The Real Instagram; How to breathe life,back into that old TLR camera.


I wrote this trying to get a job at Photojojo, I didn’t, but still think its a good idea

The Real Instagram; How to breathe life,back into that old TLR camera.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes, Instagram just feels like cheating; so I thought why not just build a camera that takes instagram style pics, straight out the box? Simple enough, *BOOM* the slightly awkward love child of a TLR and iPhone is born (If Victor Frankenstein was into photography, this would be his monster). Despite the looks, IT WORKS GREAT! I no longer feel like a photographic fraud. Instead a fully-fledged creative type taking beautiful square format, scratchy, saturated, and bizarre looking photos without a single faux-fifilter! Want to build one yourself? Well of course you do.

Here’s what you’re going to need. An old TLR camera, the older the better, it doesn’t need to work it just needs a waist level viewfinder (mines an old Kodak duaflex I got for £5 $9). An iPhone clip on case you don’t mind putting glue on, some cardboard, scissors glue and of course an iPhone.


Build a cardboard hat for your TLR camera that is at least four inches tall, and glue it on.

Then attach a lid and glue on your iPhone case, so the hole for the camera is in the centre of the lid (cut a hole so the camera can see the TLR viewfinder)

Lastly pop on your iPhone and get snapping! Below are some results from this very camera

Happy Pinhole Day

Open Source 5x4 Camera Project

Post #2

This is the final structure for the 3D Printed Front Standard (rotate 90 degrees) and some details for the laser cutting of what will be the lens board holder that slots between the two tall bits of the front standard 

Bit of info about this project in my previous post here

Open Source 5x4 Camera Project

So wheels are in motion for a half laser cut half 3D printed 5x4 camera, Idea I have had for a while and it seems to be shaping up quite nicely might even call for its own separate blog.

Idea basically consists of a source file containing Blue prints for the laser cut wood components (ply) and the .STL files for the 3D printed components that all come together to form a 5x4” camera Hopefully I will assemble the Beta camera in the coming months.

The project is open source, I will eventually stick the CAD files on the internet and people can modify them, submit the new camera designs and hopefully create a small community of camera builders. Most universities have laser cutters and 3D printers so this could bring a whole new generation of 5x4 cameras into peoples hands, who knows? im sure I cant be the only product design student who likes LF? 

If anyone has any thoughts on this idea please get in touch, input from any photographers, product designers or just creative types would be great!

More results from experimenting with 8x10 colour papere negatives and using the RA4 Reversal Process, seem to be getting there with the filters but the paper came out really mottled (this might be due to using my bathroom as a makeshift dark room and it not being 100% dark)

Filters were Cibachrome 120Y90M

Rated the paper at ISO 6 

1/15 f5.6

It was sunny today but not that sunny! Either way think I may have over done it this paper is defiantly not ISO 2 will try again tomorrow at 10 and 15

It was sunny today but not that sunny! Either way think I may have over done it this paper is defiantly not ISO 2 will try again tomorrow at 10 and 15

Work horse

Work horse

Brighton based photographer and product design undergrad.

Like to do a bit of camera building, currently mostly using an 8x10

For Stuff related to The Open Source 5x4 Camera Project click the link below!

Contact: mag40(at)sussex.ac.uk

©Maxim Grew

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Open Source 5x4

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