The camera problem arose from my nagging desire to hang my 19 pound Linhof view camera around my neck and take it everywhere with me. I made the decision to design a camera that suits my operational tendencies for the singular application of mobility. I needed a simple, elegant and accurate method to connect the lens and film planes. I had no idea at the time that the method in question would evolve into my hand-machining of a solid block of aerospace aluminum.
The beauty of the design is that it is built around the elegant form of the image cone produced by the lens. Not only does this design yield an attractive camera but it is extremely accurate. The lens and film planes have a parallel accuracy within the fractions of a millimeter. These designs have no perspective-controlling movements. They are small, lightweight and extremely precise.
Number 01 is my first design and one of my personal cameras. The cameras that follow were commissioned and built to meet a range of specific requirements. The portable 8x10 is my second personal camera and results from more than six months of material and process experimentation.
* a note on pricing and building
I am a working photographer. I can be commissioned to build a camera if one’s needs mesh with my capabilities, design philosophy and schedule. But a few considerations need to be made based on my manufacturing process. These cameras carry the bulk of their cost within the large-format components used in building them. That said, they are built entirely by my hands and I charge accordingly. I use the finest lenses, components and materials available. The prices quoted in articles and online forums are not wholly inaccurate but they ignore the critical point that certain projects have involved extensive revision and re-design to achieve perfect functionality. This has involved multiple lenses using different shutters, re-designing components and adding gyroscopic stabilizers (www.ken-lab.com). ultimately, large-format photography is a costly process.
I am always accepting inquiries.
The Richard Avedon Foundation