One of the disadvantages of photography is the weight and bulkiness of equipment. I'm a petite girl and do not have much patience to carry tripods with large format cameras. Mobility is key for me! This is where Kipp Wettstein, former artist that exhibited in one of our infamous Pin-Up shows awhile back, steps in.
In the May issue of American Photo Magazine, writer Jay DeFoore, interviews Wettstein on his process in creating a portable 4x5 film camera. The traditional large format cameras require a lot to set up, with a tripod, film holders, focusing, etc. Wettstein explains his design:
"The beauty of the design is that it is built around the elegant form of the image cone produced by the lens. Not only does this design yield an attractive camera but it is extremely accurate. The lens and film planes have a parallel accuracy within the fractions of a millimeter. The designs have no perspective-controlling movements. They are small, lightweight and extremely accurate."
Shaping the cone of the camera, which started out as a 30 lb aluminum block to just over 2 pounds.
The final result of the portable 4x5.
He has a great 360 degree view of the camera as well. This is not something you can create in any basement. Wettstein estimates the cost of producing one camera can range from $5000 to $12,000. As all my photo professors have said, "If you're thinking of entering into photography, money should never be a problem. Pretend you're rich." As much as I would like to have that mentality, I'll stick to my 35mm for now. Or if you want to feel like you're carrying nothing at all, make yourself a paper pinhole camera!