A UK photographer and custom-built camera maker has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund a new 5×4-inch field camera that he intends to be lightweight, easy-to-use, unique, affordable and upgradable… as well as a bit funky. To that end, the Chroma will be made from brightly colored sheets of acrylic, laser-cut for accuracy.
Steve Lloyd has spent fifteen years creating custom cameras as one-offs, but decided to make a production 5×4 camera using modern materials and technologies.
The 3mm and 5mm acrylic sheets he uses allow cameras to be made in a range of colors—including Red, Pink, Blue, White, Green, Matte Black, Glossy Black, Purple and Yellow—while the lightweight nature of the material means the Chroma will weigh much less than a traditional wooden model. Even with the ground glass screen, the camera weighs just 1592g.
Here’s a quick intro to the colorful Chroma camera:
Lloyd has designed Chroma to provide a good range of movements in both the front and rear standards, with 40mm of rise and fall when both standards are in operation, and 30mm of shift in either direction at the front. Both standards allow 45° of tilt forwards and backwards, and Lloyd claims swing is limited only by the coverage of the lens in use and the ability of the bellows to flex.
The camera uses a clever back that is fixed with magnets built into the body, so it can be lifted off and rotated in seconds. The back is designed for standard 5×4 double dark slides, and Lloyd says he is working on designs for roll film and Graflok backs, as well as one for wet plate holders.
When fully extended the Chroma can stretch its bellows to 300mm, and it can be used with focal lengths from 65mm to 280mm. In the extended pose the camera measures 180x330x235mm, but it folds away to just 210x180x117mm.
The camera comes with a ground glass screen and a pin-hole lens to get new 5×4 photographers started. Users can choose Copal 0, 1 or 3 sized holes in a Linhof/Wista-style lens board, and those with existing Linhof/Wista boards will be able to fit them.
The Chroma starts at £250 (approx $350) for Kickstarter backers, and Lloyd says he expects to deliver between June and November 2018 according to the pledge you choose. Of course, no crowdfunding campaign is a guarantee, but given he’s already raised over $40K on a $13K goal, Lloyd is well on his way to a successful delivery.
For more information or if you want to put down a pledge and pick up a Chroma for yourself, visit the camera’s Kickstarter page.