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 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. 

We ship worldwide! We try and keep shipping as affordable and fast as possible no matter where you are in the world. Once your order ships you will receive a confirmation email and where possible we will also provide you with a tracking number. 

The lead time simply means the time it takes from when you place your order to when it will be shipped. All Intrepid Cameras and Enlarger Kits are hand assembled and the parts are manufactured in-house or locally so this is the time it takes us to produce them and keep up with the current demand.

Once you have placed your order we will be in touch with update emails every 2 weeks and as soon as your order is ready to ship we will be in touch again.

Once you have the 4x5 or 8x10 camera body, you will just need a lens in a copal style shutter (more details on this in our lens guide), a lens board, film holders, tripod and some film. We'd also recomend a light meter or light meter app, dark cloth and a 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.

To use a large format lens you must first mount it to a lens board. Intrepid 4x5 cameras are designed to take either our 4x5 lens boards or most Linhof/Technika style boards (96mm x 99mm). The 8x10 is designed to take our 8x10 lens boards or most Sinar style boards (140mm x 140mm), and the Intrepid 5x7 camera takes a special size of 108mm x 108mm lens boards.

Our current 8x10 camera can take lenses from 180mm-550mm, the 4x5 and Black Edition can take 75mm-300mm lenses and the 5x7 takes 120mm-360mm, but you will need a recessed lens board for 75mm lenses. We don't currently make recessed boards but you can usually find them secondhand. If you are unsure about lenses have a look at our lens buying guide as it covers all the basics from lens boards, copal/shutter sizes, focal lengths and where to shop for lenses.

The ‘Graflok back’ (also known as an ‘international back’) is a generic term used simply to 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.

You can use any of the Fuji FP-100 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. Take a look at this video of Willem Verbeeck and Dan Rubin shooting Fuji FP-100C on the Intrepid 4x5 in New York to see the film in action!

Standard 4x5 film holders slot in behind the ground glass and are held in place by the tension in the springs. These roll film or instant 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. 

 

 

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 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 135mm-180mm lenses work best and won’t vignette or crop the exposure.  

Check out our feature with Sam Stroud on his 6x17 photography with the Intrepid 4x5.

 

Yes! You can use all of our 4x5, 5x7 and 8x10 cameras for Wet Plate Collodion. As well as the chemistry you will also need a wet plate holder - Lund, Chmaonix and Stenopeika all make great ones or you can modify a standard sheet film holder. For more details on using your Intrepid for Collodion take our Wet Plate guide by Rikard Österlund.

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 biodegradable 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. 

When we ship your order we will send you an automated confirmation email with a tracking code which can be tracked here. We ship with DHL and Royal Mail and all orders have tracking except accessory orders under £50.

Aproximate shipping times are:

UK: 1-2 business days

EU: 3-4 business days 

USA: 5-7 business days

Rest of the world: 5-10 business days

Update May 2020: Please note due to ongoing delays and backlogs caused by COVID shipping to some countries may take longer than usual. 

Once you have ordered your camera it will begin in production. You can login to your account to view the status of your orders and change your address and personal details. 

For camera orders we will email you every 2 weeks to give you an update on its progress in production and will let you know if there are any delays. 

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.

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, 5x7 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 here that 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.

While it's not possible to add items to an order once it has been placed we have made sure shipping costs for orders of just accessories are as low as possible.

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 live outside the European Union you do not have to pay VAT so it will be automatically deducted at checkout. You may be asked to pay import duty when your order is delivered but this is down to your country's customs rules.

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