The Intrepid Camera – making large format affordable
At Spectrum Photographic, we are master printers in both colour hand printing and b&w handprinting + processing, so we were delighted to speak to local company The Intrepid Camera.
The Intrepid Camera is an independent company with a big ambition – to make large-format cameras affordable.
Tucked away in a co-working space off New England Street, Brighton, the team creates beautiful cameras for hundreds of photographers around the world.
The Intrepid Camera started as a project to make an open source large-format camera that anyone could download the plans for and build.
However, what was once a final year degree project for founder Maxim Grew has become a business aiming to bring large-format cameras to more people than ever.
The way to do that? Make them more affordable than a traditional price tag of around £2,000.
“We basically saw that if it stayed like that, with no one offering cheaper alternatives, large format would die out,” says Naomi Davison from Intrepid.
“Younger people or people on a lower budget just wouldn’t be able to get into it.
“We thought lets make something that is affordable and lightweight as well.”
New product launches
Each of the cameras is hand-made in Intrepid’s Brighton workshop and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Individual parts are created in batches before being assembled to create the stunning final product.
In total the process takes around four weeks and demand is now so high that there is a waiting list.
The cameras are constantly being improved and the team has just launched two new models.
Weighing just 2.5kg the new 8×10 could be one of the lightest, most compact cameras of its type ever made.
The rear focus and linear guides provide incredibly precise and fast focusing and coupled with the aluminium base, make the camera extra sturdy and rigid no matter the lens or environment.
Now in its fourth generation, the new Intrepid 4×5 is a modern rethink of the traditional large-format field camera.
While super lightweight at 1.1kg and fast to set up, it is also incredibly hardwearing and reliable – producing great results no matter the conditions.
The aluminium base plate, rear focus and linear guides usually only seen in high-end cameras mean pin-sharp focus and increased stability even with the heaviest lenses.
“We just want something that offers a large-format experience,” says Naomi.
“You can still get the same quality but it is a lot more affordable and a lot lighter.”
Creating a large-format community
Intrepid has now gone beyond the cameras themselves and created a large-format community.
The first Intrepid zine was published earlier this year and sold out in just four days.
It was a homage to just some of the photos created with Intrepid 4×5 and 8×10 cameras around the world.
An open call on social media saw more than 200 entries submitted for consideration.
“We just wanted to focus on people creating really amazing photos and getting out and doing photography,” says Naomi.
A successful Facebook group for people to share tips and advice has also been started by people using Intrepid cameras.
“There is already a really strong film community and it is nice to see an Intrepid users’ community growing from that,” says Naomi.
The Intrepid Camera
To find out more about The Intrepid Camera, view all available models and prices visit intrepidcamera.co.uk
Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01273 457747.
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