This series focuses on those who take the making of pictures a step or two further, creating their own photographic tools.
Lucus Landers, Brooklyn, NY
For years, Brooklyn-based photographer Lucus Landers has been building cameras. Each design serves a distinct purpose whether it’s an instant camera, 4x5 monorail, or the sleek looking B66. Made from brass, the B66 is the first metal camera Landers has built and the photographs it produces are as elegant as the lightweight and compact design.
Roughly the same size as a 35mm SLR, but weighing much less, the B66 accommodates 120 film to produce a 6x6 negative. The design is an entirely screw-less construction, carefully soldered together. Landers began by tracing the body’s shape onto sheets of brass with a jeweler’s saw, and using a series of metal files, trimmed the materials to the correct size. While holding the materials together in a jig, Landers heated the seams with a blowtorch and filled the gaps with silver to create a strong bond. The B66 has a unique back as well, holding the back door closed with magnets instead of a mechanical latch to eliminate seams on the camera’s exterior. With only hand tools to work with, the process was slow and meticulous, taking Landers three weeks to complete.
The lens is a recycled vintage 85mm Agfa lens from the 1940s, which has excellent clarity for a lens of its age. The B66 also supports a flash through the cold shoe and Landers has used it for event photography. The clear and vibrant photographs are rendered in the square format loved by many Holga and Hasselblad users. Landers hopes to turn his camera-making hobby into a profession someday, perhaps other square shooters will be his first customers.