Episode 03, The Lens

E03 The Lens Show notes:

Note: This episode contains some erroneous information about Ilford Direct Positive Paper. Graham states that it is no longer in production. This information is not correct.  Direct Positive Paper is still in production after a short interruption. For more information on this, listen to the Sunny 16 Podcast episodes 100a, 100b, 100c where they visit the Harmon Technologies Ilford headquarters. 

Nick and Graham talk about lenses and how they can impact a camera build. They talk about why the lens is the most important part of any camera build (5:40) and why it might be a good idea to blend a Debonair lens and a Leica body.

Graham explains why focusing a lens is overrated (18:28) and why you should tape the focusing mechanism of your camera in one position to try out working with a fixed-focus hyperfocal setup. Nick then suggests that the humble mousetrap could provide good functionality to a homemade camera (33:15).

They talk about different methods of attaching lenses to camera bodies including screwing the lenses right to the body and the use of retaining rings for large format lenses (34:10).

The Garbage Cam Challenge has reached its due date and the boys are not as successful in this as they would want to be (53:22). Graham describes his camera made from the discarded paperboard from a 12 pack of soda, a pinhole made from a beer can (56:11) and wooden dowels (INSERT SIZE) that fit tightly in the 135 cartridge reels.

Flange Distance Chart: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lens_mount

Hyperfocal Distance Calculator: https://www.pointsinfocus.com/tools/depth-of-field-and-equivalent-lens-calculator/#

Episode 02, The Body

In episode 02, The Body, Nick and Graham talk about the purposes and qualities of a camera body.

Nick talks about exquisite beauty (6:00); the hosts describe the seven components of a camera (14:20); they focus on the body of a camera (19:30); Nick realizes he is late in starting his Garbage Cam Challenge project (24:15); the four main functions of a body are listed (35:00); the guys talk about lens flange distance and how it relates to the body of a camera (46:30).

Episode 01, The FrankenBessa

the Frankenbessa finished
The finished FrankenBessa with Schneider 65mm f8 and the 65mm viewfinder.

To subscribe to the podcast, turn your podcatcher to https://homemadecamera.podbean.com/feed/ or search for The Homemade Camera Podcast from your Add a Podcast menu.

Episode 01, The FrankenBessa

The second episode (after Episode 00, The Manifesto), Nick and Graham discuss Graham’s creation the FrankenBessa, a camera made from the body of a Voigtlander Bessa 6X9 120 camera and a lens designed for 4X5 cameras.

Graham refers to the K-Pan 6X14cm camera designed by Paul Kohlhaussen as an inspiration for the project. As the FrankenBessa project moved forward, it returned closely to that original inspiration (though in a smaller format) as the final project uses the same hyperfocal setup as the K-Pan.

Later on, Nick introduces the Garbage Cam Challenge wherein each participant creates a camera (pinhole or lensed) from junk laying about the house and uses it for various upcoming photographic assignments. No part of the camera can use a part that was designed for use in a camera with the exception of 35mm film canisters for film transport.

template for a lens cone glude to aluminum stock
The lens cone (pyramid?) template glued to the aluminum stock.
aluminum lens cone placed on a Voigtlander Bessa body.
The aluminum lens cone attached to the Bessa body with gaffer’s tape. This lens cone was for the 103mm Trioptar mounted to a helicoid (see next picture).
Camera with lens
The 103mm Trioptar mounted to the body via a M42-M42 helicoid focusing mechanism.
a color picture of a brick abandoned building
An example of the FrankenBessa in use: 65mm f8 Schneider-Kreuznach Super-Angulon, Lomography 100 Color Print Film, home processed using a Unicolor C-41 kit. Scanned with an Epson V-600 and adjusted in Photoshop.

Episode 00, The Homemade Camera Podcast Manifesto

To subscribe to the podcast, turn your podcatcher to https://homemadecamera.podbean.com/feed/ or search for The Homemade Camera Podcast from your the Add a Podcast menu on your pod catcher.

In the first episode of The Homemade Camera Podcast, Nick and Graham talk about what it means to modify or build a camera and what kinds of modifications and builds they like to tackle.

Graham mentions a photo by Lance that uses 35mm film in a 4X5 camera that is quite interesting.

Nick talks about his Mercury modular camera and the goal of creating a universal system where almost any lens can be mated to almost any film format.


And so we begin.

Nick and Graham have started a podcast. We will be talking about building our own cameras, modifying existing cameras and photography in general. Episode 1 will be recorded and uploaded shortly.

In addition, we will provide you with resources for building your own cameras, modifying them a lot or a little, and for photography in general.

If you would like to get in touch with us you can through our email addresses: Nick@HomemadeCamera.com and Graham@HomemadeCamera.com.