Do It Yourself

Mere words cannot describe the intense satisfaction that building your own camera provides. The Bulldog can be put together in a matter of hours (spread over a few days, as the glue has to dry), and requires only very basic tools. Your end result is a fully functional and completely gorgeous 4x5 or 10x8 field camera body.


The Affordable Route

Outside of the intense feelings of satisfaction that you’ll experience, there’s another concrete benefit to building your own 4x5 or 10x8 camera. The price! As with any professional equipment, large format bodies, even used ones, can be shockingly expensive. With the Bulldog, you’ll have a fully capable camera body for a mere fraction of the price.


5x4 Overview

• Size (assembled): 21.5cm x 15.25cm x 18cm

• Weight (without lens or back): 1.6kg

• Format: 4x5

• Max extension: 125mm (ground glass to lens panel)

• Min extension: 15mm (ground glass to lens panel)

• Max rise / fall: 66mm (+50mm / -16mm)

• Front Shift (Open) 28mm either way

• Front Shift (Closed) 21mm either way

• Lens mount: All standard 4x5 lenses on a 4x4 board

• Backs: All standard 4x5 film backs and Polaroid 545i back



Premium construction materials

Each Bulldog camera is composed of about 150 parts. Its main body is composed of MDF (Medium-density fibreboard), a strong engineered wood product. Its knobs and body fittings are made of sturdy brass. Once assembled, this camera is sturdy and extremely usable. It’s in it for the long haul.


Included Pinhole plate

Right out of the box, you can start shooting pinhole shots immediately with the Pinhole plate. Pinhole images are soft and dreamy – and yield an enormously wide image with no barrel distortion. Shooting such an image on large format yields a richer and sharper print then 120 or 35mm film can create. I tell you, once you cradle the majesty of an enormous large format piece of film in your hands, then nothing else compares.


Standard lens mount

The bulldog accepts nearly every variety of standard large format lenses. The used market (online stores and offline shops) is absolutely full of them – and you can score an affordable one for £100 or so. They generally come with a metal “lens plate,” and you mount both pieces right onto the front of your camera. This allows you to choose whether you want to shoot wide angle, normal perspective, or telephoto.


Standard large format back mount

You’ll also need a place to keep your film. With large format cameras, this is done via a “camera back” which slips in front of the ground glass focusing screen. Again, these backs are inexpensive and plentiful on the used market. You also have the ability to use the instant Polaroid 545i back – which allows you to shoot huge, instant, and richly detailed Polaroid color or b&w shots.


Ground glass viewer

Each Bulldog kit includes a gorgeous hunk of ground glass. This goes on the rear of your camera and allows you to compose and focus your image. Although the image is inverted, you’ll find that this huge glass frame makes it much easier to compose your shot than squinting through a little viewfinder.


Lightweight & portable

Okay, so this feature is RELATIVE. A finished Bulldog isn't going to fit in your pocket, but it’s fairly compact and portable when compared to the other massive 4x5 cameras our there. Large Format lends itself especially well to on-location landscape and cityscape photography – and your wrists, arms, and back will thank you for choosing this lightweight wooden option.


Classic & Educational

As our product pictures show, this camera is simply gorgeous. It has classic lines, and an old-school look that cannot be beaten. Moreover, its wooden exterior is easily painted or stained – so you can customize it however you like. The educational bit comes from its assembly. Putting together your own camera yields a priceless hands-on lesson about the basic functions of a camera. As you get more and more into photography, this will give you real insight about how focal lengths, apertures, and shooting angles function and interact.

Bulldog 5x4 Self Assembly Large Format Camera Kit