Remember that older post we did about a lens holster designed by Preston Turk? Kickstarter delivers another great photographic gadget project. This time, it’s a TLR, or Twin Lens Reflex camera that, according to its designer, “produces stunning images on instant film and roll film”.
The new camera is designed by Kevin Kadooka, from Portland, Oregon. This nifty piece of equipment is literally made out of wood and old spare part. The do-it-yourself TLR kit is made out of wood, two old Mamiya lenses and a Polaroid film back (or any 120mm film back). IKEA, anyone? Even if it sounds great, there’s a catch: you have to provide the most important parts – the two lenses and the film back. As its creator states: “Duo is a unique camera that any patient photographer can build on a kitchen table”.
Now let’s get the specs on paper!
The TLR uses two (self-provided) Mamiya-Sekor 105mm f/3.5 lenses. Its shutter is a Seiko/Seikosha with 1-1/500+B speeds and it has a 97x97mm waist level Viewfinder. The body is constructed entirely out of laser-cut birch plywood. The Duo camera uses a dual bellows, made out of fabric and paper. Its back (self-provided) is either a Mamiya M80 Polaroid back or a Graflex Roll back, that uses either 100 peel apart instant film, or 120/220 roll film, depending on case.
The Duo camera features a focus lock, a standard tripod nut and a 3/8” strap attachment. The designer wants to make the camera and its construction process user friendly. He states:
“Changes to the design and construction of additional prototypes will be necessary to ensure that the camera can be easily constructed with minimal frustration and only the most basic hand tools. Manufacturing techniques such as CNC routing and laser engraving are being explored to deliver the most “complete” kit possible.”
The team behind the Duo design plans to create compatibility for other lenses and film backs, but as it’s just in the project stages, it depends on the outcome. At the time of writing this material, the kit was available in two editions: the base Duo kit, where you pledge $209 or more – lending you the pleasure of building it, and the Ready-to-use Duo, where you could pledge $649 or more. The last kit will be ready for use, provided that you send the lenses and Polaroid back to the team. Anyway, if you want to get away from the digital world, this is a good way do experiment with photography!