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£23,435 pledged of £40,000 goal
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By Paul Kohlhaussen
£23,435 pledged of £40,000 goal
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About

Follow us on instagram and twitter to stay up to date! Email us at info@kohlhaussen.com

Video track ID: Eden - Ben Khan 

A year ago I made the first prototype of an analog medium format panoramic camera. I 3D printed the parts, painted it mustard yellow and added it to my design portfolio. It worked much better than expected and garnered attention from the likes of DPREVIEW, PetaPixel, The Phoblographer and Designboom (press links at the end).

Together, with your help, I’d like to take this project to the next step by making it available to other photographers as a kit. This campaign will fund a small production run of cameras, mostly in kit-form but also as 10 limited edition pre-finished units. If successful, the business will be properly launched and production will be further developed. 

The K-Pan is a precision tool for photographers who appreciate versatility, reliability, utterly gigantic negatives and the craft of shooting on film. Most importantly, it is a camera that you can truly make your own. The K-Pan, designed to be as small and light as possible, is perfect for the traveling photographer. Your 4x5 lens + this kit can result in cinematic images like this:

This includes more than just the camera itself - our vision is to use this modular system as a foundation on which to build an open-source platform for expansion parts and accessories. These will be designed by and for end users, including myself. 3D printing is more accessible now than ever and offers nearly limitless possibilities for augmenting, improving and customizing this camera. Don't believe me? Check out 3D Hubs

Need spare parts? Download and print them. Want a grip for it? Print it. Want to attach your phone to it? Print a mount. Alternatively, order the parts from our website and have them printed for you. These are just some of the things in the works - seeing that I’ve gotten plenty of use out of this camera so far, I invite you to join me in further developing this system.

A gallery of photographs taken on the K-Pan can be viewed here.

Feldsee, Southern Germany, shot on Kodak Ektar
Feldsee, Southern Germany, shot on Kodak Ektar

 

Oslo, Norway, shot on Kodak Ektar
Oslo, Norway, shot on Kodak Ektar

 

CAMERA DETAILS

The idea is that you combine the kit with your own 4x5 lens. The camera you see in the video and pictures is a prototype developed around a Schneider Super Angulon 90mm f8 that has since seen several upgrades. These include a revised film winding system, a future-proofed design with higher tolerances and compatibility for more lens types. 

After publishing the initial project, we received many requests for the CAD files, the raw printed components and also for fully completed cameras. As much as we admire the notion of localized 3D printing, we realized that it will be necessary to manufacture the core hardware ourselves in order to ensure consistently high quality and functionality. Therefor we are presenting a flexible solution - the components work out of the box, however they can also be further finished to the end user's preference. 

How it works:

  • It shoots five 6x14cm frames per roll of 120 film
  • The kit comes in two main parts; the lens cone and the camera body
  • The body contains a removable pressure plate, dark slide and lid. The lid plate is outfitted with the film winding knobs, fastening screws and two universal cold shoe mounts. 
  • Loading the film is done by removing said lid plate, similar to removing the bottom plate on a Leica M. 
  • Focus is set to infinity by default; it can be drawn closer by inserting dedicated spacer brackets between the lens cone and body (10mm bracket included in the kit). Hyperfocal distance is your friend. 
Frank in Hyde Park, shot with a 10mm focus bracket on Kodak Portra 800
Frank in Hyde Park, shot with a 10mm focus bracket on Kodak Portra 800

The hardware: 

  • Components are made of lightproof, highly robust grey SLS nylon (see picture below). Yes, the raw components are white in the video and other pictures. We've stopped using that material because it is too translucent. 
  • Totals to only ~350 grams without a lens
  • The body is 22cm wide and 9cm tall
  • Embedded steel screw threads 
  • Standard ¼-20 UNC tripod mount 
  • Lens mount (the “lens board”) is 2mm thick with a 33mm diameter hole (fits a wide variety of Copal 0 shutter lenses)
First generation production prototype of Fujinon lens cone
First generation production prototype of Fujinon lens cone

What’s left for you to do? 

You receive the grey nylon components with the metal threads and light seals pre-installed. The camera can be assembled with your lens and used right away, however we recommend making it your own by finishing the outer surfaces. We strongly believe in the DIY ethic and are excited to see how people put their own twist on it. If you would rather just leave it in its natural finish, that's fine too. The unfinished nylon material has a rather unique, almost stone-like texture to it. 

We understand that most people will like to figure out their own special setup for the K-Pan, choosing combinations that best fit their creative style. Seeing that we want to make this camera system expandable in the future, we're currently designing multi-purpose mounts for all sorts of attachments, both internally and externally. Side projects we're working on include frame masks for smaller formats and a mount enabling you to use your phone as a viewfinder and light meter. Please check out the FAQ section for further information.

The prototype finished with yellow automotive primer
The prototype finished with yellow automotive primer

THE REWARDS

By backing the K-Pan you will ensure further innovation and development of this project. You will become part of a growing collective of DIY photographers and your support will become a vital contribution to fuel the analog renaissance. This is a great opportunity for you to get involved and help us bring this project to the world.

Tier 1: K-Pan Tote Bag + Stickers

Become part of the team with a selection of high-quality vinyl stickers in an organic cotton tote bag imprinted with design diagrams of the camera. Manufactured using solely renewable wind and solar power. 38x42cm, neutral cotton color. 

Limited to 500 pieces.

Tier 2: K-Pan Camera Standard Kit Early Bird

Grab one of only 20 full-production kits at an early bird price of £230! The complete kit comprising of the camera body, a 10mm focus spacer and one standard lens cone of your choice. Our current selection of standard cones are compatible with: 

  • Schneider Super Angulon 90mm f8
  • Schneider Super Angulon 75mm f5.6
  • Schneider Angulon 90mm f6.8
  • Fujinon SW 90mm f8
  • Nikkor SW 90mm f8
  • Nikkor SW 75mm f4.5
  • Nikkor SW 65mm f4 (Stopped down to f16 for sufficiently large image circle)
  • Rodenstock Grandagon-N 90mm f6.8 (Stopped down to f22 for sufficiently large image circle)
  • Rodenstock Apo-Grandagon 55mm f4.5 (Stopped down to f8 for sufficiently large image circle)

Limited to 20 units, includes Tier 1. Check out the lens sourcing & compatibility sections down below.

- SOLD OUT -

Tier 3: K-Pan Camera Standard Kit

The complete kit comprising of the camera body, a 10mm focus spacer and one standard lens cone of your choice. Our current selection of standard cones are compatible with:

  • Schneider Super Angulon 90mm f8 
  • Schneider Super Angulon 75mm f5.6 
  • Schneider Angulon 90mm f6.8 
  • Fujinon SW 90mm f8 
  • Nikkor SW 90mm f8 
  • Nikkor SW 75mm f4.5 
  • Nikkor SW 65mm f4 (Stopped down to f16 for sufficiently large image circle)
  • Rodenstock Grandagon-N 90mm f6.8 (Stopped down to f22 for sufficiently large image circle)
  • Rodenstock Apo-Grandagon 55mm f4.5 (Stopped down to f8 for sufficiently large image circle)

Limited to 200 units, includes Tier 1. Check out the lens sourcing & compatibility sections down below.

Tier 4: K-Pan Camera Custom Kit Early Bird

If you already have a 4x5 lens that our standard selection doesn’t cover, grab one of only 20 full-production custom kits at an early bird price of £320! The kit comprises of the camera body, a 10mm focus spacer and one custom made lens cone tailored to a Copal 0 Shutter 4x5 lens. This is subject to the compatibility of your lens, contact us to check first before pledging and check out the Lens Compatibility section further down.

Limited to 20 pieces, includes Tier 1.

Tier 5: K-Pan Camera Custom Kit

The complete kit comprising of the camera body, a 10mm focus spacer and one custom made lens cone tailored to a Copal 0 Shutter 4x5 lens that our standard selection doesn’t cover. This is subject to the compatibility of your lens, contact us to check first before pledging and check out the Lens Compatibility section further down.

Limited to 60 pieces, includes Tier 1.

Tier 6: K-Pan Camera Kit with two lens cones

The complete kit comprising of the camera body, a 10mm focus spacer and two lens cones of your choice. This includes cones from both our standard selection (see tiers 2 &3) and custom made ones (tiers 4 & 5, subject to compatibility). 

Limited to 20 pieces, includes Tier 1.

Tier 7: K-Pan Bonus Bundle

Get the complete kit comprising of the camera body, a 10mm focus spacer and one lens cone of your choice, standard or custom, in addition to a signed print taken on the K-Pan. We're also throwing in three rolls of 120 film, 2x CineStill (800T and their new 50D on 120) and a roll of Japan Camera Hunter's new StreetPan. Again, custom tailored cones are subject to compatibility.

Limited to an edition of 30 sets, includes Tier 1.

Tier 8: Limited Edition K-Pan Camera Kit

Limited to only 8 units, this reward includes the K-Pan Camera hand-finished with industrial paints in black, mustard yellow, red and military green. Includes the camera body, a 10mm focus spacer and one matching lens cone of your choice. This covers cones from both our standard selection (see tiers 2 & 3) and custom made ones (tiers 4 & 5, subject to compatibility). In addition to a signed print taken on the K-Pan, we're also throwing in three rolls of 120 film, 2x CineStill (800T and their new 50D on 120) and a roll of Japan Camera Hunter's new StreetPan. Includes Tier 1.

Tier 9: Space White Limited Edition K-Pan Camera

Grab one of only two fully completed K-Pan cameras outfitted with Schneider Super Angulon 90mm f8 lenses and hand-finished to look like they've been to the moon and back (or beyond). Imagine how NASA or the ESA would finish a K-Pan for use on their EVA spacewalks. Features include 3D printed aluminium knobs, a metallic undercoat and details with artificial weathering. Includes everything from the Tier 7 Bonus Bundle and Tier 1. 

WHAT'S NEXT?

October: Whilst this campaign is running we will do one final round of prototyping to ensure that all of our upgrades work smoothly. Some goals we have for this include finalizing the designs for a new cone-body coupling mechanism, a dark slide that inserts from underneath and grippier knobs. We will also be preparing the designs for the tote bags and stickers.

November: Prototyping and testing will continue until the final production components work just as we want them to. This could take less time than expected, however we're leaving some leeway because we know there can be minor hickups along the way. In this time we will also take care of the tote bags and stickers.

December: Time to get things made. This includes the K-Pan kit bodies, standard lens cones and packaging. During this time we will also design the custom lens cones.

January 2018: Printing of the standard components will be completed and the custom cones will be manufactured. Whilst this is happening, in-house assembly will be going strong. Tote bags and stickers will be shipped whilst the limited edition photographs are printed.

February 2018: Limited edition K-Pans will be painted and finished. Manufacturing and assembly will wrap up and orders will be prepared for shipping. Website will be prepared for launch.

March 2018: Shipping. In an ideal world we would have the rewards shipped by mid-February, however we realize that the logistics of everything will most likely push back the shipping dates to this time frame. We will also launch the K-Pan website for downloading/ordering replacement and expansion parts.

March/April 2018: A photographic adventure! I'm tentatively scheduling a trip across several countries to really put the K-Pan through its paces. The intent is to then have prints made and possibly also a book. 

 

WHO ARE YOU?!

Paul Kohlhaussen (me!) is a German photographer and designer based in London. I have a long history with photographic equipment, having bought, sold and tinkered with more cameras than I can keep track of. Being an absolute 3D printing nut as well it was only a matter of time until I found a way to combine these two obsessions. A couple months ago I graduated with a degree in economics and am now studying architecture. You can check out my work on my website and instagrams @paulhausen & @pelsnaps. To get this show on the road I have sought out the help of many friends, designers, photographers and business consultants to help me along the way.

DESIGN PROCESS

From the beginning the system was designed to be a simple, reliable and long-lasting solution to medium format photography, qualities that are often lacking in many modern cameras on the market. Overall, one could say that this camera is pretty low-tech. It doesn't have a lot of moving components and is completely analog - but that's just how we wanted it to be.

Early prototypes
Early prototypes

The components are all modeled in CAD with respect to the dimensions of the fixed input variables - the lens and the film. The flange distance and image circle of the specific lens are modeled as a three-dimensional volume around which the parts are then constructed. Details are prototyped on FDM printers and tested, allowing for the final components to be printed perfectly out of nylon powder via selective laser sintering. The resulting precision and quality in relation to the tools used and time invested is unique to such additive manufacturing. 

This process is streamlined to minimize wasted resources and environmental impact. The parts are only physically made upon ordering and don't rely on mass production and warehouse storage. Replacement and expansion parts are stocked digitally for anyone to print locally, thereby eliminating the need for long-haul shipping. 

Lens Sourcing Guide

The K-Pan doesn't come with a lens so you will need to find your own. Large format lenses are plentiful and many photographers already own them, so finding them second hand is often the way to go. Sites such as eBay, MrCad, KEH and Second Hand Dark Room work great for sourcing 4x5 lenses, it's also worth checking the various film photography Facebook groups. These lenses don't have to cost much, however there are several things to look out for.

  • Make sure the shutter mechanism doesn't stick and has accurate speeds.
  • Ensure that the glass is clean with no fungus or haze. 
  • Check that the components aren't dented and fit together snugly on a lens board with a 34.6mm hole (Copal #0). 

A list of newer lenses can be found here, however older lenses work just as well (e.g. the excellent Schneider Angulon 90mm f6.8).

Lens Compatibility

The main important specifications are that the lens uses a Copal #0 size shutter and has a rear element that fits within the parameters for the lens cone. This usually means that anything with a rear element diameter of more than 65mm is out of the question because it won't fit through the cone mount opening. Lenses with larger rear elements (e.g. the Schneider SA 90mm f5.6 with a 77mm Ø rear barrel) will require a two-part lens cone or an XL body, both of which are in further research and development. Not all large format lenses will work with this camera and we reserve the right to reject custom cone requests if we find them to be incompatible. 

Press

PetaPixel, The Phoblographer, DPREVIEW, designboom, Core77, GQ Portugal, 3D Printing Industry, Australian PhotographyYanko Design, 3D Hubs, 3D DruckDIY Photography, Konbini Cheese, Hypeness, Albedomedia, 3D Focus, DesignTAXI, Popular Mechanics

 

 

Risks and challenges

A certain level of risk is unavoidable with any project like this, however for the K-Pan it's quite minimal. The camera has already been made, tested, refined and will go through another round of final testing before production begins. I've established a solid support network and have sufficient experience in design and business operations to know what I'm doing (we're going on an adventure!).

The main issue we could encounter is delays in manufacturing, however the nature of 3D printing means we can be flexible and responsive to such a situation. Minor design details may change (knobs, markings, etc.) but the camera kit will nevertheless remain a beautiful tool that stays true to our vision and commitment.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £12 or more About $16

    K-Pan Tote Bag + Stickers

    A selection of high-quality vinyl stickers in an organic cotton tote bag imprinted with design diagrams of the camera.

    38x42cm, neutral cotton color.

    Includes:
    • Tote Bag
    • Sticker Pack
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    Limited 2 backers
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  2. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £230 or more About $310

    K-Pan Camera Standard Kit - Early Bird!

    Limited to 20 units!
    The complete kit comprising of the camera body and one standard lens cone of your choice. The rewards section on the left describes our range of standard lens compatibilities. We will ask for your choice after the campaign is complete.

    Includes:
    • K-Pan Kit Body
    • Standard Lens Cone
    • Tote Bag
    • Sticker Pack
    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 20 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £270 or more About $364

    K-Pan Camera Standard Kit

    The complete kit comprising of the camera body and one standard lens cone of your choice. The rewards section on the left describes our range of standard lens compatibilities. We will ask for your choice after the campaign is complete.

    Includes:
    • K-Pan Kit Body
    • Standard Lens Cone
    • Tote Bag
    • Sticker Pack
    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 59 backers
    £
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £320 or more About $432

    K-Pan Camera Custom Kit - Early Bird!

    Limited to 20 units!
    The camera body and one custom made lens cone tailored to your Copal 0 Shutter 4x5 lens. This is subject to the compatibility of your lens, contact us first to check before pledging.

    Includes:
    • K-Pan Kit Body
    • Custom Lens Cone
    • Tote Bag
    • Sticker Pack
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
    £
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £360 or more About $486

    K-Pan Camera Custom Kit

    The camera body and one custom made lens cone tailored to your Copal 0 Shutter 4x5 lens. This is subject to the compatibility of your lens, contact us first to check before pledging.

    Includes:
    • K-Pan Kit Body
    • Custom Lens Cone
    • Tote Bag
    • Sticker Pack
    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £480 or more About $648

    Tier 6: K-Pan Camera + Two Lens Cones!

    The camera body and two lens cones of your choice. This includes cones from both our standard selection (see tiers 2 &3) and custom made ones (tiers 4 & 5).

    Includes:
    • K-Pan Kit Body
    • 2x Lens Cones
    • Tote Bag
    • Sticker Pack
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £580 or more About $783

    K-Pan Bonus Bundle

    Get the complete kit comprising of the camera body and one lens cone of your choice, standard or custom. You also receive a limited edition print taken on the K-Pan. Additionally we're throwing in three rolls of 120 film, 2x CineStill (800T and their new 50D on 120) and a roll of Japan Camera Hunter's new StreetPan. Limited to an edition of 30 sets.

    Includes:
    • K-Pan Kit Body
    • Lens cone (standard or custom)
    • 3x 120 Film
    • Limited Edition Print
    • Tote Bag
    • Sticker Pack
    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £660 or more About $891

    Limited Edition K-Pan Camera Kit

    The K-Pan Camera hand-finished with industrial paints in black, mustard yellow, red and military green. Includes the camera body and one matching lens cone of your choice, standard or custom. You also receive a limited edition print taken on the K-Pan. Additionally we're throwing in three rolls of 120 film, 2x CineStill (800T and their new 50D on 120) and a roll of Japan Camera Hunter's new StreetPan. Limited to only 8 editions.

    Includes:
    • Finished K-Pan Body
    • Finished Lens Cone
    • 3x 120 Film
    • Limited Edition Print
    • Tote Bag
    • Sticker Pack
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £2,500 or more About $3,373

    Space White Limited Edition K-Pan Camera

    Grab one of only two fully completed K-Pan cameras outfitted with Schneider Super Angulon 90mm f8 lenses and hand-finished to look like they've been to the moon and back (or beyond). Imagine how NASA or the ESA would finish a K-Pan for use on their EVA spacewalks. Features include 3D printed aluminium knobs, a metallic undercoat and details with artificial weathering.

    Includes:
    • Space White K-Pan Camera
    • 3x 120 Film
    • Limited Edition Print
    • Tote Bag
    • Sticker Pack
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)