LUX, the First Open Source do-it-yourself Camera


Among DIY‘ers and tinkerers, Kevin Kadooka is a well-known camera-guru capable of crafting a functioning camera out of several defective ones of different types. He is Dr. Frankenstein among photo-tinkerers, in a way. 😉 While he had to salvage old cameras during his latest creations or relied on second-hand parts, he wanted to design a camera consisting of 100% self-made and generic parts in the course of his latest project. The result of his arduous work is Lux, the first open source 6×6 medium format camera.


© Kevin Kadooka


© Kevin Kadooka

Lux is equipped with a 65mm f5.6 lens (35mm full frame equivalent), consisting of a single glass element, and a leaf shutter that allows for exposure times between 1 second and 1/125 of a second. In order to shoot photos, Lux makes use of standard 120 type roll film. For the curious ones, pictures made with the open source camera look like this:
Lux - First RollLux - First RollLux - First RollLux - First Roll

© Kevin Kadooka

Not too bad, right? Well, Kadooka himself is not 100% satisfied. His three major points of criticism are the hard-to-reach battery (you would have to disassemble the camera…), the small, difficult-to-use viewfinder and the relatively long shortest exposure time of 1/125. Still, I think it’s impressive what Kadooka did here.

Want to dabble in DIY as well? Here’s the list with the required parts and an instruction guide. Good luck! 😉

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