almost instantly. Gone were the days of getting your prints back from the D&P lab to find they were fuzzy and discoloured, not to mention that you cut off the top of Aunt Mabel’s head. Long gone, that is, until now. Lomography (as you probably already know) is an offshoot photography hobby where these “old fashioned” photographic results are the intended end product.

I was once tempted to buy a Lo-Mo camera but frankly they were a bit pricey as well as looking suitably rubbish so I didn’t. Now enter the DIY SLR kit!

As you may know, I like making stuff, so I thought it’s only £25 for a kit which “should” result in a working camera so what’s not to like?

So for a bit of fun, here are my build photographs!

There are lots of parts, just like an Airfix kit:

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I set to assembling the various parts, the only tool needed was a small screwdriver (which was supplied so I didn’t even have to get my tool box). Here’s (most of) the film winding mechanism:

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The main body taking shape. The top plate with the matt focusing screen:

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There is a bayonet mount for the lens, here you can see the reflex mirror:

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The finished article!

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Looks pretty good eh? OK so it’s nothing like my old Nikon FM (how I wish I had kept that one!)

There are a few drawbacks to the design, which I guess are there to keep the cost down and make it simple to assemble, so operation is not what you’d get with a modern camera. The lens is a fixed aperture (f10) as is the shutter speed (1/80th) and the simple lens is, unsurprisingly, not glass. It will be interesting to see what the images look like once I have put a film through it.

When I eventually get something back from the D&P lab I’ll let you know how they turn out.

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2 thoughts on “DIY SLR

    1. When I was in New York recently, I had an interesting chat on this subject with a chap in Urban Outfitters (where they had a range of lomographic and other retro stuff). In this digital age it’s all too easy to take 100’s of photos for free, whereas in the old “film” days one took more time and care with composition, lighting, etc., partly because of the cost of materials and partly because, unless one had a darkroom, it was difficult to undertake any post processing. Unless you count cropping the print with a pair of scissors 🙂

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