The Standard 4×5 Lets You Build Your Own Modular Large Format Camera

Building your own camera is always a bright idea, so you might want to give The Standard 4×5 modular DIY large format camera a shot.

If you think you’d like to progress from making your own pinhole cameras to something bigger and more complicated, we’ve found just the right stuff for you. Photographer Drew Nikonowicz offers to give you a head start to building your own large format camera through The Standard 4×5, currently being funded on Kickstarter.

Drew actually started the project in 2014, soon after getting his own 3D printer. He set some simple constraints and goals to create a 3D printed 4×5 view camera. “It had to be made of mostly 3D printed components, no support material required for the prints, and almost everything else had to be available at my local hardware store.” From being a side project, the camera eventually became something he wanted to share with everyone.

The campaign will actually fund two things: the Standard 4×5 DIY large format camera, and Drew’s company, Standard Cameras. The flagship camera has been going through some testing with the help of his friends and colleagues. Now, he believes he has created “a simple 4×5 that focuses on the features photographers need most. It is affordable, lightweight, and durable, without sacrificing the rigidity and movements you would expect from a large format camera.”

The Standard 4×5 features a modular design that is 3D-printed, so you can quickly assemble it and easily repair or upgrade it if need be. After the camera, Drew also plans to develop a full range of modular features and tools for the 4×5, such as easy-to-replace parts and bellows extension kits. The design will also be made open source after shipping for the cameras begins.

The Standard 4×5 can be assembled and disassembled for quick and easy transport and shooting on the go. The camera folds down into less than four inches thick, with the body measuring only 7.5 x 11 inches.

Here are the specifications for The Standard 4×5:

  • Accepts Linhof/Wista style lens boards
  • Approximately 100mm to 300mm lenses accepted*
  • Modular design allows for easy modifications and quick part replacements (which will be available later through our website)
  • Front Standard Rise/Fall (35mm/45mm), Shift (32mm each way), Swing and Tilt
  • Rear Standard Shift (55mm each way) and Swing
  • All Swing and Tilt movements are only limited by the bellows
  • Only 2 pounds (0.91kg)
  • Bellows constructed in-house – available in Dark Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, Gray and White
  • 3D Printed using a fully recyclable PETG plastic filament which is very durable and dimensionally stable
  • Anodized aluminum components and stainless steel hardware
  • Ground glass can be quickly removed to use various graflok backs
  • Every camera comes with a Pinhole Lensboard so you can get to shooting sooner!

* If the tripod mount is moved in front of or behind the standard mounts, focal lengths down to about 60mm can be used, especially with a recessed lensboard. Some images of this can be found HERE.

Keen on supporting this project? The Kickstarter campaign has six more days to go so check it out now and get your Standard 4×5 kit for a pledge of at least $320.

All images by Drew Nikonowicz from The Standard 4×5 on Kickstarter