A New 4×5 Camera – The Intrepid Camera

© The Intrepid Camera

Meet The Intrepid Camera Co. which is a new camera company that makes beautiful wooden 4×5 cameras made out of Furniture Grade Birch Plywood. The idea to re-design a camera that is already ‘perfect’ came out of love for large format photography, one of the founders of the company Maxim Grew decided to do this to give people the opportunity to potentially buy a cheaper 4×5 camera and to provide photographers with a new camera an alternative to buying second hand. The company is currently aiming to launch a Kickstarter campaign later on this month with the camera set to be priced on there at around £89 – 119.

The size of the Intrepid Camera is 190 x 190 x 190mm with bellows extension of up to 330mm and with a weight of 850g without a lens or film holder. (Though the company have stated it’s hard to give exact dimensions whilst it’s still in the prototype stage.)

The final version will feature a front standard that has a good range of movements and takes Technika style lens boards. A smooth, locking rack and pinion mechanism for focusing. Generous bellows extension, which come in a variety of colours. A rethink on the traditional spring back featuring a bright and sharp focusing screen as well as being compatible with all standard film holders. Including the 545 holder required for the New55 Film. The back of the camera uses a simple modular system meaning a variety of adapters will be available to it.

Maxim Grew, one of the founders says: “The Intrepid Camera Co. was born out of a genuine fascination and love of large format photography, with our first product being the intrepid 4×5 camera.

The Intrepid 4×5 Format camera is a re-design of the traditional large format camera; these cameras are the kind that uses bellows and sheets of film, with the photographer often placing a black cloth over his head to focus the image on a glass screen. The large format camera has its origins at the very beginning of photography; pictures were made onto glass plates that required the sitter to stay still for minutes at a time. In the 1930s-50s they became the go to camera for press photographers and artists, with American photographer Ansel Adams becoming a pioneer in landscape photography.

Since then this branch of photography has continued defiantly to produce some of the most important and beautiful pictures ever created. It has resisted the digital revolution and continues to attract new passionate photographers despite the technology being over 100 years old.

This attraction is for one simple reason, large format photography is as far away from digital photography you could possibly get, there is 0% automation, your camera does not have a microchip for a brain, it has a photographer. It is entirely pure photography and allows maximum creative freedom. The large format camera is a tool for art, not convenience, the images have warmth to them akin to the sound of a vinyl record and a quality to them you just can’t quite put your finger on. So maybe it isn’t one simple reason, maybe I don’t really know exactly why these cameras are so special. I do however know they are manifestly important to the future of photography, and to me.

So why redesign this ‘perfect’ camera? Well I felt there was a need for an affordable non second hand camera, that is simple to use, lightweight, compact and most of all a great tool to get new photographers passionate about large format photography. This fantastic art form will only live on if people continue to discover and enjoy it and I hope the Intrepid Camera can help people do just that.”

Make sure you check out The Intrepid Camera website to find out more about the fantastic company.


Update: They have now launched their Kickstarter Campaign! 
Check it out here.

Information: The Intrepid Camera