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Kickstarter project looks to take 1:1 walk-in camera on a world tour

By dpreview staff on Feb 11, 2013 at 22:16 GMT

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

Comments

Total comments: 45
stevens37y
By stevens37y (Feb 13, 2013)

This would a nice hacking project if someone had an idea to realize it under $100.

0 upvotes
mikusa
By mikusa (Feb 13, 2013)

I'd need to see the lens line-up before I'd consider it. An 18-200mm f2 walk-around lens would make it worth it.

2 upvotes
Gary Dean Mercer Clark
By Gary Dean Mercer Clark (Feb 12, 2013)

How fun. Love it. I love the huge polaroid instant cameras too! That would make it even more amazing! Use an instant film back!

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
joe6pack
By joe6pack (Feb 12, 2013)

Even at the thumbnail size, the B/W photos do not look all that high quality to me.

How about getting multiple digital cameras, strategically position them top to bottom and have them fire off at the same time and then stitch the images together to form a life size image? The mirror will have a few holes in it (I don't know if the Imago1:1's mirror has holes or not). But it is much cheaper.

0 upvotes
Nerval
By Nerval (Feb 12, 2013)

Polaroid is thinking about buying the patents to make a commercial version for its photo-bars, only USD $2 M per print.

0 upvotes
88SAL
By 88SAL (Feb 12, 2013)

Based on the comments, this thread is obviously in the wrong place to be truely appreciated. This creation is breath taking and is very much what photography is about. Big pictures with real emotions. So many people here are too wrapped up with what the latest digital technology has to offer.

I have my 600mm Apo-Ronar sitting on my table here, waiting to find a use for it. I should make something like this.

8 upvotes
joe6pack
By joe6pack (Feb 13, 2013)

Honestly, I am not sharing the excitement. "Big pictures". Can't you do that with conventional camera? Just shot at a distance and blow up the picture? "real emotions". How does the camera make emotion any more real than conventional cameras?

4 upvotes
mypobox
By mypobox (Feb 13, 2013)

Not to mention the only shot thats looks like a real emotion is the dude with no shirt holding the girl. all the others looks so fake and posed. like modern people pretending to be "period" subjects. boring imo.

1 upvote
Michel Pont
By Michel Pont (Feb 12, 2013)

How Sharp ? What about maximum Isos ?

0 upvotes
88SAL
By 88SAL (Feb 12, 2013)

It is a paper process, look up the direct positive paper. It doesnt follow the standard ISO scale, you dont buy varying sensitivites as it is not required in a darkroom.

People these days just dont know the analogue process.

1 upvote
Nerval
By Nerval (Feb 12, 2013)

@88SAL
I think his point was mainly a joke...

0 upvotes
fotobert
By fotobert (Feb 12, 2013)

The Cibachrome positive paper (~1985) was one of the "fastest" papers of its time. It had approx 17DIN which is Iso 40. Some freaks used this paper in large format cameras. It was available in all standard film sizes like 9x12, 13x18, 18x24 and 24x30 cm.

1 upvote
Nerval
By Nerval (Feb 13, 2013)

Now that's a good piece of info!

0 upvotes
plasnu
By plasnu (Feb 12, 2013)

Macro for Giants.

1 upvote
Jeff Greenberg
By Jeff Greenberg (Feb 12, 2013)

"Artist Susanna Kraus, daughter of original IMAGO1:1 co-inventor Werner Kraus is seeking £95,000 (~$150,000, €112,000)..."

Why doesn't she bloody work for it like the rest of us?

2 upvotes
88SAL
By 88SAL (Feb 12, 2013)

Because artists are never paid what they're worth. 1% of artists go on to make what business people call "real money". So they survive and contribute to society with their creations through grants and donations from those civil enough to support them.

5 upvotes
DStudio
By DStudio (Feb 12, 2013)

Sounds like she's doing all the work - I guess someone else can do the complaining.

According to the kickstarter link she's already put all her money into it, and along with her friends and family they've already financed half the cost.

0 upvotes
witne2s
By witne2s (Feb 12, 2013)

would it provide 8 fps? i am considering my next camera for cats and relative_beside_the_table genres.

5 upvotes
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (Feb 12, 2013)

Whats the crop factor?

5 upvotes
rurikw
By rurikw (Feb 12, 2013)

Should be about 0.02

1 upvote
jimjim2111
By jimjim2111 (Feb 12, 2013)

I'm reminded of the 20 x 24 inch polariod in NYC.
http://www.20x24studio.com/

0 upvotes
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (Feb 12, 2013)

portraits with a photo-booth distance perspective [whatever it is, the FL is going to be relatively wide compared to the image recording surface]

interesting, nevertheless

0 upvotes
Nerval
By Nerval (Feb 12, 2013)

Well... yes and no... Not that wide if you consider the size of the imager!

0 upvotes
stevens37y
By stevens37y (Feb 12, 2013)

I would like to see a digital version. About 20x80 pieces of FF sensors would be needed.

1 upvote
h2k
By h2k (Feb 12, 2013)

Surprised to see that kind of news here.

0 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Feb 12, 2013)

Jah.

0 upvotes
TimK5
By TimK5 (Feb 12, 2013)

It should do at least 10 frames/hour, otherwise I'm not interested!

3 upvotes
rurikw
By rurikw (Feb 12, 2013)

Neat! Only can't figure out how the optical side works. How about a chart? And how about a van with a lens in the back door and 1.5x1.5m film or paper. Street photography!

2 upvotes
azDavin
By azDavin (Feb 12, 2013)

Thats what I have. An old cargo van with a berthiot 520mm f6.3 lens mounted in the door. Portraits can go as large as 4 to 1. Harman photo positive paper at iso 3 w with 2-7 second exposures.

0 upvotes
Nerval
By Nerval (Feb 12, 2013)

Seriously ?

0 upvotes
E Dinkla
By E Dinkla (Feb 13, 2013)

Why not? I have seen caravan-camera designs described + pictures in the photo magazines 30 years ago. Pinhole and long repro lenses. The pinhole models with curved backplanes. Straight photo (negative) papers that were contact printed on similar papers with blueprint machines. Talbot style. No need for a mirror or prism in the camera to reverse the image.
Nothing new this time, just another artist who thinks he/she has an original concept.

Here a more recent one:
http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/11/23/bmw.paris.photo/index.html?hpt=Sbin

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Nerval
By Nerval (Feb 14, 2013)

I did not mean it, like it sounds when I read it again. I was just asking if azDavin actually had this setup.

0 upvotes
Nathaniel George Weir
By Nathaniel George Weir (Feb 12, 2013)

And yet it still doesn't have a pop-up flash... Useless... And it probably has no built in pop-art filters either :/

2 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Feb 12, 2013)

I bet it doesn't have a viewfinder.

0 upvotes
Kendall Helmstetter Gelner
By Kendall Helmstetter Gelner (Feb 12, 2013)

In the upgraded Kickstarter version they should add an option for sepia-toned lights. :-)

0 upvotes
azDavin
By azDavin (Feb 12, 2013)

I have that shoots that size built into a cargo van and I also use positive paper. Im just curious if the camera does the developing automatically while they wait. It takes an hour.

0 upvotes
LVPhoto1
By LVPhoto1 (Feb 12, 2013)

I have an app that does the same thing! Just kidding!

0 upvotes
Bruce McL
By Bruce McL (Feb 12, 2013)

A portable camera that makes big prints is a neat idea.

I recently learned about a photographer named Ian Ruhter who can and does make full size head shots with his portable camera. It is built inside a large van/small truck, and uses the wet plate collodion process to make exposures.

I know this is slightly off topic, but I think Ian deserves some recognition for what he does.

http://vimeo.com/53917349

3 upvotes
645D
By 645D (Feb 11, 2013)

How much for a picture? Standard development of 0.6x 2M Ilford paper is not cheap:-(

0 upvotes
njkdo
By njkdo (Feb 11, 2013)

Sony is already thinking about a pocketable version.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
5 upvotes
mike kobal
By mike kobal (Feb 11, 2013)

first true full frame ;)

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
14 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Feb 11, 2013)

We don't need another mirrorless system.

11 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 11, 2013)

We are safe:

"The mechanism allowed users to step into its photo booth, pose against the mirror and press the shutter release to shoot self-portraits."

3 upvotes
G G
By G G (Feb 11, 2013)

Good enough, at last the mirror is where it belongs.

4 upvotes
disasterpiece
By disasterpiece (Feb 12, 2013)

I bet Samsung would do this using a front display :P

0 upvotes
Total comments: 45