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Five-foot tall camera takes 30-foot snaps

An amateur photographer from San Francisco has built a huge camera that takes snaps that stay sharp at 30-foot across.

Good luck taking this snapper along on a night out.

This giant camera stands five-foot tall, six-foot long, weighs five stone, and takes 15 minutes to set up. But the snaps it produces remain pin-sharp even when blown up to 30 foot long, according to its creator, amateur snapper Darren Samuelson, reports the Daily Mail.

And perhaps unsurprisingly, he's from America.

"It's a beast of a camera," he told Popular Science. "The total cost is around $2,300 (£1,450), but when you look at the end results, you certainly can't put a price on it." He seems to have managed though.

The camera uses three-feet long X-ray sheets for film. It took Samuelson seven months to make, using a computer-aided design program. And taking a picture isn't quite as simple as pressing the shutter and saying cheese.

First you have to line up the shot by letting light in through the front lens --  a 1210mm Nikon Nikkor. When you're happy with how the shot will look, you take the light level, then insert one of the three-feet sheets of X-ray film. Exposures for black and white snaps take between 10 and 15 seconds. To focus, slide either end of the camera on rails.

Samuelson develops the snaps in a custom-built dark room at his house. Also in there are electric pumps to suck the chemicals back into their containers. It's bonkers.

We can't see it hitting your local camera shop anytime soon, but as far as crackers inventions go, it's up there with the best of them. Darren Samuelson, CNET UK salutes you.