Meet the photographer who steampunks her own exquisite cameras

dora goodman gives retro cameras new life voigtlander bessa ii
Dora Goodman, with her modified Voigtlander Bessa II with marquetry work. Dora Goodman
Antique cameras don’t just collect dust when Dora Goodman gets ahold of them. Vintage cameras get a new chance to capture life after Goodman updates them with wood, porcelain, and gold – that’s when she’s not producing computer game trailers at her day job.

She also handcrafts camera bodies from scratch. Her first prototype took more than a year, according to PetaPixel. She’s currently working on her second and said she hopes it won’t take as long. Goodman documents her analog work using the very digital medium of social media, namely Instagram and Tumblr, where she posts beautiful images of not only her gear, but of what comes out of them. That’s right, Goodman’s cameras aren’t just decorative, they are highly functional too.


To Goodman, who is based in Budapest, Hungary, cameras are as artful as the images they create.

“Working on cameras, taking and develop pictures is my meditation,” Goodman told Japan Camera Hunter.

From start to finish, a single refurbished camera could take up to two weeks to make. The process starts with the hunt for a decent analog camera that has “clean lenses and fine clockwork,” she told PetaPixel, before disassembling the machine.

“The rest of the work is days of cutting and grinding, [gluing] and drying, and then grinding again…Pretty time-consuming but totally worth it,” Goodman said.

When asked what is her favorite camera to modify, she told Japan Camera Hunger, “A little marquetry work on a Voigtlander Bessa II, cover a Leica M7 with wood and gold, put some porcelain on a Rollei 35.”

Camera design and restoration isn’t a cheap hobby. Despite the expense, however, Goodman doesn’t want to sell her cameras.

“It takes [your] money slowly. Because of the prototypes and the mistakes and all the small parts,” Goodman told PetaPixel. “It takes so much time and work to make a camera, so at the end of the process I can’t ever imagine selling them. I’m currently working on a new camera that I’m planning to lend to a friend of mine for using/testing… maybe owning it.”

Goodman encourages DIY artists to be steadfast in their pursuits.

“If you are passionate about something and you have the persistence about your project, you will get there,” Goodman said.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

'Stranger Things' season 3 teaser reveals the new episodes' titles

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.

Photography News: Startup redesigns tripod heads ‘inside out’ for more flexibility

Well, this doesn't look like the ball heads that we've seen before. Instead of designing a tripod ball head with a small cutout, the Colorado Tripod Company created one with most of the ball exposed, allowing for more possible angles.

MIT science photographer isn’t an artist, but her work could fill galleries

Felice Frankel is an award-winning photographer, but she doesn't consider herself an artist. As a science photographer, she has been helping researchers better communicate their ideas for nearly three decades with eye-catching imagery.

Leica targets street photographers with a pricey camera bundle

Described by the camera company as "your perfect companion in the city," Leica's Street Kit comprises a Leica CL camera body, a 23mm (35mm full-frame equivalent) F2 lens, batteries, a handgrip, and a black leather carrying strap.
Product Review

Meet Z6, the breakout star in Nikon's new mirrorless lineup

The Nikon Z6 is the sibling to the new mirrorless Z7 -- but for some photographers, the cheaper Z6 may be the better option. Read where the $2,000 camera beats the $3,400 one (and where it doesn’t) in our Nikon Z6 review.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.
Social Media

#ThrowbackThursday is only the start: Instagram hashtags for every day of the week

Not getting your hashtag fill with #ThrowbackThursday or #ManCrushMonday? Here's a list of some of the more popular Instagram hashtags, so you can outfit your next post with the proper tag, regardless of what day it is.

From DSLRs to mirrorless, these are the best cameras you can buy right now

From entry-level models to full-frame flagships, many cameras take great photos and video. The best digital cameras, however, push the industry forward with innovative sensors and improved usability, among other things. Here are our…

Photographers can now customize the layout of Lightroom Classic controls

Tired of scrolling past Lightroom tools that you don't use? Adobe Lightroom Classic now allows users to reorganize the Develop panel. The update comes along with new sharing options in Lightroom CC, and updates to the mobile Lightroom app.
Social Media

Instagram could be making a special type of account for influencers

Instagram influencers fall somewhere between a business profile and a typical Instagram, so the company is working on developing a type of account just for creators. The new account type would give creators more access to analytical data.