Home brew digital camera?

I came up with an idea for a project. I have a old *1913* bellows *pocket camera*. It would be a collectors item..but it's in baad shape. But the optics are fine.

I want to rig up a really simple digital system inside. No complex metering. No exposure time controls. Really just an on/off switch. Exposure would be controlled by the optics already in place.

Does anyone know where I could find a guide to make/modify a digital camera to do something along the line of what I want to do? Or any advice in general.

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LasVegas10 years ago
Your problem here is that the CCD (charge-coupled device), the part that captures the image, would have to be the size of the film used in that camera. They have built devices like that to retrofit profesional 35mm cameras into digital, but they tend to be very expensive. Another alterative would be to move the CCD of a digital camera close enough to the lens as to capture the whole image in a much smaller space. That would defeat the function of the bellows of your camera and would require removal and/or tweeking of the lenses to produce a much closer focal point.
Drackar (author)  LasVegas10 years ago
Hmm. the focus point would be different, but i'm fairly sure I could experiment a little, and use some basic math to figure out where the CCD would need to be fixed.

the real issue is on the software side. I need a fairly decent, *two or three megapixel* CCD, that shoots at a set ISO equivalent, *say 400, something common* with JUST an on-off switch for control. That's the part I don't understand how to make work.

I'm not to worried about the bellows problem. Focus is going to be very hit or miss as it is, without a good deal of practice, and as the only instructions are "eight feet, 2.5 meters" at a stop point on the bellows slider, its going to be pretty much trial and error, anyway.
jtobako LasVegas10 years ago
I was thinking about something like this, but instead of directly registering on the CCD to use a ground glass plate and take the digital picture of that. You could try to insert a lens in front of the CCD to refocus the image on the CCD instead of the film compartment, but then you get to worry about distortion and all that fun.
lemonie10 years ago
See here for cameras from flatbed scanner (search "scanner AND camera":
http://webspace.ringling.edu/~staft/scancam.html
http://www.sentex.net/~mwandel/tech/scanner.html
Ah.... so it is possible. I started to make one of our scanners into a camera, but stopped cause the scanner wasn't being recognized by the computer. I've looked for the drivers and even tried tricking the comp into using others, but all failed :(