Show Home Made Photo Gear

Joined
Feb 15, 2014
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Southwest Utah
I'm always trying to think outside the box and I often fabricate tools that I can't find, I can make better, or I can make cheaper. So I made this.

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Cup Holder Tripod Mount by Harvey Richards, on Flickr

Yeah, I know, it's a really bad design for a tripod. However, I made it to hold my camera when I am out driving around looking for birds, wildlife or impressive junk to photograph.

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Camera Holder by Harvey Richards, on Flickr

So show all of us the amazing gear you have come up with.
 

Turbofrog

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Mar 21, 2014
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Here's an Instant Camera that I designed and built.

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I found a cheap 90mm/f3.5 lens from a Mamiya Universal camera that covers 6x9, and importantly, has a built in leaf-shutter. So I reverse-engineered a Lomography Instant Back that takes Fuji Instax Wide film, designed and 3D-printed the lens flange, bayonet, and grip, upholstered it with some leather, and made a parallax-correctable sport-finder to frame everything with. I also have a cheap $15 bounceable Chinese flash that I put in the cold shoe and hook up with a PC-sync cable. Works great indoors!

My 3D printer is on the fritz now, so I need to fix some issues with it. But after that, my plan is to print a nice big lens hood for it. The lens wasn't in the greatest condition when I got it (needed some cleaning of the elements inside) and the coatings were probably pretty primitive in the first place, but it flares quite badly.

The gaffer tape and cardboard flap to fix light leaks means it's not as pretty as it once was, either.

I am getting pretty good at being my own rangefinder (yeah, that's probably about 2.5 meters away, right?) and the Sunny 16 rules are always in mind. Instax doesn't have much exposure latitude, though, that's for sure!
 
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Joined
Feb 15, 2014
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Southwest Utah

jyc860923

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Feb 28, 2012
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Shenyang, China
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贾一川
Here's an Instant Camera that I designed and built.

View attachment 495002

I found a cheap 90mm/f3.5 lens from a Mamiya Universal camera that covers 6x9, and importantly, has a built in leaf-shutter. So I reverse-engineered a Lomography Instant Back that takes Fuji Instax Wide film, designed and 3D-printed the lens flange, bayonet, and grip, upholstered it with some leather, and made a parallax-correctable sport-finder to frame everything with. I also have a cheap $15 bounceable Chinese flash that I put in the cold shoe and hook up with a PC-sync cable. Works great indoors!

My 3D printer is on the fritz now, so I need to fix some issues with it. But after that, my plan is to print a nice big lens hood for it. The lens wasn't in the greatest condition when I got it (needed some cleaning of the elements inside) and the coatings were probably pretty primitive in the first place, but it flares quite badly.

The gaffer tape and cardboard flap to fix light leaks means it's not as pretty as it once was, either.

I am getting pretty good at being my own rangefinder (yeah, that's probably about 2.5 meters away, right?) and the Sunny 16 rules are always in mind. Instax doesn't have much exposure latitude, though, that's for sure!
All that and we don't get to see what comes out of it? Come on! Honestly I wouldn't be surprised at all to know that it does better than the Fuji using the same film, know that the Fujis have f stops of 8 and 11 and compulsively flash every shot
 

Turbofrog

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Mar 21, 2014
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All that and we don't get to see what comes out of it? Come on! Honestly I wouldn't be surprised at all to know that it does better than the Fuji using the same film, know that the Fujis have f stops of 8 and 11 and compulsively flash every shot
Haha, yeah, I really need to upload some of the images I've taken. Digitizing instant photos seems backwards somehow, but it's probably worth it for the sharing.

Everyone who I've shown them to is shocked by the sharpness that comes out. For sure the lens is much, much higher quality than the plastic f/14 Fuji lenses.

This highlights the lens' propensity to flare - and Instax's propensity to blow out - more than it does its sharpness, unfortunately, but it's the only thing I could find online right now.

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steveadams

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Jun 16, 2016
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South Georgia
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Steve Adams
I made a "tripod" from the base of a Ikea Jansjo gooseneck lamp base. The base weighs a little over 1 pound and is almost 6 inch in diameter. These are great when working on a floor, or deck railing, or anything flat. The first one had a ball head added for my Olympus Air, while the second one has no head. The object here was to keep the camera low and worked great for getting a macro of a house fly.

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Here is the bottom of the base. The holes were already there, they just needed to be enlarged to 1/4 inch.
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steveadams

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Jun 16, 2016
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South Georgia
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Steve Adams
Along the same line, I re-purposed a worn out 3 inch diameter lathe chuck. Weighing in at almost 5 pounds, it makes for a nice solid mount.

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oldracer

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USA
When using a monopod I like to use a QR clamp where the camera is captured simply by the action of inserting the plate into the clamp. The Manfrotto RC2 system works this way as do several others, but no one makes an Arca Swiss clamp that is automatic. Here is a first prototype where I grafted the adjustable throat side of an A-S clamp onto the RC2 clamp. I also cut a lot of material off the lever to reduce bulk and weight.

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The way it works is that when the lever is opened, that brass button pops up and locks the lever. Then when a plate is inserted the button is depressed, releasing the lever and capturing the plate. I hold the monopod with one hand and the camera with one hand. Using a screw-type A-S clamp requires a third hand that Darwin did not provide me with.

I also make all my camera straps, using pushbutton rifle sling fittings for quick release.

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jyc860923

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Feb 28, 2012
Messages
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Shenyang, China
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贾一川
Haha, yeah, I really need to upload some of the images I've taken. Digitizing instant photos seems backwards somehow, but it's probably worth it for the sharing.

Everyone who I've shown them to is shocked by the sharpness that comes out. For sure the lens is much, much higher quality than the plastic f/14 Fuji lenses.

This highlights the lens' propensity to flare - and Instax's propensity to blow out - more than it does its sharpness, unfortunately, but it's the only thing I could find online right now.

View attachment 495208
Man, that's super. I really think many would like to see an instant film images thread especially for such a quality photo.
 

Turbofrog

Mu-43 Legend
Joined
Mar 21, 2014
Messages
5,325
When using a monopod I like to use a QR clamp where the camera is captured simply by the action of inserting the plate into the clamp. The Manfrotto RC2 system works this way as do several others, but no one makes an Arca Swiss clamp that is automatic. Here is a first prototype where I grafted the adjustable throat side of an A-S clamp onto the RC2 clamp. I also cut a lot of material off the lever to reduce bulk and weight.

The way it works is that when the lever is opened, that brass button pops up and locks the lever. Then when a plate is inserted the button is depressed, releasing the lever and capturing the plate. I hold the monopod with one hand and the camera with one hand. Using a screw-type A-S clamp requires a third hand that Darwin did not provide me with.

I also make all my camera straps, using pushbutton rifle sling fittings for quick release.

View attachment 495271
Those rifle sling fittings look interesting. What do you use on the camera side?
 

oldracer

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Oct 1, 2010
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USA
Those rifle sling fittings look interesting. What do you use on the camera side?
I call the rifle side fitting a "barrel." I don't remember the official name. Here's an old picture:

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The barrels are designed to be inlet flush into a rifle stock. They have a hole in the closed end that is countersunk to take a wood screw to anchor the barrel.

I've used this type of pigtail for attaching straps to cameras for years. Two key things: (a) The cord or wire is as small as possible so it doesn't interfere with my hands when shooting. In this particular photo, I am using a loop of stainless steel fishing line rated 80#. (b) The pigtail is long enough that the attachment hardware hangs below the camera and completely out of my way when I am shooting. There are a couple of vendors that use this type of pigtail design for their strap attachments but neither has figured out that their pigtails are too short.

I too am interested in this. And where do you buy said devices?
The fittings are fairly standardized and available from several manufacturers. The ones I use are by "Uncle Mike's." These things are steel and beyond overkill in strength for our little cameras. Uncle Mike's seem to be the lightest weight. I buy them from Brownell's --- lots of neat stuff to drool over in their catalog: UNCLE MIKE'S QUICK DETACH 100 SLING SWIVEL | Brownells

If anyone gets serious about trying this system, please post a note here. I can give you some tips and tricks learned the hard way. I just don't want to type all that stuff now if no one is interested.
 
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