Chroma – a new 5×4 field camera has just launched on Kickstarter, and I’m really bloody excited about it!
There’s a whole load of reasons that I’m excited about the launch of a new to market 5×4 camera on – so many in fact that I’ve decided to do a bit of an announcement/news post about it. This pretty out of the ordinary for me, as I’m usually a little too lazy to be on the ball enough to write about “news”. But this is different!
It’s made by my mate Steve
The fact that it’s made by my mate Steve might seem like a small thing, but I’m really happy to be able to consider the guy a mate. I first stumbled across his tinkerings through one of his earlier camera related projects, a little Olympus 35rc he’d modified. I thought it was ace (if a little mad) so I got him to write a post about it. We stayed in touch after that, and at some point since we got chatting about how he might modify a technics sl1210 for me – he did a bloody good job of it too.
Throughout our various conversations he quite often showed me pictures of his latest camera projects, each slightly more mad than the last. Then one day he told me about a 5×4 large format camera he was making out of laser cut acrylic. To be honest, I thought he was a bit of a lunatic when I first saw pictures of some absurdly coloured contraptions he’d put together, but having experienced his handy-skills first hand through the work he did on my turntable I had a feeling it was a fairly safe bet to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Since then, I’ve been watching the many iteration of the camera get more and more impressive… not to mention the computer aided designs he’s sent me getting more and more complex. It has been absolutely fascinating watching this camera come to life, and now seeing it get to the stage that he’s actually happy with the damn thing, has settled on a design, and is now launching it on Kickstarter, well, I couldn’t be happier for the guy. It quite genuinely makes me proud to know him!
I’m getting first(ish) dibs
I had a tinker with a previous iteration of the Chroma camera when I went up to Liverpool with my mate James to help film the Kickstarter video. When I visited, I also had the pleasure of meeting Rachel from the Sunny 16 Podcast – who now writes for 35mmc once every two weeks (thanks Rach!). She was actually pretty canny on that day and managed to sweet talk Steve into making her a pre-launch Chroma camera through some blag about helping him “beta test” it. As such, she was technically the first to own one (apart from Steve).
That acknowledged, I’m still going to be the first to get my grubby paws on a production version of the camera. Steve was actually hoping to have it to me for today, but as of me publishing this it’s still sat on his work bench waiting on a part or two… still, next week I hope…
Of course all this is pretty personal to me, and therefore likely fairly meaningless to you the reader without a spattering of the quite exciting details, and quite exciting they are too…
The Exciting details
For a start, the Chroma it’s ready to shoot out of the box as it comes with a pinhole lens board. Alongside the pinhole also comes a lens board cut with a choice of Copal 0/1/2/3 hole. It’s compatible with standard double dark slide film holders, is pretty light weight, folds up nice and small, is available in a load of different colours.
This is all great, but the most interesting thing about the Chroma is it’s price point vs. what it offers. This camera has the full range of technical movements on the front standard, all of which are lockable and independently controllable. It also has rise and fall on the rear standard which can also be tilted back so the camera can be used with wide angle lenses. In short, it has more technical movements than the Intrepid and is only £250!
I shall be back with more details about the Chroma as soon as I have my hands on mine – in the meanwhile, get yourself over to Kickstarter and support this project – this guy deserves every inch of success that comes to him!
You can also find out more about this project in an interview with Steve over on Emulsive.org