Simple Compact Slit Camera




Introduction: Simple Compact Slit Camera

About: the a b c approach is not for me .all feedback welcome. thanks for looking. if you would like some assistance or are interested in purchasing something don't be a stranger .

here is my cut and shut camera,it has a slit shutter,and will accept any m42 mount lens,uses 35mm film ,as its wound on, something has to move to get a picture either the subject or the camera.this took a little over a day to make.and wieghs just under 12oz without lens or film.this is a cross between a fed5 (body)a zenit e (42 lensmount)and a spinner dolphin 360(shutter concept)i did consider going for the full 360 functionality but that would increase the materials list, this camera would be easy enough to make again,and to have the ability to make super panoramas with any lens i like on an object that looks the part would be awesome, as it is i guesstimate that it can do 210 degrees on about 60mm of film.(hold the lever and turn the camera)
materials used
a fed 5
part of a zenit e
high strength epoxy
high speed epoxy
contact adhesive
matt black enamel paint

tools used
jewelers drivers
flat driver
sur clip pliers
dremel with composite cutting wheele
angle grinder
hack saw
finishing and fine wet and dry paper
tin snips
center punch
2mm bit
permanent pen
reference camera
small vice
kwik clamps 7 inch

Step 1: Make It Less

the initial remove the knobs and stuff.

Step 2:

Step 3: Rangefinder

well half of it ,the arm and the 2nd prism are missing. the prism that is there has had it.  unscrew the cam lever visible through the lens mount to release rf assembly

Step 4: Speed Selector

the speed selector can be tricky to disassemble,
A. A3 grub screws and then unscrew
B. then unhook the spring.
C. remove the screw that goes through the spindle. then the brass piece will lift off. 
D. remove the selftimer lever reverse thread screw.
E. 4 screws in the front and 2 on the top hold the shutter box,the rest comes apart easily.
F. the only gear needed to remain in is the spindle that stablises the film sprocket  thingy. its secured withe a leaf spring which i replaced with a circlip

Step 5:

Step 6: Compactifikation

remove vinyl leatherette(reusable) and cut the main body parts ,(leave the film cover till the body is reassembled)
i used a hacksaw then a file to get it all to fit snug.
then i filed the front of the zenit camera (a leftover from the uv zenit pinhole project) to fit nice and at the correct height i used another camera for comparison (i have to get the hight right now because i cant fit my ruler through the slit once assembled  .
the slit is under a mm and needs to be as even as possible, the front of the camera needs a bigger slit to allow for lens misalignment.

Step 7: Clamping Is Crucial

little quick clamps really come in handy here. here is the last chance to un wonk anything wonkee

Step 8: Glue?

really good glue , but read the small print it has to be at temperature exactly hot to be hardcore. i ruffed up the to be glued surfaces and took paint off where nesssasssarrry . i mix the glue apply it. then heat the metal so its painfull to the touch. as it gets hot the glue becoms runny so think ahead when applying it. i reheat the metal 3 or 4 times during glue drying more carefully toward the end as it can bubble burn and scorch which is bad news for glueiness

Step 9: Film Cover

strip it of its base fittings and leatherette
cut it and file it. try not to have all the cuts in the same place stagger them i think it helps,.use the assembled body to act as a guide template .

Step 10: Decorative Base Plate Gets a Definate Function.

its a tall ask to get the glue to hold such a small surface of a part that is subjected to a fair amount of handling. by cutting the base plate as differently as possible to create a large overlap gives the glue something to hold onto.

Step 11: Lots of Clamping Required During the Final Structial Gluing Phase

keep an eye on it. mine tried to shift once set the door catches can go back on.

Step 12: Blocking Holes

i used basic quick dry epoxy for this

Step 13: Tidy Top

i cut down the original top cover to fit.drilled new holes for the screws.  a piece of scrap (orange metal)was used above the lens mount, and part of a torch was used to make the winder took better.

Step 14: Blacking Out Behind the Lens

Step 15: Re Skining.

putting the original vinyl back on. light bulb makes in flexible.

Step 16: Insert Own Pun

i used felt to push the film toward the slit and it also helps with light fast ness

Step 17: Finally the Test Roll

i used really naff 200 neg film,
a zenitar fisheye lens
and the indestar
on a couple of shots i actually remembered to focus the lens!
the aperture were quite open , the exposure was several stops too much. .
should really clean and grease the wind mechanism , and i should attempt to blackout the inside edges of the slit.

Step 18: 400 Fuji From Sainsburys

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    9 years ago on Step 18

    What is the point of this camera? Will it create usable images? I'm quite bemused with all the engineering and the end result.


    Reply 9 years ago on Step 18

    flatterd that u call it engineering . what would u call a usable image. whats the point,thats a bit harsh.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice. The camera has got plenty of style too and the finished job looks tidy. Have you got any pics to show us?


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    thanks your too kind. Im just coming to the end of a rotton cold. i promis to get some film in it , the images should be up in a couple of days

    Phil B
    Phil B

    9 years ago on Introduction

    I had a basic Zenit SLR film camera back in the 1970s. The shutter was a focal plane cloth shutter, what you called a slit shutter. It had an accident that was probably my fault. I had to repair the shutter and add some new ribbon to drag the two sections across the back. I used the scan rate of an old TV to calibrate the shutter. A couple of things on that camera were copied from German camera designs out of the 1930s.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    the slit i was referring to, more of a hole than a shutter,the wonder of no moving parts!.
    cloth shutters i find tricky to reassemble ,i managed it once with a kmz zenit start, all the rollers are housed in a cage which all the body sections are attached to.(i got one with serial number xxxxx666) much more all thumbs friendly.
    calibration with a telly sounds ingenious how does that work?
    my zenit c (s for sync flash socket) is like a shadow of my fake leica II, they both like to tear film and have dubious loading methods.

    Phil B
    Phil B

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    A shutter can be calibrated within limits by photographing an old analog TV with a cathode ray tube. It has been a long time since I read about it and tried it, but an analog TV scans 525 lines per second, which I believe is the full screen top to bottom. If you photographed the TV screen at a particular shutter speed, say 1/60th second, the resulting photo would show a portion of the screen illuminated with the screen image and the remainder of the screen black. The black portions are likely to be above and below the section that is illuminated. You examine how much of the screen is illuminated with an image and compare that with how many lines out of 525 should be illuminated at that shutter speed. This is what I remember, but it may not be completely accurate. Here is a link that should help.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    i was previously wondering if there was a method where you didnt have to get film processed ha ha wishful thinking,
    thats a super link really demonstrates the communicative power of drawing.