The KDS-POTO2 — An Incredible DIY Interchangeable Lens Camera

A Japanese design studio has created a DIY camera out of laser cut plastic and parts salvaged from old gear.

Have you ever wondered what it would take to build your own camera — from design up to a complete, working model? Members of a Japanese design group called kit da studio have done just that with a camera they’ve built called the KDS-POTO2. The design process is incredibly detailed, and it’s an intensely interesting build. They start with notebooks full of possible designs and mechanisms for how to make what ends up being a very advanced final design. How advanced? Interchangeable lenses, interchangeable camera backs for different film types, bulb and normal shutter modes, and a frame counter. In a plastic DIY camera. One of their biggest design challenges was creating a ratcheting film advance system so that the film doesn’t unwind while shooting.

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After the design, the pieces were laser cut (and the plans uploaded free online) so that you can get them lazered online or at a friendly local place, and start building your own. However, a couple of pieces needed to be obtained from other sources: a small spring to keep gears taught, a lens salvaged from a Konica WaiWai disposable camera and attached to a new back, and a shutterplate taken from a Holga.

So, after all the design, assembling and gluing, how do the photos look? Awesome enough to make any Lomo fan insanely jealous.

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