Handmade Smallest SLR Camera





Introduction: Handmade Smallest SLR Camera

About: Passionately Tinker and Hacker.

 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.

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    62 Discussions

    Hi r u selling this item? If so can u pls contact me thnx

    WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Grateful thanks to all my voters and well-wishers...

    Great job man really nice work from one photographer to another. next time try documenting your work from beginning to end, so some of us can get an idea how to build one ourselves. You have inspired me to try and make one of my own,
    thanks for sharing!

    amazing, tho not the most amazing working miniature I've ever seen. twp things come to mind, working quarter scale firearms, and exact, working, 1 24 th scale replicas of famous cars, also fitted with hidden remote control servos. I'm talking scale replicas of the engines, that run! The only things that had to be changed for them to work was the guy that did them had to invent a new kind of spark plug, and of course use a more readily vaporizing fuel, like normally used in scale model engines. Still, this is great work... though hardly very useful. If you really want to mess with some minds, get Tri-x pan film, and shoot pictures under very low light conditions. Then use a slow hydrogen peroxide push to make them come out. (You can get the info on that from Kodak) You won't believe how little light is required with that system.

    1 reply

    You should try a high rez film - depending on the camera - lens etc - you should see much better result in your print.

    High rez film - a standard 35mm negative shot with a 2.8 lens produced a 9 meter x 15 meter photograph with little noise. Samples of the scan from the 9x15 meter image are online. even with the scan the noise factor is way down. thats pretty incredible - agreed.

    Here is the whole image and a detail of the image. Scanned at 4000dpi - notice you can see the spokes clearly.
    consider what i mention - the scan is going to add some noise, so imagine what the photograph would be like straight to photo via darkroom.

    anyway - consider a high pro film for your mini camera - depending on the lens - you should get a great image using a bettergrade film.

    2 replies

    Thanks dear..........

    The thing is im living in India, these kind of B&W Films, Chemicals, Papers etc... are not available here, i need to import it from Europe countries, and its quite expensive also. I wont avoid B&W film photography until manufacturer stops its production.

    Thanks for your tips, i will try this next time.

    They are not available in the US either - we have to import them as well.

    and they are not that expensive - only 3 or 4 dollars a roll or 134 to 179 INR per roll.

    you can get kits for the whole thing - 3 or 4 rolls plus developing chemicals for aroun $15usd or 673 INR

    anyhow - looks like a cool camera

    How do you make all the different shaped parts with just a hand driller? What stock do you start with?



    This isn't an instructable, this is just the creator showing off his creation...

    Don't get me wrong, this is a lovely SLR camera, but I'd like to be able to build the things I see on Instructables.

    6 replies

    I have to say...even if this project was perfectly documented, I doubt I could build this.

    Sometimes instructables is here to make us go "WOW!" and be inspired to do our own impossible thing.

    Aaaaggggh. For the love of god, make the plans available, either for free or sale!! :D