FrankenCamera: Digital camera with a vintage Konica Auto S3 rangefinder

vintage handmade camera

It sounds a tedious task to first dissemble a digital and a vintage camera to assemble them both into one functional device that features an old 70s rangefinder with manual focus and a digital sensor. The award is a nostalgic analogue feel with digital experience.


An 18-year old student, an OIxford physics major, created a stunning camera, which he has named FrankenCamera, by combining a vintage Konica Auto S3 rangefinder and a digital sensor from Sony NEX-5 mirrorless camera.
diy vintage camera

The whole process required a complex task of adjusting new circuitry in the available frame, for which Ollie 3D printed a new board (Back).

ollie frankencamera

On this new plate he shifted NEX-5 components with a lot of Solidworks; the circuit board, sensor, SD card slot, and battery connector etc. This new device doesn’t have a predetermined shutter speed but will take a photo as long as the shutter is pressed.

konica rangefinder

About FrankenCamera project Ollie mentions on his blog:

About a year ago I was awarded a generous amount of money from the Arkwright scholarship fund with which I decided to take a good old film camera and ‘digitise it’ using components taken out of the smallest digital camera I could find with a reasonably sized sensor, the Sony NEX-5. The analog camera I chose was the Konica Auto S3 rangefinder because it has a stellar fixed 38mm f1.8 lens with an unobtrusive internal leaf shutter. The viewfinder is very clear and being a rangefinder is easily adjustable for use with a different focal plane.

diy camera

ollie oxford

Ollie even designed a new On/Off mechanism to replace the old one. It’ll be a lot to rewrite the complete process behind the making of this unique camera, so it’s better you read it on Ollie’s blog FrankenCamera.

franken camera


Via: TechnaBob



Madan has been writing about eco-friendly gadgets and technologies for over 5 years now. He has an inclination for all things green and wonderful. He is a local social activist with a global vision. When not writing, Madan can be seen capturing the best of urban wildlife in his DSLR lens.

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