The Intrepid Enlarger is an easy to use Lightbox attachment that fits to the back of any 4x5 camera, to convert it into a compact and capable photographic enlarger. You can use it to create incredible prints from your 4x5, 120, and 35mm negatives - all with one device small enough to fit in a coat pocket.
We have been working on this idea for the last two years- and following multiple tests, prototypes and experiments, we are thrilled to finally share it with you. Previously, enlarging at home has been limited to those with the space and budget for purpose built darkrooms- but not anymore!
1. Enlarger Timer - plugs into Lightbox to accurately control exposure
2. Enlarger LED Lightbox - clips to back of 4x5 camera to transform it into an enlarger or can be used alone to illuminate negatives for scanning
3. Negative Carrier - slots onto Lightbox, keeps negative secure and flat (comes in 4x5, 120 and 35mm film formats)
4. Enlarging Lens Board - to mount enlarging lenses on your camera
5. Multigrade Filter holder - for Ilford Multigrade 8.9cm contrast filters
The ultimate DIY photography tool
The Intrepid Enlarger is an incredibly fun and simple way to make high quality prints at home with the stuff you already have. It is so portable you can use it to make prints in your bathroom, darkroom or anywhere you can squeeze into and make dark- you could even take it on a trip.
By illuminating the back of a negative evenly and projecting it through a 4x5 camera using a standard lens or an enlarging lens (find out more in the lens section below), you have got yourself an enlarger. All you need to do is point the projected image at some photographic paper, set your time and away you go...
In addition to this, the attachment can even be used as a standalone Lightbox to create scans of your photos using a digital camera or smartphone (find out more about this in the 'Method #2' section below.)
Using the Intrepid Enlarger in a darkroom, bathroom, cupboard or any DIY darkroom space is by far the most fun way to use the product. It has an even and bright light source, swappable holders for either 4x5, 120 or 35mm negatives and a separate timer which allows you to accurately control exposure.
In the darkroom it works just like any other photographic enlarger. You mount your negative, focus your image, make some test exposures and work your way towards a print that you love.
Check out the videos below by Nico and Max for a simple step by step guide of how to get set up and make your own prints.
By using the Enlarger attachment as a Lightbox you can create high quality digital scans of your negatives. This is perfect for those that want the convenience and versatility of scanning at home but don't have the space or budget to invest in a flatbed scanner.
For this method all you need is the Intrepid Lightbox attachment with negative carriers for the format of film you want to scan (4x5, 120 or 35mm), a tripod or copy stand, and a digital camera or smartphone. Simply slide your negative into the carrier, turn on the Lightbox, capture an image on a digital camera, and then invert and adjust it on Photoshop or Lightroom.
It's that simple!
Check out the video below by Ben Horne for a step by step guide
We have been prototyping the Intrepid Enlarger on and off for a couple of years now. Due to the small size of the product we had to move away from traditional light sources like incandescent and halogen bulbs.
The Intrepid Enlarger uses a custom LED panel, with new generation LED chips that have strong emittance at the correct wavelengths for darkroom paper. What this means is that we are able to have a relatively low-power light source that still provides equivalent exposure times to traditional light sources. It also means the light source can be very compact and doesn't get hot.
As we are using a new type of light source for our enlarger, we needed to design a new type of timer to control it.
Traditionally, enlarger timers have to control and mains voltage (240v/110v). This means they use components rated for that voltage- and when you add in the high power consumption of enlarger bulbs, you need some fairly high specification (and expensive!) components inside an enlarger timer. Our light source is just 12v, so our timer is a lot simpler and cheaper to make, yet retains all the functions and reliability you would expect from a traditional enlarger timer.
The timer is built around a PIC micro controller that has a very accurate internal clock; the PIC receives your inputs for on/off durations and controls a relay switch that then turns the light on and off. This is a simple, accurate and reliable system that takes care of controlling the light source so that you can get on with the good stuff - printing!
Because the Intrepid Enlarger works as an attachment for a 4x5 camera, you have a choice of what sort of lens to use. You can either use a standard large format lens, or a traditional enlarging lens (with the supplied adapter lens board).
- Generally speaking, when enlarging 4x5 film you want to use around a 150mm lens, which also happens to be the standard focal length for a 4x5 camera.
- If you are going to enlarge 120 film, you should use an 80mm lens or similar. In this case it is probably best to use a traditional enlarger lens mounted to your camera.
- For 35mm, you will need to use a 50mm lens- so again it will be best to use an enlarger lens.
- Enlarger lenses can be picked up easily and cheaply secondhand- and we will be putting together a guide on what to look for!
Pin & Patch
- Not ready to get an Intrepid Enlarger? No worries! You can still join the team and get a cool Intrepid enamel pin badge & iron-on patch for your camera bag.
Amazing Handmade Prints
- Not ready to make your own prints yet? No problem! You can still support the project and get your hands on some limited edition prints from Daniel Alexander Harris, Hollie Fernando and Katie Silvester. (All made on an Intrepid Enlarger!)
Early Bird Intrepid 4x5 Enlarger Kit
- Quick! Early bird Enlarger kit at an incredible price! Everything you need to make great prints at home from your 4x5 negatives.
- Kit contains: Enlarger Lightbox, Timer, Multigrade Filter Holder, Enlarger Lens Board and 4x5 Negative Carrier.
Intrepid 4x5 Enlarger
- The full production Intrepid Enlarger Lightbox and 4x5 Negative Carrier all at a special discounted price for Kickstarter Backers.
- This is everything you need to digitally scan your 4x5 negatives (Method #2)
Intrepid 4x5 Enlarger + Timer
- The full production Enlarger Light Source attachment, Timer, 4x5 Negative Carrier, Enlarger Lens Board and Multigrade Filter Holder all at a special price for Kickstarter Backers.
- If you already have a 4x5 camera this is everything you need to make prints from your 4x5 negatives.
Intrepid 4x5 Enlarger Kit + 35mm Carrier
- The full production Enlarger Light Source attachment, Timer, Multigrade Filter Holder, Enlarger Lens Board and 4x5 & 35mm Negative Carriers all at a special price for Kickstarter Backers.
- If you already have a 4x5 camera this is everything you need to make prints from your 4x5 and 35mm negatives.
Intrepid 4x5 Enlarger Kit + 120 Carriers
- The full production Enlarger Lightbox attachment, Timer, Multigrade Filter Holder and 4x5 & 120 (Medium Format) Negative Carriers all at a special price for Kickstarter Backers.
- 120 Holder sizes are 6x9, 6x7, 6x6 and 6x4.5
- If you already have a 4x5 camera this is everything you need to make prints from your 4x5 and 120 negatives.
Intrepid 4x5 Enlarger Kit + 35mm and 120 Carriers
- The full production Enlarger Lightbox attachment, Timer, Multigrade Filter Holder and 4x5, 35mm and 120 (Medium Format) Negative Carriers all at a special price for Kickstarter Backers.
- 120 negative carrier sizes are 6x9, 6x7, 6x6 and 6x4.5
- If you already have a 4x5 camera, this is everything you need to use it as an enlarger for all your film formats
Full Intrepid 4x5 Enlarger Kit + 35mm & 120 carriers & Intrepid 4x5 Camera
- The full production Lightbox Enlarger Attachment, Timer, Filter Holder all negative carriers (4x5, 35mm and 120)
- Plus the latest Intrepid 4x5 camera in the colour of your choice (red, blue, green or black)
- This is everything you need to get started enlarging and scanning your negatives, all at a special price for Kickstarter backers
- While the camera is a vital part of the enlarging process, it is also a fully functioning 4x5 camera, so if you have never shot 4x5 you essentially have a free camera to experiment with!
We are a team of product designers and photographers from Brighton, UK, passionate about keeping analogue film alive and making it accessible to everyone.
4 years ago, we took the idea of an affordable and lightweight 4x5 camera to Kickstarter. The response and support from the people that backed it was absolutely incredible -and proved there was a real market for what we wanted to do.
Then last year, we embarked on another campaign to develop an 8x10 camera in the same way. No one was prepared for how successful this project would be- and not only did it allow us to make an 8x10 camera but it enabled us to relocate to a bigger warehouse, hire a great team of people, and get the tools and equipment needed to produce cameras on a much larger scale.
The overwhelming response from everyone that backed these projects, and those that have since bought cameras or reached out to us, has proved that there is a strong and growing community that continues to keep film alive everyday.
The enlarger is our most ambitious and exciting idea yet; not only will it be useful to large format photographers but also to anyone that shoots film - 35mm to medium format and 4x5 - from professionals to the most DIY shooters.
"I have been enjoying both the 4x5 and 8x10 camera models by Intrepid, but I must say the enlarger project took me by surprise. I think it is wonderful that the company continue to innovate, and now they propose to open the door to a whole new analog experience. As a seasoned printer, I can't overstate just how rewarding darkroom printing is. The thought that someone may convert their existing camera to use as an enlarger is fantastic. Not only that, there is the intriguing potential to use the device as an aid to scanning. I can only applaud Intrepid for offering such value to its customers." - Richard Pickup, Fine Art Photographer
"What really makes the Intrepid Camera Co. and their large format cameras even more special is that they keep an open ear to suggestions from their users. They take comments about their cameras seriously and that shows in the quality of their products. Kudos to Intrepid for keeping the analogue spirit alive and catering to the needs of the large format photography community." - Lomography
"I'm picky about what cameras I use because I like to be really flexible and I tend to move around a lot on shoots. Big heavy cameras aren't my best friend, but the Intrepid just looks so easy to pack up and use on the go. The potential to turn it into an enlarger and make prints is so darn appealing I can't really explain. Working in the darkroom is a real treat that not many photographers these days get to experience, and one I think everyone should. I feel like the Intrepid Enalrger will open the doors for good old fashioned experimenting, just for the fun of it." - Katie Silvester, Fashion and Portrait Photographer
“The Intrepid Enlarger is a fantastically innovative accessory for photographers! There’s something particularly alluring about trapping and dispensing light from the same box. Very useful for a multitude of photographers; what printability it gives to photographers on the road! We’re very excited for this!" - Film's Not Dead
The Kickstarter campaign will run for 30 days, after it ends we will be posting regular updates to let everyone know what we're doing. But here is a timeline to give everyone an idea of what will be happening when.
November 2018 - Final testing and finalising of design, submit final designs to suppliers by the end of the month.
December 2018 - Setting up of finishing and assembly lines in new electronics clean room.
January 2019 - PCBs and electronic components arrive, production starts.
February/March 2019 - Production ramps up.
April 2019 - Shipping starts :)
May 2019 - Shipping completed by end of the month
Risks and challenges
Through Kickstarter we have been able to successfully fund and complete 2 ambitious projects seeing the creation of our affordable 4x5 and 8x10 cameras. Of course every new project carries a certain level of risk - but as we are already established and experienced designers and manufacturers, this greatly reduces the risks traditionally associated with crowd-funding.
With our last Kickstarter (the Intrepid 8x10 camera) we faced some unexpected hurdles which resulted in some delays and miscommunication. We take full responsibility for this and it taught us a lot. Prior to the 8x10 Kickstarter we were three people in a tiny workshop, we have since doubled our staff, moved to a much bigger space and have set up production lines to manufacture and assemble on a large scale.
In order to avoid any other hold ups happening we have spent 2 years doing a huge amount of planning, testing and prototyping. Many of the parts for the enlarger will also be outsourced which will help to cut down in house production time significantly. We will keep you informed every step of the way!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)