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CAMERADACTYL: The Maker and Film Community

(52min, 50MB)

Ethan Moses, creator of the CAMERADACTYL 4×5 Camera, sits down with Bill Manning for a one-on-one interview to discuss his 3D printed camera Kickstarter. They also discuss how the maker community is helping the film community.


The term ‘creator’ has evolved and has expanded out of the general areas of art. We are now seeing people with 3D printers designing things from fun toys to solving world problems, to designing items that make life just a little easier to deal with. It’s people like Ethan that are combining their passion for photography and mixing it with their other passion as a creator. He created the CAMERADACTYL 4×5 camera for many reasons. One of the reasons is giving photographers an affordable option to get  into large format photography without the huge investments it traditionally required.

Image Credit: Denis Muradov

I’ll be honest, I didn’t take this camera seriously at first, the first thing I said to myself, “this thing looks like a toy.” However, in the interview he said, “It’s supposed to be a toy!” It has changed my perspective a bit. I take 4×5 so seriously that I never stopped to think, “Why can’t there be a Holga for 4×5 cameras?” The interesting part of this design, image quality is not entirely determined by the  body. A separate lens can be purchased with a lens board that can be mounted into the CAMERADACTYL. A strong plastic design with professional image quality.

During the interview we discussed many new ideas the maker community is designing for the film community. We are seeing other makers, like Dora Goodman and her ‘Goodman One‘ medium format camera design hitting 3D printers. Additionally, we are seeing designs in the instant film community.

The Kickstarter field is a heartless gauntlet for makers. We see so many great ideas, however not all are successful. We’ve seen Rezivot come up with great ideas  for an instant film back for medium format cameras but, unfortunately, don’t make it across the finish line. This is not the case for CAMERADACTYL. With customized colors and fun bellows fabrics, a photographer can have a truly unique camera that fits their personality. His project has not only been fully funded, but has surpassed its goals!

The 4×5 camera is not the only thing he is working on. He has a book full of ideas and sketches for later projects. He is currently working on designing a 3D printed focal plane shutter. We’re excited to see this design come to fruition and see the new possibilities with this!

Image credits: Denis Muradov

I want to send a personal ‘thank you’ to Ethan and to the maker community and encourage you all to keep designing. Its your creativity that helps the film community continue to grow and make an old photographic medium feel new! If you’re interested in backing CAMERADACTYL, you can visit his Kickstarter and follow him on Instagram.


Music Credit: Johan Lilja – The Improv


Bill Manning View All

Host and Executive Producer for Studio C-41

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