Massive project of note

Discussion in 'Ultra Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by FFullam, Jun 8, 2015.

  1. FFullam

    FFullam Member

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    Dennis Manarchy got his 35 foot camera built after years of work and support from so many.

    Now is is try to get a major outdoor exhibit up - 50 portraits 2 stories tall.

    Dead Link Removed

    I have been to his studio and seen his test shots - the 4 foot by 6 foot negatives and the giant prints. These are not novelties or curisoties - his portraits are works of great art.

    These portraits need to get out of his studio and displayed in public.

    A little help from a lot of people will get this project moving to the next phase - a national tour and I hope a world tour.

    Francis Fullam
     
  2. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Interesting. The video still looks faked.

    In particular, the gigantic lens on the gigantic camera is engraved "APO RONAR." That's nice, except that the largest Apo Ronar is the 1800/16. The front section of its barrel is 140 mm in diameter and the front element is a little smaller than that. 140 mm is considerably smaller than the huge lens on the huge camera.
     
  3. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Why is a trailer sized camera a replica of a small one. In what aspect is that related to the idea of making big negatives?
     
  4. OP
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    FFullam

    FFullam Member

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    A very real camera.

    The project has an element of "circus" to it. The 35 foot camera is made to look like an old fashion camera to add excitement to the event when the camera rolls into a town. Even housing around the lens is made to look like an lens from the turn of the century. In the back of the camera, there is large video screen so that people can stand behind the camera and look at the image as if they were watching through the ground glass. The camera has many features like this - for fun and to make a impression. But this is not a toy - this is a precision instrument....with a few embellishments.

    Yes, I agree, the camera looks a bit fake in some pictures that were created in advance to show what it look like. The camera is very real. I saw it a few months ago in display out of doors in a plaza behind the opera house in Chicago.

    Dead Link Removed

    I think this is a great way to get some broad attention for the wonders of film - and what it still does so wonderfully in the right hands

    Francis
     
  5. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    butterfliesandbuffalo.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/B+B_Camera_001.jpg

    Hmm. Interesting date there.
     
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    FFullam

    FFullam Member

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    The date is wrong on the photo. Here is a photo I took at the same outdoor event in Sept 2013.

    A marvel to behold!!!

    ULF'ers unite!!!! This thing was made to be seen. It should be on the road, touring the country, touring the world.
     

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  7. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Francis, thank you for hinting at that "circus" idea.
    I did not want to come over as killoy but that appearance of the camera was the first thing that irritated me and thus I asked.
     
  8. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    I dug around and viewed some of the other videos out there - The lens and shutter has been fabricated from solid lumps of aluminium and would best be described as an enlarged model of a 1070mm APO-RONAR.

    http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/224249321.html

    Quite a remarkable device. It would be interesting to see more of the camera internals and some indication as to why it needs to be 12'x8' when the film being used is only 6'x4'. I'm guessing the bulk of the space inside is for darkroom/processing purposes.
     
  9. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Paul, I watched the video. Tek Pak Inc exists, their site is http://www.tekpak.com/index.html. Tony Beyer is their president. Greg Berkolup is Tek Pak's VP R&D. Not a lens or shutter manufacturer.

    Manarchy madness has been around for a while. As I understand it he has a working room camera (lens & shutter mounted in a hole in a wall, subject one one side of the wall, film plane on the other) with which he shoots 6'x4' portraits. The lens is a 1070/14 Apo Ronar that covers a bit over 7' at 1:1. Very Richard Learoyd and nothing particularly new.

    It all seems to be the old begging bowl routine risen from the Kickstarter dead.

    The OP may be Sr. Director, Marketing Reserach & Pt. Relations at Rush University Medical Center.
     
  10. OP
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    FFullam

    FFullam Member

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    Yes, I would have to say this is a form of madness, but the good, productive beautiful kind. It is madness because he seems to have been at this project for a number of years and kept going when others would have given up. But he just kept going and involving more and more people. But ultimately it was the real beauty of his product that interested people. The circus part is to get the general public interested.

    I have not heard anyone comment on the actual photos. What do you think of his work?


    Yes, I am at Rush in the marketing dept. I came to photography rather late in life and to ULF even later. I bought parts from Filip Harbert in Prague to put together a 20 x 24. A joy when everything comes together in a photo.
     
  11. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    The work? Big head shots straight on? Boring. And they have nothing to do with the preserving/recording cultures propaganda. They say nothing about customs, folkways, what the people do and believe. They're just boring portraits. If you want to help people recording vanishing cultures, support anthropological fieldwork.
     
  12. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    Whether it's an actual apo-ronar or not, I doubt it. I had a toy camera once, I think I got it in a $2 showbag. Took 110 film. Lasted a week or two before it fell apart. The lens had 'summicron' written around the rim. Was it really a summicron made by leica? I think you get my point.
    (ps, I can't read the focal length in the video, but I can read 1:14 on it, so they didn't even rip off the 1800/16)

    The work may be ok, or not, I'm not a critic. But I'm curious at to what the point is about printing them 2 storeys tall?
    If it's a 4x6' contact print, that's great, we can see enough detail as close as security lets us get to the photo (i'll let others more experienced argue if that's more or less detail than you get from an 8x10" neg enlarged to the same size).
    But if it's a 2-storey enlargement, we see what? A huge photo where the center is at least 3-5m away vertically, more likely 10-20m viewing at a resonable angle. Probably with no more discernable detail that far away than an 8x10 at arms' length. Or a very very detailed shoulder/foot (whatever's at the bottom of the picture) if we can get close enough. Or will there be a scaffold so people can look at the image close up in the bits that matter, and obscuring the view from afar?
     
  13. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Croubie, the monster camera is a mock-up. Can't function as claimed.

    The shots were, I believe, taken with a "room cam." Hole in a wall between two rooms, subject and powerful flashes on one side of the wall, film holder on the other. I've read that he took them with a 1080 Apo Ronar. This is plausible.

    Manarchy's Kickstarter failed. The one I found the last time I looked asked for $50k. Now he's trying Indiegogo and asking for $150k. I won't be surprised if that effort fails too.
     
  14. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Why not? With a lens of realistic diameter/speed and of the appropriate coverage (embedded in that huge barrel).
    And the appropriate lighting.
     
  15. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Fair question that only Mr. Manarchy can answer fairly. Since he's not here, I'll answer unfairly.

    If I understand Mr. Manarchy's claims for the device correctly, the camera is 35 feet long and 12 feet tall. I interpret this to mean that the lens board to film plane distance is 35 feet. I could be mistaken here, a clarification from the source would be helpful. It is very possible that the trailer is a 35 footer and the camera is no more than 20 feet long. Look at this video http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/224249321.html. If the camera's claimed dimensions are right the people standing around it are very tall indeed.

    If you look at Dead Link Removed, you'll see that the camera may focus by moving the subject. The standards seem to be fixed on the trailer, so extension is fixed. If this is right then the plane of best focus is fixed and the plate the subject poses on doesn't have to move very much.

    If the lens used really is a 1070 mm (42 inches) Apo Ronar, 35' extension means that magnification is approximately 9:1. The shots that Mr. Manarchy has displayed are head and shoulders. The distance from the top of my head to the top of my sternumis 15". 9*15 is 135 inches. At that magnification my head and shoulders won't fit on a neg 72 inches high. 20' extension means ~ 5:1. I still won't fit the neg.

    At 9:1, effective aperture is 10 stops down from the aperture set. Never mind about diffraction problems, this means that getting a good exposure of a sitter requires considerable light or clamping the sitter solidly in place. There are no flashes or apparatus to hold the sitter in place visible and the sun just isn't bright enough to get a sharp image without a well-stabilized subject. 5:1 still demands more light/steadiness than is available.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the real working camera is a version of Mr. Manarchy's room cam hidden inside the monstrosity.
     
  16. AgX

    AgX Member

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    That was a kind of forensic examination you did.

    Very much appreciated!
     
  17. OP
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    FFullam

    FFullam Member

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    It is not a mock up but a real cameral. I went to the opening of the out door exhibit of the camera and got a tour inside. The chair for the subject does have a support to steady the head. It is on an track so that the operator inside the camera can make small adjustments to get final fine adjustments. As for the need for extra lighting, I think it does but they are not on display in the outdoor exhibit photos. This was a display not photo session.

    Everyone has different preferences - some like landscapes, some like portraits. It is hard to appreciate the works since most of the time we only get to see tiny images


    http://cdnfnd.filmsnotdead.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/6-e1326405087874.jpg

    I have seen this work and it is magnificent -in person
     
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