Top 5 Bizarre DIY Cameras Made By Remarkable Photographers

in Photography + Gear


Photography offers a lot of opportunity for you to succeed on your own terms. Photography is more of a lifestyle rather than a job. It can also be a creative avenue to a lot of people. You can be a stock photographer and a wedding photographer. You can be a photojournalist and a child photographer. Some industry experts in various career fields make use of photography to chill out and relish the flexibility it offers. They make images. They capture people’s emotions and expressions which produces a powerful image.

Photography offers an unusual blend of challenges. These remarkable photographers went out to build their own unique cameras that push the limits of their exceptional photograph captured by their creative vision. Here are the five bizarre camera gears built by remarkable photographers.


In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the invention of the camera, Photographer Dennis Manarchy is creating an undoubtedly ambitious project that will show the memories of American culture in 24-foot huge lifelike captured photographs of impressive detail. This huge bizarre camera is 35 feet long, 12 feet in height and 8 feet in width. It uses negatives which were 4.5×6 feet in dimensions and produces images that are 1,000 time more detailed compared to an ordinary digital photo. Check out his interview via here.


A portrait of any person is made only once, so everything needs to be planned out well. – Dennis Manarchy

VIDEO: Inside the Camera


Photographer Darren Samuelson made an extremely large format camera that captures 14×36 inch negatives in great detail. This 70 pounds large format camera was built of red oak and steel together with the whole group of customized film holders capturing stunning panoramic photography. Check out his interview via here.


The minute I get home, I have to start developing. – Darren Samuelson

VIDEO: How It Was Built



Photographer Chris McCaw has been building his own cameras for several years. He made his own large format cameras, applies old silver gelatin paper on the film holder and allows his lens wide open for a prolonged amount of time. The sun then burns into the photo paper since the lens is open for such a long. It then goes to the process of solarization wherein it inverts the image from a negative to a positive. His 8×10″ wheelchair camera includes a 600mm f/3.5 lens which projects a photo around 16×20″. Check out his interview via here.


Building my own camera was a really liberating process as a photographer. Sometimes you get into that rut of having big dreams of owning high-end camera gear. The reality is that if you use your imagination and a practical sense of what you want to accomplish, you can do most anything. – Chris McCaw



Photographer Adam Magyar made an electronic digital slit-scan camera which will produce a fraction of a moment recorded through a 1-pixel wide slit several hundred times per second. All will develop an ultimate photograph covering a specific interval. He developed a program which will manage the scanner with a unique user interface which was enhanced for the project. This enabled him to preview the compositions prior to scanning the sequences. Check out his interview via PDN here.


The events recorded on the right side of the image took place earlier than the ones on the left, also meaning that the people in the photos never existed together in the form shown by the image. So the people in the right-hand side of the image had grown several minutes older by the time the people seen in the left side passed my camera. – Adam Magyar



Photographer John Chiara built a camera like a daguerreotype box camera wherein shooting and executing the darkroom operate together. He crawls inside and out of his camera. When the lens cap was detached, it develops the photo paper while doing adjustments. To process the prints, he works with a plastic sewer pipe. Check out his interview via here.


Usually lenses are symmetrical with the aperture in the center. I have taken mine apart, putting an element behind with the aperture in front, to create a traditional meniscus landscape lens. – John Chiara

VIDEO: Photographic Process

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