This Guy Made a Video Camera out of an Old-Timey Large Format Camera

zev Hoover and his camera.png
Photographer Zev Hoover turned an old large format bellows camera into a video camera. He explains in his own words on his blog:

"I just completed designing and building an 8×10 large format digital video 
camera, the first in the world that I know of. LargeSense has some interesting
 tests with x-ray sensors (I think?) but this camera can be made for orders of 
magnitude less cost, and I don't think they have yet made a fully working camera. 
I get into how it works in the video below, but essentially its off-axis reimaging of a projected image... I used C4d virtual cameras to model the fields of view of the 
various lenses and ensure that the slider didn't appear in the bottom of the shot, 
even at infinite focus...  you lose some light, but with advances in large aperture 
wide angle lenses (I am using an Irix 15mm f2.4 Firefly) and sensitive cameras 
(a Sony a7s in my case) this sort of camera is now a practical possibility.  it is a bit 
like IMAX, but waaaaay bigger"

He's essentially re-filming what the camera sees and you get this ethereal view of the world. It's really interesting. He says the process does lose about six stops of light, rendering all the un-lit Interior shots full of grain. 

This is the basic set up.

zev hoover front of camera.png
Zev Hoover slider camera.pngZev hoover lens.pngzev hoover white plane image.png
The whole thing is the captured by a Sony A7S with a wide angle lens on it. To compensate for  the video camera capturing the white plane at an angle, it's positioned with 12mm of shift.

Here's the full video with sample footage. 


The whole thing is really fun. It plays into the trend of upgrading old technology. The lenses and set up of those large format cameras are still just as good as they were, the capturing is all that changed. In fact, for many many years, you could take an old 35mm motion picture camera and load it with a modern Kodal Vision stock and get spectacular images. The element that has changed the most is the capture material. Now that we have an abundance of reasonably priced high-quality camera sensors, who knows what we can do with them. Well, Zev Hoover does.