After a few months labor, I am glad to introduce Chamonix Whole Plate camera here to our members.
This project started a few months ago as a custom made one camera order. Then it grows. We have been working on this project with strong interest and useful suggestions from many people in this forum. I am very grateful for all this. But special thanks have to go to Sal. Without his relentless pursuit of perfection and fastidious attention to details, this WP camera may come out a little bit earlier, but definitely not be as good as it should be.
The design principle is very simple: to make a very light weight and compact, yet very rigid wooden whole plate camera for those few backpackers who just love that format and stubbornly refuse to use a whole plate reducing back with their 8x10 cameras. This is a very small group of photographers. Canadian maple and dark walnut will used together with aluminum and carbon fiber to make this elegant and functional but not lavish camera.
Here are the meat:
1. Our WP camera will be based on Chamonix 5x8 and will be very rigid reversible back design.
2. Back designed to accept Lotus/Chamonix and Fotoman holders (T=0.260 inch).
3. Exposed film area in Chamonix holders will match exactly size/location of Chamonix camera viewing screen.
4. Fresnel viewing screen. No cut corners or grid/markings on screen or cover glass for Sal's WP camera. Chamonix reserves the right to make screens with grid/markings and cut corners for other WP cameras.
5. Mat black paint will be used on inside edges of frame to prevent reflections along screen edges.
6. Viewing screen protector interchangeable with focus tube "flange". When attached, flange will be well sealed to frame so sunlight doesn't leak in and wash out screen image.
7. Bellows extension range will be 110mm to 680mm.
8. For Sal's WP camera, front from 45N-1 that accepts Technika size lenboards and includes sliding "zero-tilt" guides. Front uprights tall enough to permit moderate rise, even though smaller lensboard would permit making them shorter. For other Chamonix WP cameras, standard front which accept Sinar size lenboards will be used to accommendate larger lenses. But if you make special request, we can make your camera front to take Technika size lensboard like Sal's.
9. Two (2) 3/8" tripod receptacles.
10. Folded thickness will be 110mm or less.
11. Maximum weight in walnut, including ground class protector and fresnel screen, will be 2.85kg for the walnut wood. Lightening holes in base and greater percentage of carbon fiber will be used to achieve this.
12. The delivery time will be six months from this announcement.