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Thread: 4x5 Camera

  1. #1
    Jim Graves Jim Graves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Sacramento, Calif., USA

    4x5 Camera

    Interesting 4x5 ...

    "High quality acrylic" construction and "Future plans include both a 6x12 medium format roll film back and a 4x5 wet plate back."

    [NOTE: The 2d photo below shows the design progression from 1st version on the left through the final version on the right.]

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Jim Graves; 13-Feb-2018 at 05:47.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Re: 4x5 Camera

    I'm continually surprised by how large format just keeps plugging away. Of course what some of these new cameras show is that, there was a price point that had to be hit or people weren't interested. What would be fascinating to know is; if any of the backers/buyers of the various cheaper models move up to more expensive models later? Or just tire-kicking?

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2015
    SooooCal/LA USA

    Re: 4x5 Camera

    I think it's simpler than that, and that is that sheet film cameras are simpler to make... You put a (manufactured) lens & shutter on front, and you slip a CFH in back (no wind mechanism), no electronics, no sensor, no VF, and made without too much assembly from parts from the CNC machine, tap into a "trendy" film market, funding online, and there they go!!!

    (The purple one looks like it came from the 99cent store, from next to the cheap sunglasses, near the (brown) emoji pillows... Hope it's dark in the camera...)

    Steve K

  4. #4
    Between here and there
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Sweden & Germany

    Re: 4x5 Camera

    Prototypes of this camera has been presented on this forum. in the "show your LF camera" thread - search for "Chroma" in that thread. Other than that, I am intrigued but I am not sure of the long term durability of the materials used (but that is not exclusive to this particular camera). In general though, the more, the merrier, I'd say.

    Some of the market is probably people already "in there", looking for a light-weight alternative for hiking, for example. I just wish there was a way to get younger ones in, and especially women photographers.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Hemel Hempstead, UK

    Re: 4x5 Camera

    I like the general look of it (did in the 'show your camera' thread) but I can't see how the focussing/film holder works. There is discussion of magnets, but nothing showing how it's done.


  6. #6
    Corran's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    GA, USA

    Re: 4x5 Camera

    Yes, I was going to mention that he posted this in the DIY forum when he was working on it.

    Out of curiosity I looked at the specs on weight - "Lightweight design with a total weight of 1592g" - that's about 3.5 pounds. That's actually way heavier than I expected for such a camera.

    I'm not interested personally but obviously there are plenty who are since they are approaching 3x the goal. Good luck - always good to see new film buyers.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    La Luz, Albuquerque NM

    Re: 4x5 Camera

    My Chamonix 45N-2 comes in at exactly 1550 grams....
    Peter Collins

    "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it." Song of Songs 8:7

  8. #8

    Re: 4x5 Camera

    Hi, I've just found this thread. The Chroma is mine

    Thanks for the interest and feedback. just to answer a few of the questions;

    The purple versions, like the blue one, have been built as progressively improved designs. My initial build used an off the shelf macro rail, basic traditional front standard and fixed rear. The release version (black) now has independent movements on the front and rise/fall and tilt on the rear standard with integrated focusing. I'm not sure they'd fit in to the 99p store but the point of Chroma is to be an affordable introduction to true technical large format photography. If you would prefer a more traditional looking camera, there are other options.

    With regards to durability, I've had an acrylic unit sitting out in my garden for the last 12 months through all 4 seasons and it's not showing any signs of warping/cracking. I've never done the same test on a traditional wooden camera but I'm also not sure I'd want to risk several thousand pounds either!

    The focusing bed uses an integrated rack/pinion (like the Intrepid) which moves the rail forwards/backwards. Maximum extension is 300mm and minimum (with a recessed board) is 65mm.

    The back of the camera is secured with integrated magnets so it can be rotated simply. The ground glass plate is then also secured into the back with embedded magnets. To fit the film holder you simply remove the ground glass plate, drop the film holder in place (there is rubber integrated into the back for friction) then clip the magnetic ground glass plate back over the top to secure the film holder. I'm currently recording some more detailed videos of the camera functions but the video on my Kickstarter campaign also shows this on an earlier beta build camera.

    The standard back can use 4x5 DDS and Fuji Quickload holders and I'm currently drawing up the required plates to secure 4x5 rollfilm backs too. I've also designed a matching 612 rollfilm along with a 4x5 wet plate back which I'm intending to release after the KS reward cameras are shipped.

    The weight of the camera is probably as low as it can be with the inherent strength and movements offered. In comparison, the standard Toyo 45AX weighs 2630g so is over 50% heavier and costs £1716 with a 4-6 month lead time on B&H.

    Yes, the Chamonix 45N-2 weighs 1550g but it also costs over £1000 so is not something that will encourage new users to large format. I'm not trying to replace a Chamonix/Ebony/Toyo directly but am trying to make Large Format photography affordable, interesting and something that can be approached by new users without being daunted by the thought of spending out £1000 on an unknown (to them) system.


  9. #9

    Re: 4x5 Camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Collins View Post
    My Chamonix 45N-2 comes in at exactly 1550 grams....
    I forgot to add. Whilst your Chamonix is a very nicely made camera, it uses a traditional type front standard without independent controls and has no rear rise/fall. Iím not suggesting my Chroma is the better camera as a result, but at a quarter of the price with more learning opportunities built in I think it is a good proposition.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2001

    Re: 4x5 Camera

    Steve, acrylic is hygroscopic, will take up water from the air. Probably not a problem with y'r camera because the relative humidity is the same on all sides of y'r bits of plastic, but the reason that acrylic sheet makes a very bad aquarium cover. The water side takes up more water than the air side and the sheet warps badly.

    But acrylic is less impact resistant than polycarbonate. Have you considered using polycarbonate instead of acrylic? I mean, both are equally machinable ...

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