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Aggie

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I am anxiously awaiting the announcement that the Jim Chinn ULF cameras are available for sale. From all I have heard and reports back on a field test done by an apugger, I think this camera is going to be very exciting. Of course I am going to go for the baby of the bunch at 11x14 size. I just can't see myself going much bigger than that. Since my dream of having an equipment hauler named Sven is just that a dream, I still have to contend with and older over weight balding hubby who tends to whine if he has to get his hands dirty. (computer geek by trade) I need a camera that is easy for me to handle and set up, yet take a biggggggggggg negative.

For those who would wonder where to get a good lens to go along with the most reasonable camera, check out Jim Galli and his lenses. I've seen some of his inventory before up close and personal. You can't go wrong with these two apuggers and their wares.

I should charge these guys for this, but ya know, I am just happy they are around and want to say thank you for doing what they are doing. They are working to keep analog alive.
 

Jim Chinn

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I have started a company that will build lightweight, affordable ULF cameras.
I will have images of a couple of the cameras (11x14 and 7x17) up on APUG next week.

I am about two weeks behind schedule due to having to move the location of my shop.

I will have a web site up sometime by the end of September or early October that will list all specs prices etc.

If you want information now I will be happy to answer all questions and provide specs and pricing. Send me a private message via APUG or Email me at JChinn2@attg.net.
 

Kerik

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Jim Chinn said:
I have started a company that will build lightweight, affordable ULF cameras.
I will have images of a couple of the cameras (11x14 and 7x17) up on APUG next week.

Jim,

Any news/pictures regarding your cameras?

Kerik
 

mark

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Any updates. I want to know how much money to save up.
 
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Aggie

Aggie

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Last I heard (this not directly from him) he is working hard at his normal day job until after the holidays. Seems they needed him full time, instead of letting him go to part time. It's a shame when work (jobs) intrudes on the work you want to do. He also quoted me in the low $2000 range ( do not quote me with my blonde roots as an absolute on this one) for an 11x14 with two film holders. That was just a pre completion number, he may have more concrete figures by now. No matter if the price rises a bit, it is still a heck of a deal.

David Goldfarb I think tested out one of the cameras. I would love to hear from him what he thought of it.
 

David A. Goldfarb

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I offered to test, but haven't noticed an 11x14" camera in my mailbox recently. I'm not sure whether Jim found someone else to test, or if it's just not at that stage yet.
 
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I had an email from Jim a couple of weeks ago & he's still refining his cameras & holders, but is hopeful of having definitive information & jpegs shortly.
 

Jeremy

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Part of a PM from Jim earlier this week:

"Yes things are progressing but I have been further delayed due to arrangements with my regular employer. I had hoped to be able to transfer to a part-time status at the end of October but am needed full time untill first of January. Part-time allows me to fully persue the camera/photography business.

I still hope to have some images up on APUG soon of a camera. Will be taking orders in January."

*Jim, if you don't want this up here let me know and I'll take it down*
 

Jim Chinn

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Fellow Large Formatters,


First I apologize for being wildly optimistic about getting this project done in the original time frame. I have discovered that it is easy to make a camera.
It is much more difficult to make a camera to sell with your name on it.

My original goal was to come up with a camera that is affordable, light weight, has generous movements and can be used for a variety of formats.
Part of this includes building film holders specific to my cameras to greatly reduce the costs of holders.

The goal is still the same. The problem has been reaching the proper balance between price and convenience of use. For instance, to cut costs and save wieght I have used a hybrid monorail. The rail comes in three sections. The main section that has gearing for focus is 18" and the others are 12" and 10". This would be for an 11x14 camera. For most uses you use two rails. The camera is transproted on a very small monorail (6") To set up you attach the main rail to the tripod then the camera on the 6" rail to the main rail and then slide the camera onto the main rail. This allows the camera to be transported in about the same size area as a folded field camera. But it does take a little more time to set up. I went through 5 different rail designs and fabrications before I worked done the the simplest thing I could find.

The front rise in the first designs was a geared rise with a side knob control and lock. This works great untill you get into some heavy older vintage lenses. Then I needed double gear racks, larger knob, better lock out etc. that started to blow the budget. So I decided to go with some old technology and use a simple knob and screw design that moves the lens from the top of the standard. Simple, light, works with heavy lenses.

I also discovered that I can make a hell of an 8x10 bellows but larger then that things get ugly quickly. I also had to try my hand at making big ground glass but I think that pleasure will go to Satin Snow.

All in all I have gone through a small mountain of welding wire and aluminum working out ideas.

I have ironed out the kinks, got everything arranged with my employer(s).

I want to be able to provide a camera that is priced in a way that allows photographers who can only dream of working in ULF an opportunity to take the plunge. If I have mentioned prices to you they are still the same with 2 double film holders included with each camera regardless of format.

Once again please accept my apologies. I love all formats but I don't think anything is comparable to ULF silver or alternative contact prints. I want to see this art form continue into the future.

I would like to say Monday or next Wednesday or whenever I will have cameras ready or pictures etc. I have given out plenty of false dates and deadlines and I don't want to give out any more.

I will have some pictures up asap. I will have two cameras of the final design (12x20 and 11x14) ready in January that I will be sending out for evaluation.
Jorge (if he is still talking to me) will get the 12x20 and David Goldfarb the 11x14 if he is available. They can post their thoughts and critiques on APUG and then people can make decisions about buying. But I have decided I won't entertain any discussion about orders untill i can get a couple of independent reviews for APUGers to read. (There i go setting dates and deadlines again!!!).

If you want pricing and specification info or have other questions please feel free to email or PM me.

Sorry if this is a little rambling but I felt i needed to get out a blanket reply to everyone who has shown an interest and gave me words of encouragement.

Thanks,

Jim Chinn
 

David A. Goldfarb

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No need to apologize at all, Jim. I think we all realize that developing a new camera design is no easy task, and it's going to take some time to work out the kinks. I'm happy to test out the camera whenever it's ready.
 
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photomc

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Agree with David, no need to apologize Jim...heck I think we are all just excited to hear it is all so close to becoming a reality.
 

mark

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Thanks Jim. Good luck.
 

Jorge

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I am still talking to you Jim, you are one of the few not in my ignore list.. :smile:

I hope you will deliver the camera in person as we had planned... :smile:
 

Jim Chinn

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A few people have contacted me about the formats that will be available.


One of the reasons I have taken the approach of a modular system and proprietary film holders is that it gives me the ability to make all formats including custom sizes.

The following standard sizes will be available. 8x10, 11x14, 7x17, 8x20, 12x20, 16x20, 14x17, 20x24.

I can just as easily make 12x12, 10x16, 4x20, 5 1/2x13 3/8ths etc.

Now here is what I consider the strength of my approach. The design allows someone to buy a 12x20 for example. They could buy additional backs and film holders that will fit that camera for anything smaller then 12x20. For example, some subjects lend themselves to a more square format. You simply buy a 11x14 (or if you get the film cut) 12x12 back. I guess if two people bought similar cameras each could buy a couple of backs and then they could share 4 additional formats. Cost of film holders are dependent on the size of the main camera and smaller format size. Cost will range from approx. $250 to $350. Film holders (besides the 2 that come with the camera) will range in cost from about $140-$175 with discounts for purchases of more then one at a time.

A similar approach is used with regards to the actual film holder frame. I use an internal spring system that can allow someone to have made and use a variety of film holders for specific mediums. Wet plate, dry glass plate, vacuum holders etc.

I can also build the frame to work with any existing holder. So if you have some 11x14 holders I can build the back to fit those holders.

To be perfectly honest, I decided to build the 12x20 and 11x14 for review because Jorge and David both use the formats and have experience and lenses.
I also know that I will get the cameras back! Well except for Jorge. I have to go to Mexico and keep an eye on him.
 

Jorge

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Jim Chinn said:
I also know that I will get the cameras back! Well except for Jorge. I have to go to Mexico and keep an eye on him.

You got that right bubba! :D
 

micha8a

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Any Updates?

Hi Jim.

Very interesting project. Do You have any updates for us?

Thanks a lot?

Micha
 

Jim Chinn

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I am currently producing the first four production cameras. Three of these have already been purchased (2 11x14s and 1 8x20). I am also getting to work on one 12x20 that was promised to someone for testing and evaluating.
And a 7x17 that will be be used at Lee's workshop.

Before these first cameras ship I will get images and post them on APUG. I then hope to have a web site up in late March.

One change that I have made is that the film holders I build will be compatible with other Mfgs cameras. As we gear up on building film holders for our cameras,(price for a camera includes 2 film holders), we will begin to make these holders available to the large format community in general.

One advantage to our holders will be that because they are top loading you will be able to use format inserts that fit into a holder. For instance, if you shoot 12x20 you could use an insert in one of the film holders, use the same holder for 8x20 and just mask or mark off 8x20 on the ground glass. No extra back to carry around.

A second advantage to the cameras is the back design allows adapters to be inserted into the film holder frame so you could use a a different format. With the previously mentioned 12x20 instead of using an insert in the 12x20 holder, you would use the adpter in the back of the camera and insert a 8x20 holder. Once again, same back, same GG.

And there will also be the option to have an entirely seperate back for any format.

It has been a long process but things are finally coming together.
 
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Jim Chinn said:
I am currently producing the first four production cameras. Three of these have already been purchased (2 11x14s and 1 8x20). I am also getting to work on one 12x20 that was promised to someone for testing and evaluating.
And a 7x17 that will be be used at Lee's workshop.

Before these first cameras ship I will get images and post them on APUG. I then hope to have a web site up in late March.

One change that I have made is that the film holders I build will be compatible with other Mfgs cameras. As we gear up on building film holders for our cameras,(price for a camera includes 2 film holders), we will begin to make these holders available to the large format community in general.

One advantage to our holders will be that because they are top loading you will be able to use format inserts that fit into a holder. For instance, if you shoot 12x20 you could use an insert in one of the film holders, use the same holder for 8x20 and just mask or mark off 8x20 on the ground glass. No extra back to carry around.

A second advantage to the cameras is the back design allows adapters to be inserted into the film holder frame so you could use a a different format. With the previously mentioned 12x20 instead of using an insert in the 12x20 holder, you would use the adpter in the back of the camera and insert a 8x20 holder. Once again, same back, same GG.

And there will also be the option to have an entirely seperate back for any format.

It has been a long process but things are finally coming together.

All this sounds very exciting. For some time I have been having this desire to go big... Bigger than 8x10 at least. My eyes are set on 12x20 format. As soon as you have pics, please flood this site with them. I think that ULF is going to become a lot more popular than it already is. Just a feeling!
 

mark

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Jim, Are you planning to build a 5x12?
 

Jim Chinn

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You want a 5x12 we can build a 5x12. PM me and we can discuss the details and price.
 

payral

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The last message on that thread was on july 2004.
Any news about these cameras ?
Any pictures available ?
Is it possible to get some informations ?
 

Jorge

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payral said:
The last message on that thread was on july 2004.
Any news about these cameras ?
Any pictures available ?
Is it possible to get some informations ?

Things are coming together now, I am hoping Jim is still on schedule and will deliver my camera on the first week of May, I will then post pictures of the camera and an evaluation for members to read. So stay tuned more information is soon to come...
 
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