It all began with a crazy idea in 2010. What if I made my own 4x5" pinhole camera that is compatible with the standard international back system, so you could attach all the usual backs, film cassettes, medium format holders, instant backs, and even digital ones.
It didn't take long for the first version to take shape. Jürgen, a friend who is a furniture maker helped pull this off. In this photo, the initial tripod mount and pinhole holder for the prototype are 3rd-party parts.
At this point I'm still not sure how to attach the international backs and don't have a good solution just yet. So a roll of cling film has to do for the initial tests. The first results are pretty underwhelming, not because of the camera but because I vastly underestimated the reciprocity effect on Fuji's pack film.
The MIP's design slowly takes shape over several iterations. We finally end up with side panels made of different kinds of beautiful woods, making each of the cameras one-of-a-kind.
I tried several kinds of 3-rd party pinhole holders and it has become clear that the MIP will need its own hardware. So it's off to more prototyping. Mr. Meves, a former Rollei employee, makes the first hardware prototypes for.
The attachment system is taking shape. It's clear how it should work, but at this early point in the design isn't finished, it will eventually look different, with a rounder top and better bevels to allow for easier sliding in and out of the straps.
I can't tell you how much I love those. The combination of different woods with the attachment straps made from different materials leather tips will give these cameras so much personality. I couldn't be happier with how those turned out.
The hardware is back from anodizing. An important step to make the surface feel nice. This is slightly inspired by Apple's aluminum surfaces. And I'm totally happy with how the finish came out.
Cameras and knobs are finally coming together. Very happy with hot they feel, look and especially how they function. The straps don't catch anywhere and the shape and surface are a delight to look at and work with.
Next up: fitting the pinhole holders. Those will be a tight press fit that once installed won't go anywhere. If you look closely, you can see the different wood panels.
One of the last steps in the production process is laser engraving the pinhole holders.
Early 2014. The first 10 limited and numbered Marquardt International Pinhole Cameras are ready to ship and sell out quickly. They ship to proud owners all over the world, in an exclusive felt-lined box, with polishing wax, a double set of beautiful attachment straps and a film cassette.