Speaking to Kosmo Foto, Chroma Cameras founder Steve Lloyd says, ‘The Chroma 679 is a brand new, modular, medium format camera system. Like my other Chroma cameras, it’s been designed around the idea of flexibility and ‘uniqueness’, along with being an affordable, and enjoyable, way to combine existing lenses and film holders.’
The Chroma 679 system comprises four standard components. All 679 cameras use a laser cut acrylic front plate with integrated metal helicoid. The next item is a custom threaded lens board constructed using anodized aluminum. This screws into the front of the 679 helicoid to create a secure mount. There are two styles of lens board available, a standard Copal and a 0.4mm brass pinhole.
|Image credit: Chroma Cameras|
The third component is the mid-body. This is the primary body section of a constructed 679 camera. It creates a spacer to mount the lens the correct distance from the film for obtaining infinity focus and it includes a pair of cold shoes. You can use cold shoes for accessories such as a light meter or a viewfinder. The mid-body is also the mounting point for optional accessories such as a tripod mount or full grip. The mid-body is available in any depth from 10mm up to 120mm. If you need help determining which mid-body depth you require, refer to this page.
|Chroma Cameras 679 system mid-body component. Image credit: Chroma Cameras|
The final component is the film back. There are four mounts available: Kiev88, Mamiya Press, Mamiya RB Pro S and Hasselblad V Series (early version only, which allows manual winding of film without a Hasselblad body). There is also an available plain ground glass film back.
These standard components connect using a physical interlock and four ‘very strong neodymium rare-earth magnets’ in each section. Additional accessories can also be attached using integrated mounting points on each side of the mid-body. Photographers can purchase an additional cold shoe plate and a basic tripod mount to add to their 679 camera system. Further, there’s an available full grip with an integrated tripod thread, internal storage for a roll of 120 film, and a passthrough mount for a cable release. The grip is available in black and wooden printed materials for either left- or right-handed photographers.
|679 camera system with Kiev88 film back and optional full grip (wood). Image credit: Chroma Cameras|
Lloyd says that ‘Whilst it’s not the first modular medium format camera system, [the 679 system] is the first system that allows the photographer to combine large format lenses with rollfilm backs from three different manufacturers in the same camera! At the same time, the lens board used for the 679 system are the same as those used on the SnapShot, allowing the photographer to seamlessly move lenses between both systems.’ Lloyd continues to say that the 679 system is lighter than ‘even the lightest large format systems’.
The 679 system and its components can be ordered here. The front plate costs £45, the lens board is £25 (pinhole is £30), the mid-body component is £40, and the film back is £40. A ground-glass back is also available for £30. Optional components range in price from £15 to £45. The most expensive add-on is the full grip with a wood finish.
Lloyd says, ‘I designed the 679 system for photographers who want to shoot a range of formats, without having to carry large heavy systems.’ It looks to be a well-designed product and it fills a unique niche. You can check out additional Chroma Cameras at the following links: Snapshot Handheld Multi-Format System and Carbon Adventurer – Ultrawide Field Camera.