Chroma - Lasercut Acrylic 4x5 Field Camera

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Got the email regarding shutter sizes today. Being a later backer (one of the latest, I suspect), do I have to answer yet? I have not yet ordered a lens (though I suspect it will be Copal 0).
 
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Got the email regarding shutter sizes today. Being a later backer (one of the latest, I suspect), do I have to answer yet? I have not yet ordered a lens (though I suspect it will be Copal 0).
Hi Chris. If possible it would be better if you could decide now (I realise that's hard with no lens!) because the company I'm working with are keen to cut all of the camera parts in one run over the next week. The way my components are drawn up, they are all nested on one sheet of 3mm (which includes the lens boards) and one sheet of 5mm acrylic. As a result I've got 5 different 3mm acrylic files, one for each lens board size, so I need to give a simple rundown of colour, lens board, backer to the company and they will cut/box up the parts accordingly. If you want, I can deliver it with a Copal 0 board but if you then end up buying a lens with a different size, I'm happy to swapout the board with another one.
 
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I'm on page 2, noooooooooo!

Just a quick update before I send out a message via KS and my mailing list to say that it's all still moving along here at Chroma Towers. I collected 12 boxes of Chroma parts yesterday from the laser cutter and they're continuing to cut all cameras at once so they're hoping to have them completed by the end of next week. After that, I've just got the small task of building their bellows then assembling them all! The bellows have to be assembled and the front/rear plates attached as both the front and rear standards are bolted through the bellows plates to make the whole camera solid.

Before I head out to the workshop, I spent a bit of time last night drawing up an acrylic pop up ground glass shade which will use the same 3mm matte black acrylic as the Chroma, as well as using the offcuts of the lightweight material I use for the bellows skin so it's very efficient :0) This is only on screen at the moment but I'll cut one probably tomorrow and test out the functionality. This will then have magnets embedded so it can attach to the metal rivnuts used to bolt the ground glass frame together. If you'd rather use a dark cloth, simply fold up the shade, detach it and put it in your bag. When folded, the whole unit should be 22-25mm thick so relatively small and simple to carry. I used a basic popup shade with the Polaroid 110 I converted and for simple composition/focus I found it really good.

This acrylic design uses cutouts on all 4 sides to reduce weight where possible. It will have simple adhesive hinges for the top/bottom sides and rely on the slight stretch of the fabric to keep the top/bottom sides taught so the side panels can clip into locking slots;

upload_2018-7-19_12-20-26.png

At the same time, I'm also working on an Instax Wide back (pretty rough mule at the moment!) for John Whitmore to use on his Chroma and give me some feedback, and my slider back for using my Sony A7. I'm hoping to have the Instax back ready to use in the next 2 weeks so I just need to find a couple of extra hours in the day and I'm laughing!
 
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Steve,
The progress you are making on this is legendary. I do tend to use a shade at the moment rather than a dark cloth so this is a very welcome addition.
If all goes to plan @ChrisR I'll be taking the Chroma (and the Instax Wide back ;) ) to Art in the Park in Leamington in a couple of weeks if you want to come and have a look at what you've got yourself in for...
And of course, anyone else in the area please do come and say hello!
 
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stevelmx5
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Steve,
The progress you are making on this is legendary. I do tend to use a shade at the moment rather than a dark cloth so this is a very welcome addition.
If all goes to plan @ChrisR I'll be taking the Chroma (and the Instax Wide back ;) ) to Art in the Park in Leamington in a couple of weeks if you want to come and have a look at what you've got yourself in for...
And of course, anyone else in the area please do come and say hello!
Thanks John. I’m annoyed that I haven’t managed to the get the Earlybirds out by the end of June as I’d originally planned but I’m on track for the next few weeks.

As soon as I’ve got a shade cut/assembled I’ll share some more images.
 
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This is where you find out if you really want to be a production worker or stay a design engineer!!! I think I know the answer... if you want to do any further iterations, I think you're going to have to sort out an assembly partner!
 
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stevelmx5
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This is where you find out if you really want to be a production worker or stay a design engineer!!! I think I know the answer... if you want to do any further iterations, I think you're going to have to sort out an assembly partner!
It's certainly something I need to have a proper think about after these Chromas are all built and shipped. I'm really starting to see a more complete Chroma 'family' of products down the line so would love to make it my main role. At the moment it's a side-role to my day job but I'd take it up 100% if the opportunity came.
 
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Steve,
The progress you are making on this is legendary. I do tend to use a shade at the moment rather than a dark cloth so this is a very welcome addition.
If all goes to plan @ChrisR I'll be taking the Chroma (and the Instax Wide back ;) ) to Art in the Park in Leamington in a couple of weeks if you want to come and have a look at what you've got yourself in for...
And of course, anyone else in the area please do come and say hello!
So that'll be 4 and 5 August then... http://www.artinpark.co.uk

I couldn't see you as a visiting artist, John?

I did wonder briefly about suggesting a film day out in Leamington, but not sure there's really enough there (apart from the festival) to occupy us for the whole day. Plenty if Warwick was included as well (a 10-minute bus ride away).
 

StephenM

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Chroma Zero is almost ready for shipping! Just need to fix the body to the base and it’s good to go
Whereabouts in the stack is Apollyon (the Destroyer)? :)

Well done, and the focussing hood (lacking only a built-in, flip up magnifier) sounds very interesting.
 
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Whereabouts in the stack is Apollyon (the Destroyer)? :)

Well done, and the focussing hood (lacking only a built-in, flip up magnifier) sounds very interesting.
The Destroyer is 4th in line

IMG_1217.JPG

I’m glad you like the focusing hood. I did think about integrating a magnifier so may look into it (like a TLR) once I’ve got the basic hood built.
 
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The Destroyer is 4th in line

View attachment 130668

I’m glad you like the focusing hood. I did think about integrating a magnifier so may look into it (like a TLR) once I’ve got the basic hood built.
It is difficult to incorporate a magnifier, as the magnifier lens needs to line up with the entry pupil of the lens to critically focus any given part of the image. So it needs top be able to move about, a "central simple one will not be much use. I used to use a hand held 10 x loupe. Though a discarded 50 mm camera lens works well.
 
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@ChrisR oh yeah, that reminds me I never uploaded my images to their site! Not that it really matters, they have one of those site where you have to 'click more' about 10 time before I would even appear.... ;)

I can't even begin to imagine the production line for all those kickstarters....ouch.
Agree with Terry about a magnifier, seems pretty pointless if it's only the central.
However, if the hood accommodated a loupe about 11cm long without having to take it off (what I current do) that would be great. ;)
 
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@ChrisR oh yeah, that reminds me I never uploaded my images to their site! Not that it really matters, they have one of those site where you have to 'click more' about 10 time before I would even appear.... ;)

I can't even begin to imagine the production line for all those kickstarters....ouch.
Agree with Terry about a magnifier, seems pretty pointless if it's only the central.
However, if the hood accommodated a loupe about 11cm long without having to take it off (what I current do) that would be great. ;)
Might be a bit close for that loupe with the current dimensions;

upload_2018-7-19_16-23-44.png

upload_2018-7-19_16-24-7.png

Total depth from the ground glass to the outer edge of the popup shade is 130mm as I've made the shade as deep as I can (to block more light). The depth of the shade could be reduced if need be.
 
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when I have had cameras with detachable shades Like MPP and Linhoff I have invariably taken them off. I liked to get close up and personal with the screen for focusing. And a dark cloth was far better at blocking out stray light.
In dark conditions I often had some one with a small torch or lighter to show me the limits of the scene and to check focus.
 
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Andysnap

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Looks very much like someone has copied Steve's idea.....but very badly:eek:
What happens when the rubber bands perish and snap during a shot? Very poor indeed.:rolleyes:
 

Andysnap

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3D printed cameras aren't exactly a new idea though
I know but it seems a fair coincidence that this appeared so soon after the first acrylic, 3D printed, large format camera did.
 
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That seems like quite a winner. as it uses a combination of simple materials as well as printed components and off the shelf basic findings. I also like the way they are using "taken images" to promote it.
I am also fond of "monorail form" cameras as they are so easy to configure and adapt.
Like ... very clever spring back.
Dislike .... no rack focusing ( could easily be added to the standards.)
Knobs are unnecessarily small.
 
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I’ve been speaking to both the Cameradactyl guy and Drew from Standard Cameras. I think all new cameras are great for film photography in general so should be encouraged and supported. The Cameradactyl Camera is like something Duplo would build and is certainly unique! The Standard Camera looks like a solid and simple design and I know Drew has talked about adding more movements to the rear standard which will help with flexibility too.

Just to add, there aren’t any 3D printed parts on the Chroma, just lasercut acrylic and steel although there may be something else down the line ;0)
 
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I’ve been speaking to both the Cameradactyl guy and Drew from Standard Cameras. I think all new cameras are great for film photography in general so should be encouraged and supported. The Cameradactyl Camera is like something Duplo would build and is certainly unique! The Standard Camera looks like a solid and simple design and I know Drew has talked about adding more movements to the rear standard which will help with flexibility too.

Just to add, there aren’t any 3D printed parts on the Chroma, just lasercut acrylic and steel although there may be something else down the line ;0)
Christ Steve your attitude is so refreshing. in this day and age of anger, and threats to sue your supportive of these guys/gals.
i will end up buying from you at some point even if i don't need the camera/item as a genuinely inventive and good guy you 100% deserve to go far. in the words of del boy (and if you get your just deserve) "this time next year you'll be a millionaire"!
 
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Christ Steve your attitude is so refreshing. in this day and age of anger, and threats to sue your supportive of these guys/gals.
i will end up buying from you at some point even if i don't need the camera/item as a genuinely inventive and good guy you 100% deserve to go far. in the words of del boy (and if you get your just deserve) "this time next year you'll be a millionaire"!
Thanks Niko. I went into Chroma as someone who enjoyed building one-off custom cameras and wanted to see if I could scale up and build something completely of my own design. I’m made up with the support I’ve had as it’s given me a genuine buzz, so if I can support someone else doing the same it’s great.

I also speak with Max from Intrepid who’s a great guy and he’s given me some excellent advice too so I think the community spirit surrounding film photography is what sets it apart.

I’ve literally just got a really humbling email from Connor Hutson who designed the C-Pan 612 camera and released the models on Thingiverse. We’re going to be sharing ideas and plans so that I can develop the 612 Chroma back and, in return, he’s asked about using my InsTLR designs for his own build so the close collaboration around this hobby is awesome.

I look forward to building you a Chroma at some point in the future and may have something else next year that could interest you, if you’ve ever considered shooting handheld 6x12 with proper focusing...
 
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Thanks Niko. I went into Chroma as someone who enjoyed building one-off custom cameras and wanted to see if I could scale up and build something completely of my own design. I’m made up with the support I’ve had as it’s given me a genuine buzz, so if I can support someone else doing the same it’s great.

I also speak with Max from Intrepid who’s a great guy and he’s given me some excellent advice too so I think the community spirit surrounding film photography is what sets it apart.

I’ve literally just got a really humbling email from Connor Hutson who designed the C-Pan 612 camera and released the models on Thingiverse. We’re going to be sharing ideas and plans so that I can develop the 612 Chroma back and, in return, he’s asked about using my InsTLR designs for his own build so the close collaboration around this hobby is awesome.

I look forward to building you a Chroma at some point in the future and may have something else next year that could interest you, if you’ve ever considered shooting handheld 6x12 with proper focusing...
:police::eek: i better start signing up for more overtime now:D
your are right mind you, even on this forum the film section is way friendlier-just look at the dummy's:confused: chucked out prams on a regular bases in the digi equipment section
 

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:police::eek: i better start signing up for more overtime now:D
your are right mind you, even on this forum the film section is way friendlier-just look at the dummy's:confused: chucked out prams on a regular bases in the digi equipment section
So very true....

I entirely agree about the collaborative aspect of what you and the other guys are doing and any new film camera is a good thing. I just worry that the bigger companies, Fuji, Kodak etc, are not putting much resource into film at the moment. Prices are consistently on an upward curve and with a few exceptions the norm is for films to be cut rather than added. We can only hope that they take notice of what you and your contemporaries are doing and the interest it is raising and rethink their policies.

And if you do develop a 6 x 12 back put me down for the first one please. (y)
Now, less chatting and more building if you please. :D
 
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To add to Niko's comments above...

Much as I'd love a Chroma, I quite simply don't have the attention span that large format requires so couldn't bring myself to hitting the button (although I was sorely tempted!) but have been following the thread with interest. Not just because the design and build has been interesting but also because the degree of cooperation/collaboration has been so high.

Go back through the (almost 1600!) posts and look at the input that many people have had - even some less than serious suggestions have been listened to, considered and in some cases discussed! So many slight tweaks have been applied after suggestions that the Chroma is almost a team effort (with Steve as the [by far!] major ideas man). I bet he (Steve) had no idea just how many of the (damned!!! [I'm sure he'll feel that way after he's finished the assembly work!!!]) things would be ordered - and the KS batch might be just the beginning!

May all the users have as much fun using the things as many of us have had following the design, refining and build processes and all the best to you, Steve.
 
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stevelmx5
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So very true....

I entirely agree about the collaborative aspect of what you and the other guys are doing and any new film camera is a good thing. I just worry that the bigger companies, Fuji, Kodak etc, are not putting much resource into film at the moment. Prices are consistently on an upward curve and with a few exceptions the norm is for films to be cut rather than added. We can only hope that they take notice of what you and your contemporaries are doing and the interest it is raising and rethink their policies.

And if you do develop a 6 x 12 back put me down for the first one please. (y)
Now, less chatting and more building if you please. :D
To add to Niko's comments above...

Much as I'd love a Chroma, I quite simply don't have the attention span that large format requires so couldn't bring myself to hitting the button (although I was sorely tempted!) but have been following the thread with interest. Not just because the design and build has been interesting but also because the degree of cooperation/collaboration has been so high.

Go back through the (almost 1600!) posts and look at the input that many people have had - even some less than serious suggestions have been listened to, considered and in some cases discussed! So many slight tweaks have been applied after suggestions that the Chroma is almost a team effort (with Steve as the [by far!] major ideas man). I bet he (Steve) had no idea just how many of the (damned!!! [I'm sure he'll feel that way after he's finished the assembly work!!!]) things would be ordered - and the KS batch might be just the beginning!

May all the users have as much fun using the things as many of us have had following the design, refining and build processes and all the best to you, Steve.
Sorry for the slow reply guys, been a bit busy here holed up in the workshop ;0)

I really do enjoy being part of the film community both here on TP and the wider world. I've been adding all of the individual camera build sheets/delivery details to a site that I'm using with the company doing the laser cutting so we can keep track of the progress for each camera and yesterday I had to confirm a few delivery addresses so was speaking to one photographer in Finland, one in Iceland, one in Germany, three in North America and one in Hong Kong and it made me realise just how big Chroma has got! :eek:

Watching the pile of boxes in my office containing individual camera parts is a little bit daunting but seeing a finished camera come out the other end is making up for it. Whilst I still blame @Carl Hall for all this, I wouldn't have got this far without all of you awesome guys and girls in the best part of TP :film:
 
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Bueller, Bueller, Bueller....

Starting to get excited now!
Nearly ready to go John so you'll have it for this weekend. I'm not going to have the Instax wide mule unfortunately, but I'm testing something I saw the other day where I can cut my own Quickload style holders for individual Instax Wide film and use them in my Polaroid 545 holder. If I can get them together and working ok I'll see if I can send some on with your Chroma and my holder if you haven't got one.

JohnFront.jpg JohnRear.jpg JohnSide.jpg
 
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Nearly ready to go John so you'll have it for this weekend. I'm not going to have the Instax wide mule unfortunately, but I'm testing something I saw the other day where I can cut my own Quickload style holders for individual Instax Wide film and use them in my Polaroid 545 holder. If I can get them together and working ok I'll see if I can send some on with your Chroma and my holder if you haven't got one.

View attachment 131386 View attachment 131387 View attachment 131388
WOW. It looks fantastic! Can't wait to get shooting with it.
No problems about the Instax mule, and yeah would greatly appreciate trying out the quickload holders technique. I have actually tried this myself with some card and tape but didn't have any success - not sure if it was my Polaroid 545 or the way I created the film holder but the chemicals only seemed to spread over the corners nearest the bottom...
Attaching the Instax film was also a bit tricky - although I could possibly do this in a dark bag at the art fair...?
 
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WOW. It looks fantastic! Can't wait to get shooting with it.
No problems about the Instax mule, and yeah would greatly appreciate trying out the quickload holders technique. I have actually tried this myself with some card and tape but didn't have any success - not sure if it was my Polaroid 545 or the way I created the film holder but the chemicals only seemed to spread over the corners nearest the bottom...
Attaching the Instax film was also a bit tricky - although I could possibly do this in a dark bag at the art fair...?
Glad you like it :0). I’m really liking the red/matte black combo, not that I’m a biased Liverpool fan or anything....

I’ve run 5 pieces of Instax wide through the card holder today with various amounts of success. Like you say, getting the chemicals spread evenly is the challenge. I think the issue may be that instax rollers have a rough texture and are geared so actually draw the film through. However, Polaroid rollers are smooth and work by physically pulling the film through a squashing it as it goes. I’m still working on it though.
 
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