For past 25 years, the French speaking Denis MO toyed with the idea of building his very own 24x36mm reflex camera, completely from scratch, using nothing but his home workshop. Finally at the age of 42, he felt like he had the technical skills and know-how to make his idea a reality.
His goal was to make the camera a completely new design all together. Other than the physical shutter curtain, some ball bearings and a few screws, his camera is a completely unique work of art. Dubbed the “DM flex,” the final camera ended up no bigger than a classic Zenit B.
As Denis began work on the camera, he posted each step, from the initial diagrams to the final product, in a French-speaking photography forum. Due to the positive response to his ambitious project, he recently had the entire project translated into English. We are very thankful for this because it is fascinating to follow his process step by step as he struggles through and eventually overcomes each unique challenge.
Building a camera from scratch comes with a multitude of challenges and as Denis’ post show, each step of its construction turned out to be an arduous task. He overcame many of these challenges by scrutinizing the mechanics of various popular reflex cameras and adapting their workings for his own project.
We highly recommend checking out the English translation of Denis’ process, by clicking HERE, and seeing how he constructed this camera with your own eyes. You can also see some of the beautiful images he shot with it.
Currently, Denis MO is working on a homemade rangefinder camera. You can check out his progress on that HERE, although the site has not yet been translated.