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Technology Threatens Camera Manufacturers

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Joe Murphy Lens Adapters

Joe Murphy’s 3D printed lens adapters

I found an interesting article today. Photographer Joe Murphy has manufactured his own tilt-shift lens adapter using a 3D printer. I paid over $2,000 for my Canon 24mm tilt-shift lens. I doubt I would have done that if I were able to do what Joe Murphy did. Add to that, the designs are available for anyone to download and use for free.

This brings up issues I was discussing with a friend a few weeks back. 3D printing is very expensive now. When home printers first came into being, they were expensive too. It didn’t take long before the prices dropped to an affordable level. This will happen with 3D printers as well.

What does this mean? Well, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that the average person will be able to manufacture equipment at home for a fraction of the cost of buying it from a large company. I can see this happening with all sorts of things: table ware such as plates and utensils, car parts, belts, and even camera equipment. Imagine you have the misfortune of breaking a piece of your expensive camera lens. No worries, just print a replacement part. Need to add a bottle holder for your gear bag? Whip one out in a flash and add it on. The possibilities are endless.

What’s the bad news?  Camera companies may lose sales because anyone will be able to copy their designs and print them out. Manufacturing jobs may shrink due to lost sales. Granted, the size of printing is limited to the size of the 3D printer, and the material may not be a good as that used by say, Canon, but technology will catch up in that regard too. The future looks quite intriguing.

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About Gina Genis

Hi Friends, I'm a photographer and artist who lives in Washington DC. I have two blogs. The Gina Genis Blog is about art and photography. My new blog, DC Discoveries is dedicated to showing you everything from fashion to art, food to entertainment in all sections of the District. I hope you will take the journey with me. I exhibit my work in museums and galleries across the U.S. I'm included in the permanent collections of the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, the Otto G. Richter Library Special Collections Division of the University of Miami, Hard Rock Casino, Orange County Transit District, IBM, and the Sarah and Adam Markman Collection among others. My series "Window Peeping" was included in OsCene 2010 at the Laguna Art Museum, Truman State University, Fellows of Contemporary Art, Biola University, and solo shows at Gallery 825 and Cypress College. The "June Gloom" series was exhibited in a solo show at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The "Kala" series has been exhibited at MPLS Photo Center, Cypress College, and Gallery 825. "Economy Portraits" was created as an Artist In Residence project at the Huntington Beach Art Center, and was awarded "Best Art Show of 2011" by the OC Weekly. I curated Wide Angle View, an exhibit of 16 international, award-winning photo and multi-media journalists at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art to much critical acclaim. Recent reviews of my work have appeared in the Huffington Post, Art Scene, OC Weekly, Orange County Register, New University, Riviera Magazine, Coast Magazine, Huntington Beach Independent, and appeared on CNN, NBC, ABC, and more. I lead the Gina Genis Photo Workshops where I show beginning and intermediate photographers how to jump to the next level with their work. I also teach online photography courses through The Compelling Image.

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