It started as a modest drawing in Kurt Mottweiler’s sketchbook. It became a beautiful bespoke instrument; The P.90, a hand crafted lensless, medium format camera made from a blend of cherrywood, custom made brass and other carefully chosen materials.
The P.90 is a very limited edition camera designed by an artist, for artists. A work of art with which to make art. However, it is also a camera designed to be used, where function meets a beautiful aesthetic for a memorable picture making experience.
The craftsman is Kurt Mottweiler.
From his Oregon studio workshop Kurt makes his hand built cameras with love and passion. They will no doubt become valuable collector items over time; much like an early Leica. Perhaps they will become the ‘Stradivarius’ of pin hole cameras?
Kurt speaks of his cameras as sharing a link to photography’s history. His vision is inspired by early, hand built, large format cameras. It is a vision influenced by minimalist Japanese design and is guided by traditional wood crafting techniques. Kurt takes the best of time-honoured craftsmanship and makes only a small allowance for a few modern techniques. His are cameras to be treasured.
Kurt uses only rift-sawn solid timber for the top and bottom of his cameras. Rift-sawn is a technique for cutting the wood from a log to achieve the greatest possible stability from the wood. He then uses a bent wood lamination for the curvatures of the front and back of the camera. Bent wood lamination is a traditional technique used to create shape while maintaining great strength. Bent wood lamination was used in the construction of the famous Mosquito Bombers of WWII.
This overall construction technique for a curved camera is designed to be lighter and stronger than brick style cameras. It not only creates a beautiful aesthetic, it is also very comfortable to hold and to use.
The P90 is a lensless, medium format camera. It captures a total of 8 frames on a single roll of 120 film. It achieves an almost infinite depth of field and has a 90mm field of view. Hence its name.
- Format: 6cm x 9cm
- Optics: f/190-57mm
- Exposures: 8 on a 120 roll film
- Weight: 12.4oz – 352g
- Height: 4.40 in -11.2 cm
- Width: 6.25 in – 15.9 cm
- Depth: 2.80 in – 7.1 cm
- Shutter: Integral, manually controlled.
- Materials: Ropey and Qtr. Cherry, Brass and Phenolic.
Here is a video link to a presentation by Kurt on his cameras, vision and values. Very interesting. Worth a look…. here.
Here is Kurt Mottweiler’s web site… here
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Interview with photographer Huntington Witherill: Some very good insights on what it is to be a photographer.
Waiting for the light:
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