Design Goals

I had some ideas about how a modern Large Format camera might work ...

The first prototype was built to test the new film holder and focus system, and to push the structure and materials as far as possible by making the camera carry ridiculously large loads.

Light weight was not the primary goal.

However, given that it's possible to hang a lens on the front that weighs as much as the camera itself, it’s not excessively heavy compared to other comparable cameras, and is lighter than most.

The prototype has been largely successful, but its most useful function was to point out how everything could be done so much better. Not a single component from the original prototype has made it onto the new camera series; every single detail has been re-appraised, re-designed and re-modelled, almost certainly not for the last time.

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The next series of cameras will have light weight as a primary goal, and compromises will not be acceptable.

It is impossible to make a lightweight large format camera system while retaining the traditional film holder, since the weight of the film holders make up so much of the weight of the system if more than a couple are to be carried in the field.

There is a danger, of course, that there will be a knee-jerk reaction against this; people don’t like change, and many people are already the owner of the best camera ever built, such are the relationships that people make with their equipment . So be it. Toes will be stepped on, sacred cows will be slaughtered, metaphors will be mixed and mashed. It will be a brave soul who will be an early adopter of this new system, but sometimes bravery is rewarded...

Make a lightweight camera system, not just a lightweight camera. Make that camera the most rationally laid out, the most intuitive to operate, the quickest to set up; question every detail that is counterproductive, even those that have been accepted by generations of photographers.

Make it better than it has ever been made before, otherwise, why bother...

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Setting up the prototype camera to make its first exposure- Shiprock New Mexico
One of the first negatives from the first prototype, 11"x17" O'Reilly's Lobster Shack, Kennebunkport, Maine
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