Ever wanted to shoot a film like those from the era when Hollywood shot on Arriflex… then find yourself hit in the face by the astronomical price of film? Electronics engineer Blaž Semprimožnik might have a solution for you.
Semprimožnik has created a movie camera that shoots rolls of 35mm film, and can provide you with up to a minute of footage when shooting at 18 frames per second. Even better, this camera is able to take color or black-and-white rolls and shoot short films, time-lapse, or even single frames of 35mm. And the icing on the cake? It has a built-in scanning capability. All in one camera!
• Want to shoot film more conventionally? Check out the best film cameras
The camera was invented to be a low-cost way to shoot and scan 35mm films, and in his YouTube video (below) Semprimožnik says: "A couple of years ago I have been occasionally shooting 35mm films with point-and-shoot still cameras while also having the desire to shoot motion picture films.
"Upon reviewing my options, the best way would be to do it with Super8 film, but after financial considerations I concluded that it would be very costly in the long run, since shooting just one standard 50-foot cartridge wouldn’t be enough for me. Purchasing, developing, and digitalizing costs for just one would be over €100 [around $110 / £100 / AU$190]!"
After weighing his options for a better solution, Blaž started from scratch: designing, printing, and building a functional analog movie camera that could use low-cost 35mm film cartridges. The Okto35 was born!
This Geneva-mechanism camera uses a majority of 3D-printed parts including a guide plane, take-up drum, motorized C-mount shifter (which enables film track exposure to be selected using a built-in solenoid light shutter), and a housing with support for interchangeable lenses, along with a DC motor.
Semprimožnik explains how the process works: "A user-friendly GUI with a simple menu system navigation using a joystick button and four different modes of operation: Movie, Photo, Time-Lapse, Scanner, and a system that gathers and processes all data and displays it to the user such as measured exposure values, remaining recording time, current/saved settings, et cetera.
"Nearing the end of coding, many other useful features were added like a timer, recording button modes, and a visual / audible warning system. Programming was done in C language in the STM32 IDE environment."
If any of that means anything to you, then you might be able to build your own using Semprimožnik's instructions. In any case, the experiment from Semprimožnik shows that there are ways to be able to shoot movies on film without it costing the Earth!
If your credit card is feeling brave, check out the best 35mm film to scratch your analog itch. And if you're a little less old school, take a look at the best cameras for video using today's tech, and the best hybrid cameras for stills and movies.