Camera Mods: Make a Double Faced Camera


EBS (exposing both sides) is fun, but a bit of a hassle. Forget that hassle, and make a two faced camera out of some cheap cameras. But don't make the mistakes I made.

Credits: stratski

A while ago I added a pinhole camera to the back of a regular camera. Thus the Janus 1.0 was born.

Credits: stratski

Encouraged by the succes of this camera, I decided to take it a step further. For Janus 2.0 I would add a proper camera, with a lens and a shutter, to the back of another camera.

Get two cheap ass point-and-shot cameras from your local thrift store.

Cut out a rectangular hole in the back of camera 1.

Remove the door and front cover of camera 2.

Saw off the film compartments and other useless bits of camera 2. Be careful that you don’t saw off the shutter button of the different parts of the shutter itself.

Attach some bits of thread to work the shutter. To fire camera 2, I need to pull up the shutter button (I added a bit of string, but that’s a bit superfluous actually), and then pull on a string attached to the shutter to make it ready to fire (the bottom string in the picture).

Attach camera 2 to the hole in the back of the door of camera 1. I used a kind of kneading cement thingy, but construction kit works as well.

Slap on all the black tape you need to make it light proof.

And there he is. Janus 2.0. Ain’t he pretty?

Credits: stratski

Very nice, but does it work? Well, to be fair: not that great. The whole thing did work, but the redscale pictures were out of focus. The distance between film and lens was clearly off.

Credits: stratski

So, back to the drawing board. I gathered that the film needed to be closer, because I had more of less added the thickness of the door of camera 1 to the distance between film and lens of camera 2. So bring out the hacksaw again, and cut of more of camera 2. I managed to break off camera 2 without damaging it, and then cut of some more plastic.
With a piece of white baking paper (which is matte, but a bit translucent, like the ground glass of a TLR viewfinder) I sort of checked if the image would be sharp while holding camera 2 to the door of camera 1. It wasn’t easy to see, but in the end I decided to take the chance, kit the whole thing together for the second time and create Janus 2.1.

Alas, I managed to screw up the camera even more. This time, not even a semblance of sharpness remained in the redscale. Sure, the results could be considered interesting, it’s not exactly what I was aiming for.

Credits: stratski

So why share this failure with you as a tipster? Well, because failure is educational too. My failed experiment may help you do a better job next time.

For instance, you may choose to actually measure the appropriate distance from lens to film of the camera you want to attach to the back of camera 1, and make sure you saw off the right amount of plastic to compensate for the thickness of the camera door. Or cut out a bigger hole out of the door, so you can sort of insert the entire bit of 2 camera.

Meanwhile, I’ve had enough of Janus 2.x for now.

written by stratski on 2013-05-30 in #gear #tipster #select-type-of-tipster #select-what-this-tipster-is-about #tipster #camera #camera-mod-double-janus-redscale-requested #camera-modification


  1. gndrfck
    gndrfck ·

    Yes, that is rather hard to find the correct distance with free-focus lenses. That's one of the reasons I took smena 8m as a basis to make such a double-faced beast. Smena's lenses could be easily twisted in after test shots. More over it is olso possible to increase the depth of focus with aperture decreasing.

  2. stratski
    stratski ·

    I'm not quite emotionally ready to start sawing into "real" camera's yet, it seems like such a waste... ;-)
    But then again, your pictures are pretty cool (they are what inspired me in the first place), so perhaps I should give it a try anyway.

  3. gndrfck
    gndrfck ·

    @stratski Actually I paid 4USD for each Smena-8m, so it would not be a great wasting even if I failed)

  4. mafiosa
    mafiosa ·

    Thanks for sharing @stratski - it's a brilliant idea and I am confident your continued experimentation will result in a camera that works exactly how you want it too!

  5. lostlittlekid
    lostlittlekid ·

    I'm currently experimenting with this idea too, but I plan to do it where I don't permanently damage any of the cameras at all. You're a very gutsy person to use a saw! Something I could never do :(

  6. ihave2pillows
    ihave2pillows ·

    that's wild!

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