These open-source medium format cameras are 3D-printed

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In the last five years, Dora Goodman has gone from creating hand-crafted adornments and making modifications to existing classic cameras to offering original open-source, 3D-printed analog cameras. In 2016, PetaPixel interviewed Goodman about her incredible hand-crafted custom classic cameras. Since then, Goodman has moved toward open-source, 3D-printed analog cameras.

On her website, you’ll find a variety of creations from Goodman and her team, including the 3D-printed, customizable Goodman Zone Camera. This camera was originally launched in 2019 and is available open source and directly from Goodman. Having spent years tracking down affordable medium format analog cameras in good condition for her customizations, Goodman knows full well how difficult it can be. The Goodman Zone Camera furthers her goal of providing everyone the chance to try medium format photography at affordable, accessible prices.

Goodman Zone camera

Speaking to PetaPixel, Goodman says of the Zone and its ongoing development, ‘…we are always developing the Zone, we launched a lot of small accessories, and in the last few months, the biggest development was a helical lens adapter with ground glass (also 3D printed) that makes it possible to attach a wider variety of lenses now to the Zone. Also now in January we are launching the Goodman 6×6 Magazine, a 3D printed back that fits our Zone, so from now it will have an alternative to the Mamiya RB67 back.’

Shifting the business toward 3D printing has allowed Goodman and her team to be able to design solutions to problems, rather than hunt for rare and sometimes nonexistent parts. This also keeps the product development process more efficient, allowing for continuous upgrades and a flexible, open-source system. Utilizing 3D printing also keeps costs down, which further Goodman’s original goal of making medium format photography accessible.

Customers can either download files to 3D print their own camera or order all the parts already printed from Goodman. The company recently gave users the option to pay extra to receive a pre-assembled camera as well.

Looking at the Zone camera, users can either download and print the requisite files on their own, for free, or purchase the parts to build their own or order pre-built cameras from Goodman. The ability to purchase an assembled camera is a new option. The Goodman Zone starts at $113.40 USD (on sale, the regular price starts at $162). The Zone is currently compatible with the RB67 magazine (Pro S) and Mamiya Press lenses, although adapters allowing the use of a wider variety of lenses are in the works.

Goodman also offers a 3D printed pinhole camera, the Scura. Like the Zone, it’s open source. The Scura is available in 35mm and 6×6 formats. The camera has a curved back, allowing light to reach the film evenly and reduce distortion. Of the Scura, Goodman tells PetaPixel, ‘It is a fun yet powerful pocket camera for capturing moments. A camera with a simple, easily manageable mechanism and minimalist design.’ The Scura 35mm starts at $65 (regularly $93) and the 6×6 version starts at $73.50 (regularly $105).

Goodman Scura

Looking forward to the rest of 2021, Goodman says that the company’s goal is to build upon the Goodman Zone body and create custom cameras. Customers frequently request entire setups, removing the need to track down backs and lenses, and photographers want special bells and whistles. Goodman and her team have already made some custom cameras, and they look fantastic. You can view them at PetaPixel.

Existing Goodman camera customers have taken to creating many interesting cameras on their own as well. For example, Takuma Ikeda combined a Goodman One with a digital medium format back. Another photographer, John, began building cameras in 2017 to photograph the solar eclipse. As a software engineer, John has some ideas for accessories he can design for use with his Goodman Zone, including an Arduino-based light meter. To read more stories about photographers using Goodman cameras, click here.

If you’d like to view images captured with Goodman cameras, including a variety captured by Goodman herself, visit this dedicated gallery. You can also follow Dora Goodman on Instagram. Her Instagram page shows off custom cameras, behind the scenes shots, and her own photography.





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