You can’t argue with the results of large-format film cameras – imagine the square bellows held by a cigar-biting 1940s big-city press photographer – but they don’t quite hold a candle to the usability and portability of even the first generations of 35mm cameras. And add the ease of use features of later film and digital cameras, and something like a Graflex 4×5 looks like a real dinosaur.
Or maybe not. [Aleksi Koski] built a large format camera with autofocus, the “Conflict 45”. The problem with many large format film cameras, which tend to be non-reflex optical designs, is that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to see what you’re shooting through the lens. This makes concentration a bit of a guessing game, a problem that [Aleksi] addresses with its design. Unfortunately, the linked Petapixel article is basically devoid of technical details, but from what we can gather and the video below, the Conflict 45 is a 4″x5″ film camera with a memory card. motorized lens and a laser rangefinder. A short video has a view through the viewfinder showing an LCD overlay, which means there’s also some sort of microcontroller on board, which is probably used for the calculations needed to compensate for parallax errors when focusing. close point, as well as other uses.
The camera is built from 3D printed parts; [Aleksi] says this is just a prototype and the finished camera will have a carbon fiber body. We’d love to see more build details, but for now we love the idea of an easy-to-use large format camera. Just maybe not so big.
Thanks to [Itay Ramot] for the tip.