How to build a medium format film camera with a digital back? A hybrid model by Takuma Ikeda

One day during scrolling over our Dora Goodman Cameras Facebook Group I found some interestig photos about a Goodman One camera built by one of our followers. It was a hybrid model, a Goodman One using a digital back.

I was amazed by its complexity and elegant, detailed implementation.

We are always planning to create a setup like this, but so far never finished it, so seeing my desire come to live gave me something special.

I immediately contacted Takuma Ikeda, the designer of this creature, and ask him about the details. If you are interested in a 3D printed medium format film camera with a digital back, then go ahead and read his story below.

Tell us about yourself first! What made you get into photography?

When I was a high school student I went and did a homestay in Australia. I took some pictures and developed an interest in photography. As a child I liked DIY, but Goodman One Camera is the first camera I've ever built.

What is your preferred photography style and subjects to shoot?

I love shooting portraits, I also like fashion and still life photography. With Goodman One Camera I'd like to shoot street photography.

How did you find Dora Goodman, and what made you decide to take the leap? 

I found her on Instagram a few years ago. I really liked her beautiful wooden camera. Later I heard that she started the project of some 3D print open source cameras.

Which model did you choose and why?

Goodman One Camera. I like the design, it looks simple but beautiful.

What kind of changes did you make with the camera? Tell us about your digital back solution! What was your motivation behind it? How did you modify the files? How difficult was it?

I wanted a camera with a medium format digital back that was compact, silent and with less shutter shock, to shoot street photography. Goodman One Camera meets all of these conditions and it also has a beautiful and elegant design.

I made 2 main changes:

- first I created an adapter for the digital back and I cut out a part of the back plate (M3 Version), so it wouldn't interfere with the digital back.

- I built a 120mm film size adapter for the digital back. I chose hardwood for its strength. I cut the metal hooks from brass and it took me a lot of time. I made everything by hand.

What was the most challenging part of building your own camera?

I wanted a hybrid camera, so probably building the adapter for the digital back was the most challenging part. Another very difficult thing was visualising the structural design of the digital back adapter.

How would you compare this journey to buying a ready made camera?

It's way more satisfactory to build a camera than to buy one. The main difference is that, having built it, now I know the structure very well so I can customise and repair it myself.

Do you have any advice for first time camera builders?

Visualising and drawing the concept of the camera are very important things, but most important of all is to have fun.

Shots from Takuma Ikeda's unique Goodman Zone

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