Q&A with Intrepid Founder Maxim Grew

Intrepid camera is the latest Kickstarter darling to catch the eye of the film photography world with their announcement of a lightweight and affordable 4×5 camera. The camera is made from Birch and uses a rack and pinion mechanism for focusing while keeping the weight of the camera under 1.2kg. The camera supports standard film holders (405, 545 and 545i), with support for other style of film holders being worked on. The Kickstarter has already surpassed its £27,000  and is currently sitting at over £45,000 in funding.

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The best part about this camera, it is incredibly compact for a 4×5 camera and folds up to a small size.

We reached out to Max, one of the founders of the Intrepid Camera to learn more about him and the Intrepid camera.

Hello Max, thank you for your time today, and congratulations on getting funded so quickly, with only 18 days left in the campaign you have more than doubled your goal.  Can you tell us a bit about what your background is in and how you got started in photography?

My background is in product design and photography, the photography has remained a hobby throughout my life whilst I studied a BSC in product design.

Photography has been with you a while then? How did you get started and what was the first camera you remember owning?

The first camera I remember owning was an OM-1 given to me by my granddad when I was younger, that camera taught me so much about photography and started my love affair with film, it’s completely manual and so tactile I still use it loads now!

So how did you decide to make the leap up to large format photography?

Large format photography for me started about 4 years ago when I started building my own cameras, I just loved shooting on that scale and getting a contact print or paper negative that was big! I had quite an alternative process approach and spent a lot of time using the RA4 reversal process, and learnt a lot about photography from experimenting with things like that.

When you finally decided to build a camera, what made you decide to build a large format. I know on the Kickstarter you talk about how you prefer the larger negatives, but wouldn’t a smaller camera have been easier to make?

I think a smaller camera would have been harder! Large format cameras are fairly simple, as long as you get the body, bellows and focusing screen right there isn’t really much else to it!

Are there any plans behind the scenes for a follow up camera to the 4×5? Perhaps an 8×10?

We would love to make an affordable 8×10, we have actually had a surprising amount of requests for it, which is great.

Once the Kickstarter is done, are there any plans to launch your own store where you can sell more cameras?

The Kickstarter backers have been amazing and they are our priority. once they are happy we plan to launch an online shop and develop some more products

You must have been nervous launching a new film camera into the world. In your opinion what is the biggest hurdle facing film photography today, and how do you plan on changing that.

Economies of scale is a problem that has effected the film photography world since the invention of the digital camera, but projects like new55, the impossible project, Kodak Polaris and Film Ferrania (just to mention a few) are addressing this. Bob Crowley of new55 talks about the “post digital” photographic age and I think that’s a great way of summing the situation up. Before I think people thought they had to pick sides, digital or film and digital was marketed as if it could do everything. But that’s like telling a painter they can only paint using the colour blue! I think now a lot of photographers just use the medium appropriate to the situation and in the long run that type of thinking linked with manufacturing at a scale to suit market demand will lead to a sustainable future for film photography. Hopefully any way.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us today Max, congratulations again on hitting your goal so swiftly. You can learn more about the intrepid at the following links:

Kickstarter | Website

This past year has seen a ton of film photography related Kickstarters, and I think it means positive things for the future of film photography. What do you think?

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