After some lengthy indecision I decided it was time to take the plunge and buy a large format camera. I came across the Intrepid 4×5 large format camera a while back and I was always tempted by the price (£250), it was a great way to get a large format camera without breaking the bank. Lucky for me I really enjoy pinhole photography so buying the Intrepid with a pinhole plate allows me to use the camera without spending more money on lenses.
Ordering was quite straightforward unless you’re me and mistype the email address so I didn’t get an email confirmation. A quick phone call to the guys at Intrepid resolved this, however they may want to think of including the functionality of typing in 2 emails at the time of ordering to stop this happening to others. This isn’t an off the shelf type of product, so you will have to wait a number of weeks before your kit is manufactured and delivered. This isn’t a problem as they give you the number of weeks it takes before you place your order and in my case it was within the timescale they set.
The camera arrives well packaged and although it is easy to assemble, one thing absent from the package are any instructions. This probably isn’t a big issue for most, however it might be a consideration for first time users. In addition to the camera you will need some additional equipment to get you started:
- Light meter or App to calculate your exposure
- Film Holders/Dark Slides (+changing bag, if you haven’t got a darkroom to pre-load them)
I would recommend an App called Pinhole Assist if you are an iPhone user, this will save you the expense of a light meter. Dark slide/Film holders are not cheap, but they can be picked up at a reasonable price from eBay.
I headed to the coast to take some test shots after loading the film holders with Ilford FP4+. I found it easy to set up and not as heavy or bulky as I thought this camera might have been. It would be great if Intrepid had included some built-in spirit levels, I was concerned that I wasn’t going to get the horizon straight when shooting as a pinhole camera. I have ordered a couple for a few pounds for my next trip out. It’s early days, but I’m really pleased with the Intrepid 4×5 Large Format camera.
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