Say hello to Kamra number 1, 2, 3, & 4. After much delays and being on the back burner, all 4 prototypes are ready at test stage. Restarted the building of the kamras mid november after the completion of the bicycle map project. Finally meeting some benchmarks, with the first print few weeks back and the completion of all the prototypes (test stage). the most complex build no.4 was really pushing the boundaries of my woodwork skills, plus the unending rain is making the wood warp quite considerably. it's gonna be a photographic new year, Happy New Year everyone! 

from left; no. 4 wooden box, no. 3 upcycle, no.2 foldie, & no.1 interchangeable



prototype 4; it's not just a wooden box, almost complete! reverse-build #kantaboxcamera #kamraefaoree #afghanboxcamera #reversebuild #camera

PROTOTYPE #4; wooden box

INSIDES; all wooden camera, the most complex and interesting build. just completed the main internal framing, next, some small tweaking, fitting in the rear swinging door before putting in the focusing mono rail #kantaboxcamera #kamraefaoree #afghanboxcamera


Enlarger head tilting

studio 25 antarabangsa; printing darkroom, back in Ampang, doing some test, tilting the enlarger head to do life size prints, calculations on distance, projection size #makingspace #instudio25 #darkroom



finally all printing stock ready, still in boxes, need to cut them down to sizes, do some test and flashing for test printing. photo emulsion chemicals for another art project. only the simple dev & fixer for kanta project

ROLLEI Black Magic
Variable Grade 300ml
Gelatine base 100gr
PN Developer 260ml
Additive Hardener 250ml
Citrin Stop 250ml
FIS Neutral 250ml

Multigrade Developer 1 litre
Rapid Fixer 1 litre

ILFORD negative paper
5x7" RC matte 100 sheets
5x7" Art paper 50 sheets
3.5x5.5" RC gloss 200 sheets

IMAGO positive paper
5x7" RC gloss 50 sheets



prototype #3; upcycled kamra, spherical aqua lens. this version is built using only waste & unwanted material



eight made, fitting lenses on. 2 of the prototypes will be sharing lenses, with interchangeable built into it


Constructing; call this focus train, still work in progress, it is the focusing mechanism for prototype #3; reused kamra



sealed bottles & measures, repurposed expired medical containers for storing concentrate chemicals for mixing 'in-the-field'. for reference; 5ml, 10ml, 70ml, 80ml, 130ml, 160ml, 170ml & 225ml. thanks to suann for her garbage contribution to the project



got my chems from our local film hero, KoonYik Chin. thanks for the empty bottles, they'll come in real handy when these cameras go mobile. check out Bang Bang Geng for local film & photo printing production needs, the new old school

Koon Yit (right) "it's all about promoting photography"

GRINDING; ground glass

today's attempt at making new ground glass. AHH!! broke one while sanding. 2mm piece. maybe attempt a test print with proto #1 with 210mm lense


SUPPLIES; photo printing paper

was in Singapore on personal matters, took the opportunity to get some photo supplies from my old haunt down at Peninsular Plaza. Nice to see familiar faces after more than 5 years

1. rubies :) same faces after all these years!
2. photo printing paper, ilford, not many options, better than none
3. films still readily available
4. photo chemicals, wow still some kodak powders!





Kamra #2; foldie / first print

first attempt at image capture & printing out of box. exposure is too long, light quality is very important, extremely low exposure value about minus three to minus four, which is about the luminosity of a half moon. ISO rating for the paper is about ISO 4 for easier calculations. Still puzzling, figuring out the exposure timing; according to calculations it is a sitting of 3 minutes & 20 seconds for this particular lense. more test needed. 


prototype no.2— fold camera; hello again

1. hello again, time to jump start the project again after all the commotion of the other project
2. light leak, image clear
3. good morning, i see you clearly




ONLINE; looking for photo paper

there's no denying, yes film photography and darkroom printing is still alive! but they're dwindling, supplies and options for paper and film are not that varied or readily anymore. finding them might be a needle in a haystack, dead ends and out-dated sites, local distribution discontinued. just makes the process much more interesting.



8 x 10" base & framing

Master Chan pulls out from his storage a very old, super large format camera, base rails and frames, plus the accordions. His contribution to the project he said. Paid him a fee anyway for the parts. This is going to need alot of restoration and dissection. But what an interesting process it is going to be.


Collected all 8 lens boards from Master Chan! Kanta project Prototype #1 "interchangeable" is about to be realised. 4x4" starting with pinhole 0.4mm, 1mm, 27mm, 31mm, 36mm, 41mm & *60mm (*2 pieces)


KANTA, Making of a lens board

– making of a lense, a window, cut open, torn, ripped out
– section by section, it unfolds, the steel petals peel off
– the light within, the eye that watches, it edges closer, the time is slipping, the opening
– of steel you're not, but veneer, wood with iris see you, of mixed breed you are, vest we see less we be
– and alas, the plate fits, onto this steel eye, that will set forth, the opening to the world, of a moment present, it captures, but a moment of past it will exist
– pennies for the passage, all roads paved with good intentions needs a talisman. coins are the best holder/fixtures to hold the lense plate in place



VIsit to Master Chan, a camera restorer and lens board maker. calculations and measurements with a caliper to the 50th of a millimeter! commissioning seven plates for a variation of lenses. the board will be < 4 x 4 inches (101mm) at a thickness of 1mm ± 0.5 to 1mm for felt.




besi buruk, junk 'recycling' centres. heading to one of these this week to look for containers and fixtures, plus whatever that might come in handy with the mounting.


Prototype no.2; insides

internal framing, holder in place, this is the viewing door, need to put in ground glass plates and we're ready for test printing! but first need to work on the other prototypes too.


WOODWORK; ground glass & negative holder

from left clockwise; grooved wood strips, cut glass, 1st & 2nd attempt, the successful 3rd, the ground glass fitted on groove strips


WOODWORK; holder

woodwork; ground glass & negative holder. trying hard to make this work. been quite frustrating, the 45 degree joints are just not working. manage to work on another approach and after 2 attempts, made one good holder. at the moment figuring out mounting. another challenge!


prototype no.2— fold camera

prototype no.2— fold camera. attaching a fold camera as the lens and focusing element. this is the first prototype built, it has more framing to hold the fold camera. currently building and designing the film plane (negative holder)

WOODWORK; prototype No.4

WOODWORK; prototype No.4 this is by far the most complex build and also the biggest box camera. aproximately 11 x 14 x 20 inch W x H x D. working with unwanted wood takes alot more work and and reconstruction



on theories on printing, as well as some inspiration from the Lukas & Sean, the guys behind the documentation of the Afghan Box Camera, the living art form of photography



— barrel lens, russian made, 210mm with aperture, large format

— Centrop / Bee Bee fold camera, from the 1920s/30s. restored and serviced for use by Master Chan for one of the four prototypes. 100mm lens with shutter No.0




visit the local framer shop for some offcut glass. she was kind enough to cut them down to size. got them at 2mm & 3mm thickness. these will be used as the ground glass.

a crude sample after some sanding down, good enough to get an image. read more about the process of how it's made here 



screws, joints, hinges, latches and brackets, must of any woodwork project, although will try to source old used hinges and latches as well if they;re in working condition



Been doing some woodwork, working out the basic internal framing of the camera, so far there are four prototypes, three of them sharing similar framing and the fourth still not worked out yet.
Picture here some of the internal frame, cut to size from scrap wood from an old kampung house, ceiling bracing. interesting colours and variations.



FLIMSIES- forming the body

Flimsies– "a paper thin metal rectangular box designed to carry liquids. Standard container used by the British standards, they come in assortment of sizes and are more appropriately called oil cans." It is the project's choice to use these cans, as they are widely used for commercial purposes, found easily, and highly reusable. Considering the heritage value and origins of these cans, plus the interesting 'upcycled' versions, from dust pans for sweepers, post box and many more uses. It will form the outer shell of the camera. the project has amassed 7 of these flimsies from various places, biscuit suppliers, cooking oil cans from restaurants, kerosene & thinner from furniture factories. More info on how they're used soon. read more about the build of the camera here http://kantaboxcamera.blogspot.com/p/build.html



testingwith sitter Justin using barrel lense at tilted front lens plane.





ACQUIRE woodwork tools

Acquired some woodwork tools, lined up about 4 prototypes to be build. the jigsaw will really come in handy. just completed the 1st prototype today, only the internal framing, still quite a few calculations but it's looking good. pictures to follow