On and off over the past 7 months I have been working on building a 4x5 monorail camera using 3d printed parts and hardware from Lowes/Home Depot. Last night I finished building the first working version. Today, I present to you the first (as far as I know - if not show me) 3d printed large format camera. This is a prototype, and I will continue to make improvements as I go forward. Be on the lookout for updates. I will post them here.


  • With a lens it weighs ~2.75 pounds (~2.2 pounds without)
  • Front standard movements are only limited by the bellows/lens(swing/tilt).
  • Rear standard currently has no movements.
  • It can extend from ~75mm to ~320mm (the limitation on the long end is the rail, which could be made longer)

I will post updates and pictures I take with it as I go forward!

This World And Others Like It | Drew Nikonowicz

This World And Others Like It investigates the role of the 21st century explorer by combining computer modeling with analogue photographic processes. Drawing upon the language of 19th Century survey images, I question their relationship with current methods of record making.

Thousands of explorable realities exist through rover and probe based imagery, virtual role­playing, and video game software. Within the contemporary wilderness, robots have replaced photographers as mediators producing images completely dislocated from human experience. This suggests that now the sublime landscape is only accessible through the boundaries of technology.




All text and images © Drew Nikonowicz


As I was finishing Joan Fontcuberta’s book Pandora’s Camera a couple days ago, I thought of these four photos. I have a tendency to document moments like these with my 4x5. In fact I am using the same long cable release for all four - a nice little motif shared between all four images is the coiling wire leading towards the camera, and the dark slide from the film holder in my hand.

I do this, I realized, because of my anticipation of nostalgia. In reality, nostalgia is heavily linked to photographs. I explained to a colleague the other day that I often make pictures while I am working on my projects simply so that I have them later in life, even if I (think I) know the photo I am making will never be in the project. There are several other reasons to maintain a flow of images as a photographer, but I will ignore those for now.

I want to have these images because it means that later in my life I will have photographs to be nostalgic about which will remind me of these experiences, and I make them on 4x5 because I believe they will resist disappearing better than the cell phone photos I have of these experiences. In fact I am already nostalgic for that 2014 week I spent in Colorado with my friends.

It’s strange to think about - anticipating nostalgia - but that’s what we are doing when we make a photo of this kind. That photo has less to do with that moment immediately and more to do with reconfiguring that moment later. Of course this is nothing new, but it never hurts to reconsider old ideas.

I also discovered that I always like to be to the right of things - my friends, my backpack, etc.