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Love film? Two projects modernize old-school photography

Digital cameras are multiplying like crazy, from SLRs to phone-cams, but there are still some who cling to the film process. These projects on Kickstarter aim to bring the two worlds together, but in very different ways.

First is the Lomography smartphone film scanner, which is exactly what it sounds like. It's a little rig that works like a slide scanner, lighting 35mm film from behind and using your smartphone's camera to snap a picture. The digital files all go into a special app, which can be used to manage and share them, or assemble them into movies and panoramas.

For anyone who has a few rolls of 35mm sitting around in drawers, this could be a handy, simple way to digitize the shots, although a professional film scanning system would no doubt do a better job. But for $50, this looks like it does the job well enough, and the app (still in development) will be handy as well.

If you're planning on sticking to the analog side of things, the Duo TLR kit might be of interest. It's a Twin-Lens Reflex (TLR) camera (where there are two lenses and you look down on a big viewfinder from above) that you assemble yourself. It's designed to shoot Polaroid or roll film, though you could conceivably mount a digital sensor instead.

Computer-designed and laser-cut, the device is a beautiful and modern piece of work, though it owes its mechanics to cameras long out of production. You'll have to find your own vintage lens and Polaroid back (the part that holds the film, available on eBay and other sites), but then it becomes a DIY project to create at home what companies like Mamiya made in factories in the 1960s.

There are other TLR kits, like this one, but the Duo is meant to be a real, high-quality camera, not a novelty. It'll cost $200 when it launches, or as a preorder bonus on their Kickstarter campaign.

Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBCNews Digital. His personal website is