We have seen some pretty interesting things machined, including chess pieces, iPhone cases and even car brakes. But a digital camera? French Hacker Denis MO over at Collection Appareils designed and machined his own functioning film single lens reflex (SLR) camera.
Denis' challenge: building his own 24-by-36mm SLR camera on his own. While he built as many parts as he could on his own, including gears, spools and the body, he didn't make the shutter curtain, ball bearings and screws. Lenses he left to the experts as well, but the best piece of glass in the world won't work if the camera's internal optics don't work. The focal plane shutter was inspired by that of a Leica II.
What were the major obstacles in constructing this camera? Making it lightproof and also similar in size to modern SLR cameras. Denis designed the camera's internals using CAD software, then machined everything from the spring-loaded winding drums and the film sprocket.
Imagine Denis's satisfaction at getting the first roll of film taken by this camera developed! Se some more photos and learn more about this project over at Collection Appareils. We think this is a pretty cool project.