A German artist is planning on creating a mobile version of IMAGO 1:1 - the only camera in the world capable of true 1:1 reproduction for full-length self-portraits. Susanna Kraus, daughter of co-inventor and physicist Werner Kraus has created a Kickstarter page IMAGOphotour, seeking £95,000 (~$150,000, €112,000) to fund the development of a mobile version of this giant camera, intending to tour it around the world. The 'camera' works like a photo booth, projecting a true-to-life 1:1 portrait onto sheets of 60cm x 200cm black-and-white direct positive paper. 

The original IMAGO 1:1 camera is currently situated in Berlin, was created in 1970 by Werner Kraus and his friend Erhard Hössle. The mechanism allowed users to step into its photo booth, pose against the mirror and press the shutter release to shoot self-portraits. The images were then recorded into large positive photo papers. It wasn't and is still not capable of producing negatives. Each image is a one-off. 

The funding for the IMAGOphotour Kickstarter project will go towards rebuilding the original camera from scratch, but it won't be an exact replica. In order to make it mobile, its weight will be reduced to almost half (700 kgs compared the original 1500 kgs) through the use of lightweight aluminium parts, fiberglass and canvas.

New mobile IMAGO1:1 - Proposed technical details

Camera:

  • Size: 7 x 4 x 3m
  • Approx. weight: 700 kg
  • Material: aluminium, sheet steel, fibreglass, canvas
  • Transport: continental via truck (7.5t), overseas via a shipping container (20 foot, ISO 6346 Standard) 

Paper:

  • Size per portrait: 60x200cm (2x6.5ft) 
  • Material: Direct Positive Paper by ILFORD
  • Technique: direct exposure & standard black and white development without any toxic chemicals