Turning scanners into homebrew digital cameras
Michael Golembewski is a hardware hacking photographer who turns modified flatbed scanners into build homebrew, large-format digital cameras. His gallery of shots is lovely and eerie, and the build-notes for his cameras are fascinating.
The scanner camera that I'm using right now uses the frame of an old Horseman 450L monorail 4x5 camera, which I purchased secondhand with the support of the Audi Design Foundation. The scanning back is an extensively modified Canon LIDE 20, from which I have reomved the lamp, pinhole lens assembly, and CIS sensor housing. I've made the scanner light-tight using duct tape and putty, covered with a hefty dose of black spraypaint. It might look crude, but it works very nicely. I've attached a modified lens board directly onto the scanner, so it can easily be connected to the Horseman. The lens board attachment holds the scanner optics at the same level as a ground glass plate. This allows me to compose and focus shots on the ground glass, instead of with preview scans - it's much faster. I have two lenses that I use with this model - a Kompur lens from 1915, and a found 8x10 enlarger lens.