large format video camera

well, long time no post but I have a cool one this time!  I just completed designing and building an 8×10 large format digital video camera, the first in the world that I know of. LargeSense has some interesting tests with x-ray sensors (I think?) but this camera can be made for orders of magnitude less cost, and I don’t think they have yet made a fully working camera.  I get into how it works in the video below, but essentially its off-axis reimaging of a projected image.  you lose some light, but with advances in large aperture wide angle lenses (I am using an Irix 15mm f2.4 Firefly) and sensitive cameras (a Sony a7s in my case) this sort of camera is now a practical possibility.  it is a bit like IMAX, but waaaaay bigger 🙂

I used C4d virtual cameras to model the fields of view of the various lenses and ensure that the slider didn’t appear in the bottom of the shot, even at infinite focus.

Screen Shot 2017-12-30 at 3.34.48 AM

if you have any questions or want to build your own, let me know! I am happy to share everything I learned along the building process.  expect to see lots more from this camera and ones like it from me.  light field version next, eh?


44 thoughts on “large format video camera

      • Thanks Zev. I have been waiting to see more of your work. Somehow you mange to make pictures and projects that make me happy. Thank you for that.

    • Hi,
      Amazing. I’m very interested by your camera. It was a thing I thinked about few years ago when I used large Format Cameras. I saw you video on youtube and I would like make the same because I’ve old lenses for 8X10. I suppose I can make the same thing with 4×5 or 5X7. I’ve questions Can I send your my Email.

  1. Congratulations. I kept wondering what fjord or black hole had consumed you. Now not only is this a photographic resurrection but a heroic one!!! What a pleasant surprise for us all who care, near and far away. We now stand eagerly waiting for your wonders. God bless! Jim in Chicago.

    Jim Vorwoldt, S.J. Jesuit House 5554 South Woodlawn Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60637-1621 773 667 1395 x 19 312 804 8963

  2. Great Work! Love the concept and would love some more info on how to do this.. I have tried a similar concept using a Goerz Dagor 305mm and taking an image of the rear groundglass. As you mentioned, reflections are a big issue as is the
    vignetting/fall off of the the 8×10 screen.

    Using the “skinnier” format for video, you may not run into this issue as much right?

    Also, any links to a Artists Pallete? The only ones could find online where wooden ones with a hole in it..

    So yes, great work, would love to know more about this project so that I can experiment with it myself..



    • awesome! the Goerz should work great, I am using an Industar-37 300mm F4.5. I want real bad to get my hands on a Aero Ektar 🙂

      I used an Ampersand Claybord as the screen. careful not to get the other Ampersand boards, they may be whiter but they are not as matte and a reflection ruins the shot.

      • Hi, thanks for the quick response back, much appreciated! Have you taken any stills with this set up? How is the vignetting when using the whole 8 x 10 area? I just noticed that the Ampersand Claybord that you referenced comes in larger sizes and possibly by using a larger size (11 x 14) then the vignetting may not be as bad when cropping down to 8 x 10. The image circles on these lenses are huge!

        Would love to see any stills examples you have that shows of the whole 8 x 10 area… For me that is the real beauty of shooting such a format

  3. For someone who is quite new in photography, could you share a video of which you explain how you built it and the processes that happen in this beautiful camera. I know you did a pretty good job of explaining in this video but I think it could be very beneficial for those like me who don’t necessarily understand what’s totally going on. Also thank you for sharing!

  4. Quite astounding,

    I like Andrew had tried something similar with my 5*4 camera and the ground glass with terrible results as you can imagine.
    Your ingenuity and finished piece are remarkable, bravo.

    Stephen T.

  5. Pingback: This Guy Made an 8×10 Large Format Video Camera – Photography News World

  6. Pingback: This Guy Made an 8×10 Large Format Video Camera – Get Photo Tips

  7. Pingback: This Guy Made an 8×10 Large Format Video Camera | PictoPro

    • I could be wrong but am pretty sure that the “shift” that is mentioned is done on the front standard of the 8 x 10 camera…

      • Is there somewhere I can find a specific list of the pieces used in this rig to look up on eBay? I found the LF Lens and all the camera/tilt/lens stuff but the bellows, slider, board and housing for everything is unlisted. I’m interested in creating something like this for myself but am inexperienced in Large format gear and have no clue where to start.

  8. Awww man, now I am even more confused… 😦

    I took a look at one of the links that you provided on this page and they did have some sample photos…×10-large-format-video-camera/

    very cool indeed! Would love to see some that show the full
    8 x 10 area, as these all looked cropped to me… Did you crop to get rid of the heavy vignetting? That has been my experience in messing about with a similar setup..

    Also, the diagram on the linked page shows the shift coming from the A7S and the Irix 15mm combination.. I was under the impression that this lens is designed to just cover a 35mm sensor and the image circle is not large enough to provide (12mm) of shift?

    Can you possibly explain please?

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    • you are correct, that is why the A7S was in APCS crop mode. there is only heavy vignetting when you are shooting through a ground glass. reflective imaging with a nice matte surface does not introduce much vignette.

  9. The images are pretty nifty-looking, but it feels misleading to call this a “large format” video camera when you’re using an A7S as the recording device. You’re re-photographing a projected image, which produces cool artifacts and the super shallow focus of the lens on the front of the bellows, but since “large format” in the cinema world encompasses Full Frame (aka Vista Vision) and larger sensor sizes (or film gates), your A7S is already “large format” assuming you’re not cropping the sensor for video recording.

    Effectively what you’ve created is a bellows lens adapter for mounting large format lenses onto super 35 / vista vision bodies. Cool looking stuff, but to me a “large format video camera” like the title implies would have a sensor at least the size of an IMAX 15 perf 70mm film gate, given that Vista Vision-sized and 65mm-sized sensors are already in widespread use.

  10. Hi, that was refreshing. Your extraordinary out of the box thinking, combined with your clear knowledge of optics and cameras is amazing. You should be working with Sony or Blackmagic or one the leading video camera makers if your not already. Best of luck in the new year.

  11. Pingback: This Guy Made an 8×10 Large Format Video Camera – Get Photo Tips

  12. That’s absolutely brilliant – shifting a lens to shoot a projected image from below – bravo! The idea is inspired, and you executed it with technical perfection.

    • I NEED to know more about that, it is incredible. lenticular lenses, but so much more fantastic than the little 3d bookmarks I have seen. have you tried putting a array like that on an image sensor?
      is that how you recorded the images? please let me know where I can learn more!

      • mostly its pure CGI with some photogrametrie as basis.

        have you tried putting a array like that on an image sensor?

        to be honest thats way out of my league and I belive – dont get me wrong – also yours. for example, those 3 pieces with the masks in the middle of the video are somewhat 30×30 centimeters, an array of ca 10,000 lenses and rendered with ca 90MP. and thats not even really detailed with a seeable depth of somewhat 50 centimeters. its no wonder that the last lytro-cam had a real resolution of like 1 to 3MP, despite their fancy-bullshit-PR of “megarays”.

  13. Pingback: This video was shot on a DIY 8×10 large format video camera - DIY Photography

  14. Pingback: Fotograf bastelt eine 8×10 Großformat-Videokamera – Foto[gen]erell

  15. So had a quick attempt with my setup without destroying anything (yet) and am pretty impressed so far… All pretty basic, just using multiple garbage bags to act as bellows… 😉

    So the issues I am having so far is achieving focus on the rear “Ampersand Claybord” with the lenses i have.. I have a Fuji GFX currently and do not want to buy another camera just to experiment with this, so am trying it with a Pentax 645 35mm and a Kipon Shift adapter (28mm equivalent F.O.V).

    Just curious if you can achieve “infinity” focus with your setup? Granted, you probably would rarely want too as the whole point of this setup is the lovely shallow D.O.F that can be achieved but am curious anyway..

    I am also looking to get a Canon 24mm TS-E II (19mm equivalent) for use on my GFX but am just not sure there is enough room to fit this as the taking camera as it is reasonably big..

    Also, was just wondering, as opposed to shifting the taking camera lens “up”, would you get the same effect by shifting the 8×10 camera rear “down”.

    That should be possible right?

    Might make it easier to find a faster lens if the taking camera can use a fast, wide prime lens?

    Thanks again and great work! Look forward to your thoughts! 🙂

    • Also, did you have to raise the Cambo front standard quite a bit to have things line up? It looks quite high in the video and stills.

      How far above the “zero indent” is it?

      Thanks again! 🙂

  16. Pingback: 8 x 10 Video Camera - VideoUniversity

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  18. I really love the the images you’ve created. I’ve always had a love for large format stills and have always wanted to try something like this. You said you would be happy to share instructions and what you learned. How can I contact you outside of this forum and discuss? Thanks,

  19. Pingback: Fotógrafo cria câmera de grande formato para fazer vídeos | iPhoto Channel

  20. Pingback: How I built a large-format (8x10) video camera

  21. Pingback: How I built a large-format (8×10) video camera – Joanne Maly

  22. I’d also be interested in the parts / assembly of the setup. I guess you already work on 2.0 that will be boiled down maybe with some 3d printed parts. I’d love to get my hands on and play with a setup like this. Any update? Maybe if you have the time you could make a video where you put the whole thing together 🙂 Huge respect. You area maker. A researcher. Can’t wait to see what you roll out with in the future.


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