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The Standard 4x5 is an affordable, lightweight and durable large format camera - You can make your own for only $320!
The Standard 4x5 is an affordable, lightweight and durable large format camera. Reserve your spot in line for a camera today!
The Standard 4x5 is an affordable, lightweight and durable large format camera. Reserve your spot in line for a camera today!
162 backers pledged $39,065 to help bring this project to life.

About

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The Standard 4x5 - Build Your Own Large Format Camera

$39,065

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My name is Drew Nikonowicz, and I have been working on The Standard 4x5 for several years now. It was designed with new photographers in mind, especially students and educators. With the help of friends and colleagues, we have been testing the design for some time. I believe I have created a simple 4x5 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. It is affordable, so it is easier to get started. It is lightweight, so you have more freedom to go where your photographs take you. It is durable, so you can focus on being a photographer, not on protecting fragile and expensive gear. And because the design is modular and 3D printed, it’s incredibly fast and easy to upgrade and repair. Don’t forget to watch our video to learn more!

By backing this project, you not only help bring the Standard 4x5 to life, but you also help my company, Standard Cameras, launch. Through Standard Cameras, I will develop a full range of modular features and tools around the 4x5, like easy-to-replace parts, bellows extension kits, etc. Standard Cameras will also pursue it's mission of empowering more people to become photographers, and improve visual literacy across the country (perhaps even the globe!?). This will be achieved by providing educational materials, affordable workshops, camera grants, etc. In short, Standard Cameras will be much more than just a place to buy the Standard 4x5.

Be sure to follow our journey on Instagram, join our mailing list, and keep scrolling for more information!

The camera can be quickly assembled and disassembled for shooting and transportation!
The camera can be quickly assembled and disassembled for shooting and transportation!
When disassembled, the camera is less than 4" thick, and the body is only 7.5" x 11"
When disassembled, the camera is less than 4" thick, and the body is only 7.5" x 11"
The first working prototype from 2015
The first working prototype from 2015

In 2014, I bought my first 3D printer. Almost immediately I began using it to create a 3D printed 4x5 view camera. The constraints I gave myself were simple - 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. Since then, the camera has gone from being a side project to something I want to share with everyone. I have chosen to keep the price low to make the camera more accessible. This is also why the design will be open source after we start shipping cameras (more info in the FAQ). I hope to help bring more people to the medium - regardless of whether they buy a camera or download the plans and make one themselves!

Lenscratch // Aint-Bad // Film Photography Project // PetaPixel // DIY Photograpy // Don't Take Pictures // Humble Arts Foundation // Lomography // Popular Photography // Kickstarter

  • 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!
  • Check out our FAQ to see what else you'll need to get started with a Standard 4x5!

* - 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.

Check out more images of the camera on our website

Available bellows colors are Dark Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, Grey and White!
Available bellows colors are Dark Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, Grey and White!
Made using The Standard 4x5 with Kodak Portra 400
Made using The Standard 4x5 with Kodak Portra 400
Beta tester Marissa Dembkoski preparing to make a photograph.
Beta tester Marissa Dembkoski preparing to make a photograph.

Over the past year and a half, I have personally been using my prototypes to make photographs. Two prototypes were used for a Polaroid booth at the Saint Louis Art Museum in November of last year, using Fuji FP-100C. I have also made more than 10 working prototypes and photographers all over the country have been trying them out. Here are some of their images shot with the Standard 4x5, and their thoughts on the camera:

"Much will be said about the Standard 4x5 as a light-weight and affordable large format camera. And it is. But having observed its development over a couple of years I can say that no corners have been cut in bringing this tool to life. I’ve used mine for a few months and while the Standard 4x5’s portability might make it an ideal travel camera, its precision and rigidity is uncommon. This camera is a more than legitimate tool for primary use without breaking the bank or the back." - Joe Johnson, Associate Professor of Art at the University of Missouri-Columbia

 "For me, this camera provides the quality and features of a more traditional large format camera— which is the reason I bought one in the first place— combined with an impressive flexibility of 3D engineering. I’ve been using mine as my primary large format camera for about seven months now. It’s a solid piece of equipment. It’s been dependable and versatile, exactly as I need." - Asa Lory, Photographer and Photojournalist, Brooklyn NY

"I've really enjoyed using the Standard Camera in the field. It is incredibly light and has been a great addition to our program. We're even considering printing our own as a part of the curriculum!" - Jordan Tate, Associate Professor of Art at the University of Cincinnati

You can see more testimonials, and more photos from all the testers on our website.

Made using The Standard 4x5 with Kodak Portra 400
Made using The Standard 4x5 with Kodak Portra 400

Each pledge level includes lower level incentives. For example, the camera (kit or assembled) includes one tote and one sticker pack.

Each Camera comes with your choice of the LOGO tote or the EXPLODED VIEW tote, and a Pinhole Lensboard!

  • A huge thank you from all of us at Standard Cameras for helping us achieve our goals.
  • We will use your pledge to pursue our mission of empowering more people to become photographers.
  • Keep in touch! We'll also add you to our mailing list. 
  • 5 unique stickers
  • Sizes (inches): [1] 4.25 x 2.75     [2] 2.75 x 2.13     [3] 3.5 circle     [4] 4.2 x 3.6     [5] 5x4
  • Screen printed on weatherproof vinyl with UV-cured inks.
  • The sheet film sticker [5] is printed on transparent vinyl
  • Scratch-proof and fade-proof
  • Great for your laptop, car, or wherever you can find a clean surface!
  • For $25, you choose between the LOGO tote and the EXPLODED VIEW tote! If you want both, choose the tote incentive and pledge at least $45. The second tote is $5 off for buying both!
  • Screen printed design on a 15x16 inch bag with a 3 inch gusset
  • Great for transporting books, groceries, or anything you need while rocking the Standard Cameras logo!
  • Check our Instagram Story Highlights for behind the scenes shots of how we make our totes.
  • If you don't need a camera but still want to support us, consider picking up a pinhole lensboard from us!
  • It's designed to fit anywhere your typical linhof lensboard will fit.
  • It has a 0.5mm pinhole - ideal for shooting from 120mm to 260mm.
  • You can calculate your f number (aperture) by roughly dividing the focal length by the pinhole size. For example: 120mm / 0.5 = f/240 and 260mm / 0.5 = f/520
  • The lower round-head screw acts as an endstop, positioning the shutter right where it needs to be when opening and closing!
  • Save some money and buy the Standard 4x5 as a kit. Assembly should take 2 hours or less.
  • Includes a set of detailed step-by-step instructions to guide you while building. We will also make assembly videos and put them online for additional direction.
  • Perfect for people who love to build things - for those of us who are excited to get our new IKEA furniture home and assemble it! ;)
  • To celebrate reaching our goal, every camera will come with one of our pinhole lensboards!
  • Ready to start shooting right out of the box - no assembly necessary.
  • If you don't trust yourself with a screwdriver, we recommend you choose the fully assembled camera and get straight to shooting!
  • To celebrate reaching our goal, every camera will come with one of our pinhole lensboards!
  • If you want something a bit more inconspicuous, the limited edition blackout edition is perfect for you!
  • The aluminum is anodized black and all the hardware is black.
  • You decide if you want it as a kit, or fully assembled.
  • To celebrate reaching our goal, every camera will come with one of our pinhole lensboards!
  • You receive both the LOGO tote and the EXPLODED VIEW tote
  • Along with each Blackout camera, we will ship a limited edition, numbered poster of the exploded view of our camera!
Made using The Standard 4x5 with Kodak Portra 400
Made using The Standard 4x5 with Kodak Portra 400

Thanks for checking out the camera! I hope you like it. If you made it this far, you might be wanting to know a bit more about me. I have been a photographer for about 10 years now. I was first introduced to large format photography in 2012 in college, and since then I have continued to shoot large format consistently. In 2015, I earned the Aperture Portfolio Prize from the Aperture Foundation in NY, and the Lenscratch Student Prize - both with projects made using large format photography. I truly believe shooting with a large format camera changes the way we see as image-makers. I am incredibly passionate about helping more people learn about and access photography. If you want to know about my personal work, you can see it here: www.nikonowicz.com  Feel free to reach out to me directly at drew@nikonowicz.com!

Risks and challenges

Unlike many kickstarter campaigns, this is not an idea or a prototype in early development. We have spent several years designing, testing, and preparing this camera so that it would be ready to deliver at launch. We have already overcome many of the roadblocks that would have kept you waiting. With these experiences behind us, we are prepared to swiftly resolve any new problems we encounter. Of course, the camera can always be improved. We can't wait to share the camera with everyone, and receive feedback to upgrade the camera even more!

If you have any questions or concerns please reach out to us via Kickstarter, on instagram @standardcameras, or at contact@standardcameras.com.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    Help us pursue our Mission!

    Thank you! We will use your generous pledges to pursue our mission of empowering more people to become photographers! We will also add you to our mailing list.

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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Standard Cameras Sticker Pack

    One Sticker Pack - 5 unique stickers included. They are screen printed on vinyl, so they are weather, scratch and fade proof. You will also be credited on our site as a backer!

    Includes:
    • 1x Sticker Pack
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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Standard Cameras Logo Tote

    One 15x16x3 inch tote bag screen printed with the Standard Cameras Logo! These are great for day to day use, transporting everything from books to groceries.

    Includes:
    • 1x Standard Cameras Tote
    • 1x Sticker Pack
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Pinhole Lens

    If you're looking for an affordable pinhole, look no further! Experiment as a photographer in a brand new way. The pinhole has a 0.5mm lens.

    Includes:
    • 1x Pinhole Lens
    • 1x Sticker Pack
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  5. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 260 or more About US$ 260

    Early Bird Standard 4x5 Kit

    Assemble the camera yourself with the help of our instruction manual! $60 off for backing early! The kit is great for the DIYer who isn't afraid of LEGOs or IKEA furniture.

    Includes:
    • 1x Standard 4x5 Kit
    • 1x Standard Cameras Tote
    • 1x Sticker Pack
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    Pledge US$ 290 or more About US$ 290

    Early Bird Standard 4x5 Assembled

    Skip the build process and get straight to shooting with one fully assembled Standard 4x5. $60 off for backing early!

    Includes:
    • 1x Standard 4x5 Assembled
    • 1x Standard Cameras Tote
    • 1x Sticker Pack
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 320 or more About US$ 320

    Standard 4x5 Kit

    Assemble the camera yourself with the help of our instruction booklet! The kit is great for the DIYer who isn't afraid of LEGOs or IKEA furniture.

    Includes:
    • 1x Standard 4x5 Kit
    • 1x Standard Cameras Tote
    • 1x Sticker Pack
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    Pledge US$ 350 or more About US$ 350

    Standard 4x5 Assembled

    Skip the build process and get straight to shooting with one fully assembled Standard 4x5.

    Includes:
    • 1x Standard 4x5 Assembled
    • 1x Standard Cameras Tote
    • 1x Sticker Pack
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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Special Edition Blackout Camera and Tote

    Pick up one of our limited edition blackout cameras and a limited edition exploded view black tote bag! You decide if you want it as a kit or assembled. Only 25 available!

    Includes:
    • 1x Limited Edition All Black Standard 4x5 - Assembled OR Kit
    • 1x Limited Edition Exploded View Tote
    • 1x Standard Cameras Tote
    • 1x Sticker Pack
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Funding period

- (20 days)