DIY: Bellows camera and tiny digital picture frame converted into digital projector
posted Monday, July 8, 2013 at 11:25 AM EST
You've probably seen those chintzy little digital photo frames all over the place. With a 1.5-inch screen, you use it as a keychain to show off a handful of photos of your kids, and you can pick them up cheap from your local drugstore or online retailer (something like this). But one photographer did something very different with one such picture frame keychain, marrying it to an old bellows camera to make a Frankensteined projector.
Karl E. Wenzel took one of those cheap little frames, and stripped it apart, swapping the original illumination source for a 5w LED. Then he mounted the whole rig in an old Zeiss Ikon with a Dominar Anastigmat 105mm, F/4.5 lens, creating a portable projection system. The contraption has a built-in focusing mechanism and a very cool looking retro housing.
It would be even cooler if Wenzel managed to fit the system together without needing the gap and wiring hanging out the back. But, as it stands, it's a very interesting and original use of a couple of pieces of hardware that might not have been doing anything useful otherwise. Old bellows cameras can be found for pretty cheap in second hand and junk shops the world over. LCD keychains, meanwhile, will only set you back a couple of bucks — but hacking them together like this takes some innovative skills.