Analogue Lifestyle: Canon Paper Model!


Besides Lomo cameras and films, I have another passion -- something to take me away from facing my laptop all day -- it's paper craft!

When I was studying interior architecture and design, making models was part and parcel of our assignments. Starting from concepts to development models, and lastly to the final model of a building or interior space, I have done countless of them – easily hundreds – some which were completed with mock materials, furniture and even lighting fixtures.

While some of my classmates loathe the extra workload, I find myself drawn to them; probably because I really like handling minute stuff and challenging meticulous details. I would choose this over facing the computer software for hours while waiting for it to render. I often joked than I have 6 fingers on my right hand — the 6th is my trusted NT Cutter, which I claimed it to be “the first item I will save if my pencil box was on fire!”

One day, I came across a page on “” with papercraft projects of Canon SLRs and DSLRs, and I thought, “Damn, I really have to do this!” I downloaded the file, and printed it on just 80gsm paper I could only find at home at that time. I started immediately on the 1959 Canonflex; it took me about 4 days to complete (around 3 hours a day).

The details are stunning; the lens can even be detached and reattached! It’s one of the hardest models I’ve attempted, partly tricky because the paper turned a little soggy after all the black ink it absorbed. All photos are shot digitally as I haven’t started shooting in film that time yet.

Anyway, I went on to do other easier paper models in my past time subsequently, as the Canon camera really needed a lot of time and I’ve also started working too. Not until a couple of months later, our department decided to have a staff development project, in which every staff will have to pick one of their past artwork and either re-do or re-improve it.

I saw this as an opportunity to work on the next template — the 1976 Canon AE-1 model! This time, I learned from my experience: firstly, I printed the template in 216 gsm Ivory card, which is sturdier and provides a nice gloss to the design.

Then this time I also printed the template, meant to be printed on A4 size, in A3. Hence I got a 2:1 model, which is bigger, easier to handle and of course more kickass — it’s larger than my DSLR, and can even fit hold my flash unit! But then some parts which required delicate folding are harder to do due to the thicker paper. This one took me 23 hours and 11 minutes.

It might have cost me quite some money for this one but I get a much, much higher quality model, and I am really pleased for myself. However, after keeping it for a couple of weeks I decided to give it away to my friends at a lomo shop (I thought the model will be happier with other cameras, haha).

Now… Bring on the Canon 5D MkII camera model!

written by shuttersentinel17 on 2011-08-26 in #lifestyle #craft #scale #analogue #canon #details #analogue-lifestyle #paper #blade #lomography #model


  1. stratski
    stratski ·

    Haha, the only thing missing is a bit of tin foil inside for the mirror (but then it wouldn't be 100% paper craft anymore.). Are you going to design templates yourself now? I would love to see a paper twin lens reflex...

  2. shuttersentinel17
    shuttersentinel17 ·

    @stratski I would love to but I don't think it's gonna be easy! The details are so amazing, if I managed to replicate one I might as well open my own shop haha. XD

  3. aroninvt
    aroninvt ·

    That is just plain amazing! My eyesight isn't the best and you totally fooled me! It looks so real! I wish I had the time and the patience to do something like that.......

  4. shuttersentinel17
    shuttersentinel17 ·

    @aroninvt Thanks! Maybe it's the lighting I used in photographing them.. But if you'd seen it in person then it's not hard to realize that they're just models!

  5. lilo
    lilo ·

    Fantastic models! Love the look.. The patience it must have taken to make them, wow!

  6. seanbryan
    seanbryan ·

    That's amazing...

  7. sakura23
    sakura23 ·

    Hi sir! I just want to ask how to do the rotating lens, like it's zoom and focus. Please help me! Thankyouuuu =))

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