Slovenian camera maker ONDU launched a Kickstarter for a new modular large format camera system which has reached in funding target within 24 hours.
The ONDU Eikan 4×5 Standard camera can be changed to a 4×5 Range camera with longer bellows, and the range can then be converted into a 4×10 Panoramikku panoramic camera.
The new system camera was announced on Tuesday (20 June) and has surpassed its goal of $30,000, reaching more than $45,000 by Friday morning. The campaign will continue to run until 27 July.
“For years, I had been envisioning a design for a large format camera,” ONDU founder Elvis Halilović said on the Kickstarter campaign page. “However, I hesitated to bring it to life because it didn’t offer any innovative solutions to the problems I wanted to address. That is, until I developed the modular system of the Ondu Eikan camera range.
“This camera serves as the perfect gateway to large format photography, allowing you to continually improve and nurture your creative flow over time,” Halilović added. “Its modular design empowers you to make enhancements and adapt the camera to your evolving needs. Whether you’re a beginner venturing into large format imagery or seeking a lightweight setup, the Standard ONDU Eikan set is the ideal camera to start your large format journey.”
The Standard version of the camera ($780) features a rigid back and a movable front standard, with a bellows length of 32cm. Halilović described it as the “easiest entry for those starting their large format photography journey or for those looking for a lightweight setup for their outdoor adventures as this model weighs 1500g and is a breeze to setup”.
The 4×5 Range version ($950) features an extra 10cm of rear extension, which means it can be used for macro photography or with longer lenses.
The 4×10 Panoramikku ($1,400) features a new rear standard and a new bellows set which allows the camera to be used for panoramic shooting.
The modular nature of the system means the Standard version of the camera can be changed into the Range version, by swapping the bellows and re arranging 10 screws. The camera can be converted in 10-15 minutes. The Range camera can be converted to the Panoramikku in even less time.
The cameras are compatible with Linhof lens boards and with Graflok backs, including the Lomo Graflok. The cameras are made from European walnut and CNC-lathed aluminium parts. There are no 3D-printed or plywood parts in the cameras, Halilović said.
The Kickstarter page shows a full list of technical specs, including detailed information on the souring of the parts, all of which are made in Slovenia.
The cameras are expected to be shipped in February 2024.
The Kickstarter campaign also has details on Halilović’s next plans – a mobile “kit” for wet plate photographers, following in the footsteps of Victorian explorer photographers.
“In line with my passion for wet plate photography, my future plans include expanding the range of tools and products available for these mediums. Once the Eikan orders are successfully delivered, I will focus on developing a lightweight system specifically designed for wet plate field photography,” he said. “I firmly believe that this medium has untapped potential beyond the confines of the studio, and the lack of specialised tools has hindered its’ wider adoption.”