Most folding cameras have a strut to brace the front standard. I believe that the Intrepid pattern, using a removable standard fixed by a central knob was pioneered by Dick Phillips and subsequently adopted by other and more expensive makers. It certainly avoids the possibility of local wear on the bellows outer edges as the camera is folded. The history of the folding field cameras has so many minor players that I cannot confirm that all this is true. Others may well know better.
Presumably Intrepid made different decisions from Arca-Swiss. A piece of string would fit well with Intrepid's minimal methods.
As they are such a young company, I'm sure they'd be open to suggestions.
The most important thing I heard in that video was "...it will take about 6.5 pounds off my back!" I've read quite a few remarks over the past few weeks about stability. It's a <5 pound 10x8!! Sorry, but I would expect wind might be an issue... Can't wait to get mine.
The flexing looks bad, but few photographers prod their cameras during exposure. It might well be a problem with gusty wind but in calm weather, the standard will tend to stay where it is, just as the much more mobile leaves on trees do. I suspect that the major factor in wind is the bellows, which not only act a a sail, pushing the camera over, but can also rattle from side to side, vibrating the whole camera/tripod assembly. I'm not convinced by the heavy camera theory, as a heavy camera will move the centre of gravity upwards, making the assembly less, rather than more stable. When the wind blows, I stay inside.
A slightly different edit might convince Arca-Swiss owners that they'd made a poor decision and needed to invest in some blue string and plastic wiggly bits. We shall be able to see, sometime after mid-February.
The Shen Hao and Chamonix cameras I've handled are like Ebony cameras copied from Dick Phillips cameras. They are more stable so I'm not sure why this one isn't. I just found it odd the way Ben brought it up in the Video, he's not doing Intrepid any favours.
Stability becomes a greater issue when you use longer lenses, I found it near impossible to use my Nikon M 300mm f9 lens on my Wista, it would be fine on one of my MPP MicroTechnicals. It's not just about the weight of the camera it's how it's constructed and the materials used. The 300mm would be fine on my Super Graphic as well.
I'm on the lookout for an older British 10x8 field camera, I'll make a modern back if needs be.
While sitting on the dunny I realised that my 10x8 Agfa Ansco Commercial has a similar central knob for the front standard and it's rock solid in use. No flexing so this really is an issue with the Intrepid.
He's shown similar ways to stabilise his other cameras by attaching these guy ropes. Perhaps he really wanted to demonstrate this. On the 5x4 Intrepid he demonstrated how to increase the firmness of the front standard by putting a piece of tape at each end of the lower part of the front standard. Almost any camera can be made to flex if you choose to push hard enough. Interesting that the rear standard is more rigid than the Area-Swiss.
This must be an early model, so later production runs may be improved. We shall see eventually no doubt.
Well he's done a very good job of undermining their products, More seriously my Agfa Ansco 19x8 camera is about 80 years old and has none of those issues and earlier models date back over a century and don't either.
A more detailed review is promised. This one seemed to be mostly about string. He's rejected his Ebony too, so standards in the Horne household must be high. The Ebony broke when it fell over onto sand. I remember dropping an MPP from a jetty onto northern rocks while photographing St Mary's Lighthouse. It still functioned, although it wouldn't quite fold properly until I did a little dainty work with a claw hammer. Happily, the rocks showed only slight damage.
No doubt the Intrepid could be made as rigid as the Ansco, but how much does the Ansco weigh?
Or (a more difficult calculation) how much would it cost today, allowing for inflation?
David, I agree about the weigh issue my point though is there shouldn't be that flexing of the front standard, look how simple the Agfa Ansco front standard is held by one fastener and it's rigid in use.
I think the Bulldog cameras are far worse than the Intrepid in this respect, but they are also cheaper.
My Wista hit the ground hard when a quick release tripod fitting failed, joint sprang apart -I used a shoe to tap it back into place it's still OK nearly 30 years later.
It looks like an excellent and robust bit of kit. The base of the front standard seems much wider and is reinforced with a vertical rib as well as a strip of brass around the slot. The mating surfaces seem to be brass-covered too. Perhaps that's the secret. There must be more carpentry in the Ansco's front standard than in the whole of the Intrepid. We shall just have to wait and see.
Thanks for the shoe tip. Sadly, my wellies were not up to the task.