Introduction: Handmade Smallest SLR Camera
Well, this is my great achievement. Building up world’s smallest working model film SLR camera. This camera, built with 90% of Copper and has Shutter, Viewfinder, Flip mirror, Film Cartridge, Cartridge carrier; Film advanced liver, focusable lens, with aperture and two extensional lenses for macro and wide angle. Its size width 56mm and height 30mm (Body only).
No machinery equipment used for this project except hand driller. This is a manual camera so it should be fully in mechanical based working and requires to use tiny screw & springs. The whole camera has around 65 handmade parts except screw, gear, spring.
The Shutter mechanism, works with four shutter blades made by floppy shutter metal and a driver copper shutter blade, copper blade drives all other four aluminum blades for opening and closing when shutter release button pressed. It is a process runs with seven 16 components. Shutter speed is fixed approximately to 1/60-1/90. Overall it measured about 3.3(W)x2(H)cms
Lens hood is made by PVC pipes and has one compound lens, with focusing system and two extensional lenses for Macro and wide angle also. Aperture, it consists four blades, 3 f stops, f points are 10, 6, 4 (not accurate), blade made by unexposed x ray Sheet.
It took 2 years for me to complete this work. Its size is 56mm X 32mm(Body only). And named it as Cu327. Cu – copper and 327- Melting point of lead because, I joined all the copper parts using lead and finally gave it a electroplating.
For film Developing, I built a small darkroom at my home and bought accessories for developing and printing of Black & white film.
Obviously I have to crop the film reel as per my small camera film holder’s size. Its height is about 10mm but it is quite difficult even though I kept provision for film cartridge. I had to drop the idea because film strip should be equal in height to move freely from film cartridge to loader and while trimming there are chances of getting scratches . Also I have enough films, so finally gone for strip films, it is easier to trim and no chance of wasting of films, only thing is after each shot I have to go darkroom and need to replace new unexposed one. If I use film real spindled in cartridge I can take about 20-25 snaps.
To get an 10x8 inches print from 11x10mm negetive film, i have to keep the Enlarger 8 feet far from the baseboard, for the first one i exposed with three different times, like 5 Sec, 20 Sec, and 1 Munit (Shown above). And focus was quite difficult to get sharp image, so finally gone for the smaller sizes.