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Maxim Grew
11-Aug-2014, 13:59
Firstly, sorry for posting this in the wrong section before, hopefully my incompetence at using a forum is not related to my ability to build cameras!

Hello everyone! just looking to get some thoughts and feedback about a 4x5 camera project we hope to launch on kickstarter next month

Details can be found here ---> www.theintrepidcamera.co.uk

The project has essentially been to develop a compact, light weight folding field camera with reasonable movements and bellows extension for a great price. We have been at this for over a year now and are getting really excited to finally be able to share it with people. the system is very modular and we have lots of additions planned if we manage to get funded.

So if you are interested and have time, please check out the website and blog, please also bear in mind that all pictures are of prototypes so things may well be different on the production model.

Hope you're all well!

Max and Eddie

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Steven Tribe
11-Aug-2014, 15:32
Intrepid is rather a fun name for a camera project - which, however, probably is quite suitable for a new design in 2014!

If you post more photographs of details (the image doesn't enlarge well) we might be able to give "thoughts and feedback".

Maxim Grew
11-Aug-2014, 15:42
Intrepid is rather a fun name for a camera project - which, however, probably is quite suitable for a new design in 2014!

If you post more photographs of details (the image doesn't enlarge well) we might be able to give "thoughts and feedback".

Good Point! there are some good images in the blog section of the website but to save people the trouble here are some too

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Dan Fromm
11-Aug-2014, 17:32
The body seems rather deep. What is the camera's minimum extension with and without front rise?

Light Guru
11-Aug-2014, 20:06
The body seems rather deep.

My thoughts also. I don't see any reason why the back part can't be half as deep as it is.

Steven Tribe
12-Aug-2014, 01:31
Sorry, but you are still posting "total views"!

What I would like to see is close up images of fixtures, especially wood/metal joins. I realise this is a prototype and things can't be quite as you had wished it to be - finishwise!

Regular Rod
12-Aug-2014, 02:26
My thoughts also. I don't see any reason why the back part can't be half as deep as it is. It looks to me that the back is deep so it can accommodate the front upright and bellows inside it when folded. As per the photograph on the website.

http://media.tumblr.com/29e75878222db114c39f714251617425/tumblr_inline_n5wcamGRqm1ro4q5k.jpg


If not expensive and not heavy it could be a good introduction to using sheet film. If an 8x10 were to follow and then maybe some a bit larger it could even be a route into LF...

I'd back it on a Kickstarter project!

RR

Maxim Grew
12-Aug-2014, 02:56
It looks to me that the back is deep so it can accommodate the front upright and bellows inside it when folded.
RR

As rod said, thats the reason for the slightly chunky back, We are however looking into ways of making the bellows thinner to reduce the folded size and therefore the required size of the back.

minimum extension has been a problem due to the size of the back, currently you can use a 90mm lens with aprox 30mm rise, its hard to give exact figures for things like that though as its something we are working on and changes from one design to another.

our goal is for the camera to be able to accommodate a good variety of lenses, and the design is going through changes to make sure that happens. what would people think was a good minimum extension?

this picture better illustrates the back when folded

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will grab some close up images today and post them shortly, thanks for the interest so far!

Jim Cole
12-Aug-2014, 11:27
90mm with a few mm of movements is probably a good target for minimum extension on a camera like this. If you can make the bellows thinner and still robust and reduce the thickness of the camera back as you stated, you may be able to hit 75 which would be, I think, really exceptional.

Math
12-Aug-2014, 17:20
In all honesty, it looks as simple as you can make a folding 4x5 field camera. Instead of cleverly redesigning a classic design, you've ended up making it clunkier and simply less robust.

Do I see correctly that it doesn't fold but needs to be taken apart? Is the rack and pinion made out of wood? How are you going to accept graflok backs with a spring back? How do you think you can price this to be a good alternative to simply buying a cheap 4x5 field camera on the second hand market? Is there a way to keep the front standard flat with the back, i.e. using rise without having to eyeball the tilt that might happen from having those on the same control? How can the rack and pinion move inwards when there's a block keeping it from moving any bit in from it's standard position?

New ideas are always welcome, but I think with half a year more designing you can make twice the camera with exactly the same (Or even less= amount of wood, and just some more time cutting, instead of what honestly seems like a cheap copy of a classic folding 4x5 field camera.

Look at current designs, old designs, prototype over and over. It really does seem more like an early prototype than an actually useful camera. Goodluck nonetheless.

BetterSense
12-Aug-2014, 20:16
This sort of reminds me of my own DIY 6x7 view camera, including the 'chunky' back (which makes short lenses impossible) and being disassembled to fold. There are pictures in the DIY thread. Mine is unapologetically an unrefined hacker project, and so appears the intrepid.

The real challenge is always the bellows and in obtaining a large focal length range in a compact camera. I am skeptical that improvement is possible over the century or so of commercial cameras. If you want to do something new, design a good design in CAD that can be entirely cut out of a common sheet of material with a laser or water jet and assembled with glue and commodity hardware. Sell pre-cut kits and open-source the CAD files on github so the community can make refinements. Partner with a waterjet company to accommodate these in a good pricing structure instead of the huge rates usually charged for custom work. Source bellows fabric and sell it precut. That would be a cool project you might make some small money on. If you intend to just make and sell these, good luck.

hoffy
12-Aug-2014, 20:26
Interesting....both the idea and also some of the reactions.

I'm curious to hear the target price point as opposed to if its a camera that does everything.

Maxim Grew
13-Aug-2014, 04:58
some interesting comments thanks guys,

just to answer some of Math's questions, the camera folds on the two struts on the side, you need to loosen the base screws in order to do this but nothing needs to actually be removed from anything if thats what you meant.

The rack and pinion is made from various stock plastic parts for prototyping and in a final version would likely be Nylon.

The price is going to be between 89-119 for the kick-starter (if we feel the camera is good enough to continue with)

there is no mechanical way to keep the front standard flat, however we are planning on using guide lines so it can be eye balled quickly.

If you notice on the picture on Post #7 there are holes that the front standard can be mounted on and then moved forwards from that position, allowing it to cover all positions.


Better Sense, we have been looking into the idea of a Kit since the start of this and are weighing up the pros and cons of offering one, the camera is as you rightly noticed made entirely from laser cut 6mm birch Ply and a hand full of stock components. the bellows are also made using a laser cutter.

The main objective of this project is to offer a camera that is an affordable base to start getting into 4x5 and also has affordable and easily obtainable accessories, like different backs ie. DSLR adapters and Graflock. I think with some more time and refinement we could get there,

Useful feed back so thanks for that!

hoffy
13-Aug-2014, 20:20
I'll preface this and say I'm new to sheet film, so take this with a pinch of salt....

It sounds like an excellent idea, especially at that price point. It could be a logical next step from experimenting with pinhole, or similar.

hoffner
14-Aug-2014, 01:01
there is no mechanical way to keep the front standard flat, however we are planning on using guide lines so it can be eye balled quickly.


The main objective of this project is to offer a camera that is an affordable base to start getting into 4x5 and also has affordable and easily obtainable accessories, like different backs ie. DSLR adapters and Graflock.

In general, digital backs or even DSLR cameras on a view camera require very precise movements on mechanically very precise cameras. Eye balling something is simply not enough. Your camera does not even have geared movements. How about that?

Regular Rod
14-Aug-2014, 01:52
I do hope all the nay saying is not putting you off. Most of the blather about movements is posturing anyway. Not many folk use them even when they have an abundance of them. Your pricing is attractive. The camera looks good enough to use. You might want to work on the knobs a bit to make them look less crude. Apart from that, if it is quick to set up in the field and doesn't weigh a lot it will be a fine outdoors camera. Make sure the materials can withstand the rain...

RR

hoffner
14-Aug-2014, 04:23
. Most of the blather about movements is posturing anyway. Not many folk use them even when they have an abundance of them.

RR

I wish it was so easy. Unfortunately, making standards plan parallel is a movement you have to use on a view camera, like it or not. And this movement is even of grater importance when using digital backs than it is for film. You don't need any abundance of movements to make standards plan parallel but you need their precision. One thing is to tout use of digital backs, another is to allow their precise use mechanically. So much for the blather.

Maxim Grew
14-Aug-2014, 09:41
I wish it was so easy. Unfortunately, making standards plan parallel is a movement you have to use on a view camera, like it or not. And this movement is even of grater importance when using digital backs than it is for film. You don't need any abundance of movements to make standards plan parallel but you need their precision. One thing is to tout use of digital backs, another is to allow their precise use mechanically. So much for the blather.

I mentioned the digital back as something we would hope to offer in the future, we will take on board your knowledge so thanks for that! however current (early) experiments are showing that at longer focal lengths having the board parallel is working fairly well but i can see problems emerging when we try something like 75mm without bag bellows.

and thanks for the encouragement RR, greatly appreciated! will be trying to neaten the knobs up in the next prototype!

once again thanks for the feedback so far, it all helps!

Ari
14-Aug-2014, 10:38
I think for the price mentioned, this would be an excellent starter camera.
I'd suggest ensuring that, despite the low cost, it should still lock down tightly and be reasonably rigid.
Also, having user-replaceable parts (such as the plastic gearing) would be a welcome idea.
As long as one can expect to get the desired results without it being a frustrating experience, there's no reason not to consider this as a good entry-level portable LF camera.

hoffner
14-Aug-2014, 12:06
I mentioned the digital back as something we would hope to offer in the future, we will take on board your knowledge so thanks for that! however current (early) experiments are showing that at longer focal lengths having the board parallel is working fairly well but i can see problems emerging when we try something like 75mm without bag bellows.

and thanks for the encouragement RR, greatly appreciated! will be trying to neaten the knobs up in the next prototype!

once again thanks for the feedback so far, it all helps!

Maxim,
I have even a better proposition - simply forget about proposing it as a camera for digital backs. Like that you avoid nasty criticism of disappointed customers and will be true to the camera's purpose -a beginners introduction tool. That's enough of a vocation for the baby.

Maxim Grew
14-Aug-2014, 15:24
Maxim,
I have even a better proposition - simply forget about proposing it as a camera for digital backs. Like that you avoid nasty criticism of disappointed customers and will be true to the camera's purpose -a beginners introduction tool. That's enough of a vocation for the baby.

yeah you're quite right, primarily it is just a 4x5 camera for sheet film, mentioned the Digital back as a possible later development, maybe I shouldn't have!

Maxim Grew
24-Aug-2014, 01:57
If people are interested, we now have a Facebook page for the camera :)

https://www.facebook.com/theintrepidcameraco