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DIY Upcycled Camera Light

Seth Strickland

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By Jerome Love

Do you have an old film camera lying around? You may have bought it at a thrift store or antique store to revive your love of the darkroom, but now it has become an awkward dust collector on your knickknack shelf or a strange paper weight. Here is a quick guide to making it a useful desk light! 

DISCLAIMER: This project requires minor wiring. Please consult a licensed electrician if you at all feel uncomfortable working with electricity. 

Things you need:

- An old film camera (SLR’s work the best, but are not        necessary)
- Medium candle socket (candelabra for smaller cameras)
- Lamp wire and plug
- Light bulb
- Epoxy
- Wire strippers
- Small electric drill and drill bit
- Screwdriver
- Gloves
- Eye protection

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If you’re using an SLR camera, remove the lens from the camera body and remove all of the glass and aperture elements completely from the lens so that there hole big enough for your light socket to fit through.

Open the back of the camera and remove the shutter and mirror. Don’t worry if you break this stuff, you’re not going to need it. Now you will want to drill a hole through the bottom of the camera for your wire to go through. Feed wire through this hole and out through front of the camera where the lens attaches. Close the back door. Next you want to wire your light socket with your desired length of wire, here is a great guide for wiring a basic light socket.  

Finally center your light socket so that the now hollow lens fits and epoxy the hickey of the socket to the inside of the camera. Allow the epoxy to set according the packaging and finally reattach your lens to the body. Put a plug on the wire coming out the bottom of the camera, screw in a light bulb of your choice and voila, you have a great up cycled camera light! The same instructions apply for a camera with a non-removable lens, you just have to remove the glass and insides with it attached!

Good luck.

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