A photograph is a literal snapshot of a moment in time, but often so is the camera. This LEGO disposable camera by nobu_tary reminds us that the real sweet spot for these was from about the late eighties to the early oughts. The builder pretty well captured the sort of the throw away cheap quality these cameras possessed. The lenses were usually plastic, the photo quality questionable but they served in a pinch. One popular use of these was at weddings. A disposable camera was placed at each table and wedding guests were encouraged to snap impromptu pics of themselves. Then once the honeymoon was over, the newlyweds would then develop their photos only to find a record number of butts, boobies, and ding-dongs. It was immature and a complete waste of film if you ask me! Thankfully we all do the same now but on our smartphones like responsible adults.
The Fujifilm X100 Series is an iconic camera line, and builder John Huang has given it an equally iconic LEGO treatment. Curved slope tiles in grey and black give the housing clean edges and lines. A minifigure frying pan makes a great stand-in for the viewfinder selector switch, and a Technic gear forms the shutter speed dial.
As nice as those details are, the viewfinder on this one is really a cut above. It’s also cool to see the lens housing rotated and sitting at a tilted angle; it makes this feel even more like a functional piece of camera equipment. I’m just loving all these 1:1 scale LEGO cameras lately, but this one makes me particularly happy.
LEGO and photography are core interests of most of the Brothers Brick staff – and when they combine we take notice. There’s been a recent trend of super-realistic LEGO camera recreations and today we’re sharing another stellar example. This Olympus OM-1 by David Hensel is just a joy to behold. Built for a contest where only one color was allowed, this monochromatic marvel is full of unusual parts and smart techniques. My favorite feature is the tank treads that form lens housing. Using a 4×4 dome as the lens itself is also unusual for these builds, but it adds just the right curvature to the product shot here. Other standout touches are the ribbed 1×2 brick in the case, the minifigure life preservers as cord straps, and the variety of tires that form the knobs.
You know you’ve nailed the appearance when you still have to take a second look when your model is grouped in with some examples of the actual camera.
I suppose over time this theme could even branch out into more smartphone builds. I’m guilty of using mine for most of my photos these days. Regardless, here’s to hoping that this isn’t the last camera we see, either from David or other builders.
Is there a contest I’m missing or are cameras the popular true-to-life choice for LEGO artists right now? Lately we’ve had a few camera builds, and they’re all too awesome to pass up. This Nikon FG, built by Ming Jin is one that has caught our eye. There is something about the marriage of LEGO and a camera body that works so well. Just enough blockiness and curves at the same time.
You can check out those other cameras I mentioned by viewing our LEGO camera archives.
It is an almost surreal experience for me to see a picture of a camera. My brain thinks, “But how did they take the picture if the camera is in the picture?” Of course, I eventually realize there is more than one camera in the world, but it takes my brain longer than it should to get to that conclusion. It’s a bit slow. To make matters worse, sometimes talented builders like Sheo. craft a detailed camera lookalike out of LEGO bricks. Then my brain has the extra step of realizing that it is not even a picture of a camera taken with another camera and that only one camera was involved in the production of the image. It’s hard being a brain sometimes. This Canon EOS 5D is a spot-on replica, lovingly crafted in 1:1 scale, complete with the image of the LEGO build that the camera just photographed on the screen on the back.
It’s got everything a camera could need, from a removable battery to the various SD cards, as well as the ports for your remote and the cable to upload pictures to your computer (it doesn’t include the remote or cables, sadly, but you can get those on Amazon, I’m sure). The only thing that is not LEGO is the strap, and I’m not sure how that could have been done in purist LEGO style short of braiding countless official strings together. And who has time for that? Custom stickers do wonders here, giving it the authentic Canon feel. Don’t miss the tire embedded in the back for some controls, and some rubber bits for tracks are perfect buttons. All things considered, it’s an amazing reproduction of a camera. Now I want to see a full-size picture of the MOC on the camera’s screen. I bet it’s cool, too. And less confusing for my brain.
More and more these days, I worry about the truth of what I see online. From deepfakes to bot accounts, it feels like nothing can really be trusted anymore. And then…and then…people like Joe Klang make me start doubting reality itself. I mean, look at this Leica M camera. Except it’s not a camera at all, is it? Of course not. It’s made out of LEGO bricks.
It’s the creative part usage that makes this model so realistic. Minifigure weapons connect a length of chain serving as a perfect camera strap, with small rubber tires cinching things up nicely. An X-Pod lid doubles as a lens cap, and a variety of 1×1 tiles mimic the camera housing with just the right level of texture.
At least I know I can take a break from this madness and go and play some classic Atari games. (Or maybe not…)
Builder and photographer Helen Sham built a nostalgic Hasselblad 503CX and made it functional. The only thing it can’t do is take an actual photo (just yet), but it does come with the bells and whistles. This LEGO built camera has parts that can be separated as would the real Hasselblad. It includes a mirror for the viewfinder that will actually give you a reversed image of your frame. There’s a spring-loaded shutter button that gives you a real feeling of releasing the shutter and a running counter, had the camera have actual film in there. I’m more impressed that it only took Helen about 2 hours to put it together with an assortment of 1120 parts.
Some of our younger readers will not remember the experience of scrolling the camera film forward after taking a photograph. Indeed, before the automatic whirring that signalled the end of the film, cameras had little turning levers to manually winding the film back into its protective housing. This LEGO version of an old camera in 1:1 scale was built by Andreas Lenander as a gift for his dad. While it is not a specific model, I did think it was reminiscent of the old Leica cameras with their black and silver bodies, and a selection of turning knobs and switches on top.
The king of awesome little LEGO camera’s must be Chris McVeigh, who also generously shares instructions for his builds on his own website. If you like the camera we highlighted above, you will definitely enjoy Chris’ LEGO Polaroid camera.
A year on from building a remarkably accurate LEGO version of a vintage camera, Milan CMadge does it again with this excellent rendition of a Leica III. The model features brilliant shaping around the top with all those buttons and dials, and nice intricate bits of detail, particularly around the lens.
What might not be immediately apparent from the first photo is the scale of this creation — it’s absolutely enormous! The large-scale allows for the use of black quarter-circle tiles in the creation of the realistic texturing around the camera’s body. To give you a clear idea of quite how big this thing is, check out this fun image…
Some of you may have made similar cameras: they’re not fancy, but they do what they’re designed to do and capture images. Since the requirement is a dark box, they can be made from just about anything.
Ryan H. (eldeeem) proved that by making a pinhole camera from a 2×2 brick. No joke.
That small image the minifig is holding was taken by that very same pinhole camera.
It’s not a conventional creation we typically feature. It’s brilliant, creative, and definitely pushes LEGO as an art form.
We’ve been known to feature a life-sized camera or two on the Brothership over the years, which seems only natural when you consider how much our hobby depends on them for sharing our creations. The latest outstanding entry into the category comes to us from Alex Jones (Orion Pax) who takes on 1983’s NIKON FE 2. The model has everything you’ve come to expect from the always reliable Mr. Jones; accuracy, inventive use of parts and glorious chrome. I think my favorite detail is the printed Jedi Starfighter canopy dish used as the lens, but your results may vary. For a complete selection of photos and information on this model, be sure and check out Orion Pax Designs
Back before digital cameras, if you wanted to see your pictures right away, you needed an instant camera like the ones made by Polaroid. Instagram today owes much of its pseudo-retro aesthetic to the slightly blurry, washed-out photos so many of us who grew up in the 70’s and 80’s took with our Polaroids. Master of real-world objects replicated in LEGO, Chris McVeigh (powerpig) brings us the Polaroid Land Camera 1000.
For even more instant gratification, here’s an animated GIF showing off the excellent functionality that Chris built into his LEGO model:
If you love Chris’ Polaroid, don’t miss the LEGO Polaroid camera by the Arvo Brothers built back in 2007.