If you’ve been lurking around vintage camera and film photography groups, you’ve probably seen an amazing DIY medium format camera project recently shared by Lucus Landers. If you’ve ever wanted to actualy have the bragging rights to a polished camera you built yourself, here’s what it takes.
Long story short, you’ll need a home machine studio complete with some nifty power tools, knowledge in basic camera design, the patience for developing prototypes, and ample of time and funds to put it all together. Well, at least that’s what we conclude from watching the entire process of building Mr. Landers’ latest epic, all-aluminum medium format masterpiece he called the Landers AL6. Apart from the final result, he also shared the entire video series documenting the build process.
He begins with a run-down of the basic ideas and design concepts in the intro video below:
When you’re done with that, you can head to the complete playlist.
A quick chat with Lucus revealed that it took him four months to complete the Landers AL6, all while learning new processes like welding and casting. He also built it in the comfort of his own home. “An interesting part that I didn’t share on the Vintage Camera Collectors Facebook group post is that I do all of this in my Brooklyn apartment. I have a milling machine and welder about 15 feet from where I sleep!”
We can say that one of the most important parts of the video series is the bit about choosing the right lens and shutter for the camera. The best choice for this project, as he explained, is a lens that has the shutter already built-in. That way, he didn’t need to design an in-camera shutter mechanism, which of course is really complex.
It’s also important to note that this is not the first time Lucus built a homemade camera. Some of our readers may remember that he also made a 4×5 monorail camera, which was a great feat considering he had never even shot with a large format camera prior to working on it. Then, he also built a 4×5 instant camera that combines a 4×5 monorail camera and a Land Camera, with a number of unique features.
Now, how’s that for a weekend DIY project?
Don’t forget to visit his website to check out the photos he took using this camera!
Image by Lucus Landers. Used with permission.