FAQ The answers

A large format camera is one of the most creative, fun and rewarding tools a photographer can use. Free from any electronics or automatic settings, shooting large format film is actually a lot simpler than you may think. As a totally analogue experience it allows you to slow down, refine your photography, and fully immerse yourself in the process. 

Unlike smaller formats large format cameras allow you to move and reposition the lens giving you total control of focus and perspective. The larger size also means much higher quality and sheet film gives you pictures with incredible depth and colour, sharper than even the best digital cameras.

Put simply the Intrepid 4x5 and 8x10 cameras are around the same price, if not cheaper than most secondhand alternatives and a lot lighter and more compact. Plus they come with the guarantee that they are in top working order as well as the security of help and support from an active company.

We also have an evolving range of accessories to allow you to create and experiment without having to track down expensive or unreliable secondhand ones, that may or may not be compatible. 

Intrepid Cameras are made from sustainably sourced high quality Birch Plywood that is weather sealed with a plant based wax/oil mix. Whilst being lightweight the wood we use is also very dimensionally stable and will remain flat and level over time. The metal parts are all Anodised Aluminium that is scratch-resistant and and will not rust or oxidise over time. Most of the plastic parts are 3D printed using PLA filament derived from plant starch. The bellows are made from Nylon with a special super-thin lightproof coating inside, and the bright focusing screen is ground in a traditional way from 2mm glass. 

Yes we can ship almost everywhere in the world! We try and keep shipping as affordable and fast as possible and work with a small number of couriers.

Once your order ships you will receive a confirmation email and where possible we will also provide you with a tracking number. 

To use a large format lens you must first mount it to a lens board. Intrepid 4x5 cameras are designed to take Intrepid 4x5 boards or most Linhof/Technika style boards (96mm x 99mm). The 8x10 is designed to take Intrepid 8x10 boards or most Sinar style boards (140mm x 140mm).

Once you have the camera, you will just need a lens in a Copal style shutter, a lens board, film holder, tripod and some film. We'd also recomend a light meter or light meter app, dark cloth and loupe. As with all types of photography there are tons of other bits and bobs you can get, so it is worth doing some research to figure out what is best for you.

The ‘Graflok back’ (also known as an ‘international back’) is a generic term used simply so describe a 4x5 camera which is also compatible for use with a variety of different film backs such as instant/polaroid backs, and roll film backs in a variety of formats from 6x17 all the way down to 6x6. The Intrepid Enlarger is also mounted in the same way.

Standard 4x5 film holders slot in behind the ground glass and are held in place by the tension in the springs. Roll film backs work a little differently and don’t sit behind the glass in this way. Instead you simply pop the glass off, replace it with your alternative film black and use the ‘Graflok’ clips to secure it in place. 

We only sell standard large format film holders but there are plenty of roll film or instant film backs out there. If you are unsure feel free to get in touch with our team directly, we will be happy to help you out.

 

Large format lenses tend to come mounted on a lens board and our cameras are compatible with any Copal style shutter. Our current 4x5 model can take 75mm-300mm lenses, but may need a reccessed lens board for 75mm lenses. The 8x10 can take lenses from 180mm up to 600mm. Take a look at our lens guide here (you'll also find a list of where to look for lenses online.)

In all our choices for materials and manufacturing we try and be as environmentally conscious as possible. We recycle as much of the workshop waste as we can, predominantly use local suppliers, and use the most renewable materials possible. We've also recently switched to using bidegraddable bubble wrap in our shipping along with recycled brown paper and cardboard.

All the Birch Plywood we use is FSC certified and sourced locally to us. Not only is Birch Ply known for its strength and durability but Birch trees are a very fast growing species so when sourced sustainably there is little impact to the global environment or biodiversity.

All the metal used in our products is aluminium, which is the single most abundant metal found in the earth and also the most readily recycled (about 75% of the alluminium in circulation today has been recylced already.) It’s easy and quick to machine and once cut we send it to be tumbled and finished in the North of England then Anodised black by a company down the road from us. 

The majority of the plastic used in our products is 3D printed in-house from PLA, a renewable bioplastic. PLA is made from starch derived from plants such as corn, sugar cane and sugar beet pulp making it both renewable and biodegradable.

 

Yes! You can use any of the Fuji FP pack films with a Polaroid 405 Holder or a Fuji PA-145 Holder, you can also use New55 Film with a Polaroid 545 Holder. 

Most of the instant film available will be expired stocks but Polaroid are currently manufacturing instant 8x10 film.

 

All the wood used in our products is treated with a plant based oil/wax mixture, this reduces the chance of it warping and makes it water resistant. The bellows are made from a coated nylon fabric that can withstand a light rain shower and the metal work is all anodised aluminium so it won’t rust. So if you do get caught in rain your camera will be fine, just make sure to leave it out to dry when you're back inside.

The lead time simply means the time it takes from when you place your order to when it will be shipped. Currently the lead time is around 6-8 weeks for the 4x5 and 10-12 for the 8x10 depending on when you ordered. All our cameras are hand assembled and the parts are manufactured in-house or locally so this is the time it takes us to produce a camera and keep up with the demand.

Yes you can! This is thanks to the Intrepid 4x5 having a Graflok back (or international back). Mounting a panoramic roll film back works much the same as any other roll film or instant film back - you slide the glass off, fit the film back and secure it with the ‘Graflok’ clips. 

Both 6x17 and 6x14 are wider aspect ratios compared 4x5 but film backs (such as the DAYI and Shen Hao) are offset to allow for the image to be projected though the 4x5 opening. This does mean only a limited range of lenses will be compatible though, between 150mm-180mm lenses work best and won’t vignette or crop the exposure.  

This video by Tony Santo is a really useful guide to shooting panoramas on a 4x5 camera.

Yes you can and it's really easy! The correct place for a Fresnel to go is in between you and the ground glass (on the outside of the camera). Simply loosen the 2 small ground glass clips and slide the Fresnel lens into place. 

If you don't live in the European Union you dont have to pay VAT so it will be automatically deducted.

If you do live in the EU but you have a valid European VAT number for your business, you have the option to input this at checkout and this will also deduct the VAT.

There are plenty of labs all over the world that are still active and will proccess all formats of film from 35mm and 120 to 4x5 and 8x10. Some highstreet labs won't take large format but it's always worth checking if you're unsure.

As we are based in the UK here is a list of some places you can take or send your large format film to:  Bayeux, Metro Imaging, Digital Lab, Photo FusionPalm Labs, A + M Imaging, Rapid Eye, Colourstream, The Photo Parlour.