All images by Lee Lira. Used with permission.
Photographer Lee Lira is a Melbourne based creative that decided to get more involved with his photographic hobby. He became so obsessed that he decided to create a pair of 6×14 cameras. They’ve been coined the F.A.C.MKI & MKII. By today’s standards, this is a wide format size that delivers a gigantic image. So when Lee emailed us to share his creations, we decided to ask him to tell us more about them.
Here’s what he had to say.
As you know my name is Lee and I live in Melbourne, Australia. Well here goes, after many years of messing around with digital and always liking film cameras. Two to three years ago, I decided to finally purchase a roll of 35mm film to run through a Nikon FE2. The film I chose was Fomapan R100 reversal.
The 5 rolls arrived and I shot them. To my dismay the only person I could find to develop them was Dr Chrome in the USA. Bugger!
After doing some research I came across Chris Reid from Blanco Negro in Sydney. He encouraged me to develop them myself and he was able to source the Fomapan reversal kit for me.
My first attempt was successful. I was so pleased that I was hooked!
I ran out and purchased a Plustek 8200 scanner.
A little while later, my accountants partner, who is a photo nut himself, gave me a Bronica SQ with an 80mm f/2.8 lens. The first roll I shot knocked my socks off. That was it, no more 35mm for me. Then arrived the Epson V600, not as good for 35mm but has been serving me fine for 120mm.
With that, I started reading about medium format and the different sizes. Next came a superb condition 1934 Zeiss Ikon 521/2 6×9. Again bigger negatives bowled me over. The desire to go bigger was fueled.
That’s when I stumbled upon your website and DIY. Wow. I thought that with my woodworking skills that I would have a stab!
F.A.C.MKI was born.
Made from European oak with a Schneider 135mm f/5.6 Compur P shutter & a Graflex viewfinder, fixed focus. The film transport parts where from a Horseman 6×9 express back.
F.A.C.MKII took just over 3 weeks to build & I enjoyed every minute!
After much enjoyment with FAC1, I felt that I could improve on the design in terms of focus, wider more modern lens and ergonomics.
F.A.C.MKII is built out of Australian Red Gum timber. A Schneider Super angulon 90mm f/8. Focus helicoid is the same as used on the Fotoman 6×17. Viewfinder is Gaoersi 6×17 with homemade mask to suit 6×14.
Film transport parts came from a Horseman 6×9 express back.
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