The Lux is a 3D-printed open-source medium format box camera

by Felix Esser

posted Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 10:19 AM EDT

Building things yourself can be an incredibly satisfying pastime -- be it as mundane as Lego, as sophisticated as a model railroad, or as useful as furniture. For us photographers and photo enthusiasts, the ultimate DIY job of course is a full working camera. There are several DIY camera kits available for purchase out there, such as the Last Camera, or the Lomography Konstruktor.

Others are one-of-a-kind projects that were never meant to be sold or recreated in greater numbers. The Lux is something in-between. It's a 3D-printed 120 medium format camera that comes with the looks of a classic box camera, but it is much more than that. It's also open source, meaning you can download the blueprints and build your own copy, or even improve it.

But here's the most fascinating part about it: instead of a simple mechanical shutter the way classic box cameras used to have, the Lux comes with an actual leaf shutter which is electronically controlled by an Arduino processor. Which in turn means that can, in theory, be programmed to do all kinds of things, the limit being either your imagination or your programming skills.

The Lux is the brainchild of Kevin Kadooka, the creator of the Duo, a wooden DIY TLR camera that even made its way to Kickstarter. With the Lux, however, Kadooka has no such ambitions. Rather, the camera being open source, it is meant to be copied and improved by anyone interested. To that end, Kadooka provides detailed instructions on how to build the camera on his website.

A full gallery of the assembly process of the Lux camera can be found via Kevin's flickr.

A sample image from Kevin Kadooka's Lux

(via DIY Photography)