My UL 20 x 59 inch camera build in progress

Discussion in 'Ultra Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Dogumentor, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. Dogumentor

    Dogumentor Member

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    Hi all,

    unusual circumstances have propelled me into building a rather large format camera film size 50 cm by 150 cm, (almost 20 by 59 inches). The building has already taken 2nd stage and progressed substantially, more can be found on my web here http://cargocollective.com/martinzaugg/ultra-large-format-camera

    Please feel free and give your feed back, both good and bad.

    Cheers all
    Martin aka Dogumentor
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2015
  2. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    Holy crap on a crapstick, that's huge. Nothing like a camera that can double as a sleeping bag.

    Seeing as you've got the mould for the bellows, are you going to make another one?

    ps, what kind of lens can do 1000mm 100 degrees? Or is that custom made too?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Dogumentor

    Dogumentor Member

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    Wow Dr Croubie, that was a quick reply.

    I kept the mold for the bellows in case of mishap with the finished one. I hope don't have to do another one.
    The lens was custom made by a professor at a local (Taiwan) university. I am the builder of the camera, and my mate is the photographer, who approached someone, who approached someone else, who approached me to build it. We managed to get a Taiwan Government Artist Foundation funding for part of the cost. So the project got from building something to "but seriously now". Our aim is to test shoot within 2 months.

    Cheers
    Martin
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Dogumentor

    Dogumentor Member

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    Here what it looks like after first time assembly for lens test. Little monster I must admit, yet still (trans)portable, so of sorts.

    [​IMG]

    Cheers
    Martin
     

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  5. momus

    momus Member

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    I love the "make it work as you go" approach. It's more time consuming, but I think you learn more, and get a better finished project. The whole thing is incredible. Good job!
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Dogumentor

    Dogumentor Member

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    Hi momus

    it is the way I have build most successful projects. In my teen years, I had my own B/W darkroom ( and subsequent Ciba Chrome) and I liked to do bigger posters. So I am not quite a novice to the subject in general, but I never build a camera.

    Use of the camera will be my mate who "commissioned" it and once finished I will then take 2nd place and follow him on his first outings.

    Many problems still to solve: Initially we intend to produce our own film (thin paper) with light sensitive chemicals for the negative, then contact/expose (excuse if I not use the right term) this developed neg on yet another rough texture handmade and coated paper. The result should resemble a Chinese Landscape print, hence the size. Google " Lang Ching-shan " and you get the idea.

    We will see, I keep you all posted. I will same time update my web site to keep information on the go.

    Cheers
    Martin
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2015
  7. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    If it is of any help, Ilford will be doing their annual ULF film run shortly - I'm sure if you talk to them, they can cut a few sheets to the size you require.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Dogumentor

    Dogumentor Member

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    Thanks! I will tell my mate to check it out.
     
  9. jamie young

    jamie young Member

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    Great project! Always fun to see people build big cool cameras. What kind of lens is it? Doug Bush built a big camera back in the 80's or 90's. Another person I knew built a 16x36" camera that used 16" cirkut film. I use a 16" pan camera occasionally, but it only has to cover a 16" x 1/4" window, though it makes a 16" by 4-18 foot image. Keep updating as you go. You could certainly start by getting paper of litho film in rolls. Ilford has had 20" by 50 foot film listed in their elf run, but it's pretty pricey
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Dogumentor

    Dogumentor Member

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    Lens spec.: 1000 mm, f 14-64 (?), 100° view angle
    It is a custom made lens my mate happen to know someone was producing. You can see the camera full build and re-build (yes, I am doing it for the second time) in the link pasted in the first post.

    As to film.....really a headache, so was most anything else, just tackle one problem as it comes along, if no solution, let it go and move on to the next. Pretty much what you may see when you read my web page.

    There is already very good advice coming along as for film, and I am sure more more good advice on future topics will come along, that is precisely why I post here, and to share my experience with you. Thank you all.

    Cheers
    Martin
     
  11. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Willkommen hier auf Apug!

    Instead of using sheet film, in case you would use industrial made film, you might consider using spooled film.
    That would save you a lot of hassle with the holders.

    You might have to reconstruct the camera body, but that does not seem to be a problem for you anyway...
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Dogumentor

    Dogumentor Member

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    WOW! Spooled film in that size....if something suitable turns up, then you are spot on: I would not mind to doing a new camera body. Because I will need to make about 4 to 5 new current film holder (double sided) anyway once all tests are good.

    BTW, we had a bit of a problem with the red LED lights in the dark room, it would expose paper. We may have solved it by reducing the numbers of lights and keep them at a distance from the exposed paper. If anyone had similar experience or a good tip, I like to hear. I first believed the LED lights may have the wrong wavelength or something.

    Cheers
    Martin
     
  13. jamie young

    jamie young Member

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    Yes spooled film can be ordered. I use 16" by 100' rolls that I cut to smaller lengths and respool onto cirkut spools. Usually 8-10 foot lengths, but I can fit up to 20 feet on a spool.
     
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  15. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    That's the way I build everything. Make one part, then make the next part to fit. Cxontinue until finished.

    (Finishing - that's the tricky bit!).


    Steve.
     
  16. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    You need to filter the LED lights with a single layer of Rubylith: http://www.ulano.com/knifecut/masking.htm

    Many LEDs emit stray "spikes" of blue and green light. The Rubylith solves that.
     
  17. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    Playing the light from an LED on to the surface of a CD will often reveal what other colours are being emitted.
     
  18. OP
    OP
    Dogumentor

    Dogumentor Member

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    So nice to read all this, it stops the guessing game in its tracks. Old school dark room lights were just red 40 w glow lights and always worked.
    Cheers
    Martin
     
  19. Reinhold

    Reinhold Advertiser

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  20. OP
    OP
    Dogumentor

    Dogumentor Member

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    An up-date on the camera, actually the size is 20 x 60 inch format, got confused with the inches.
    Now just done some paint finishing touches, following a few pics:

    [​IMG]
    Camera parts ready for sanding

    [​IMG]
    Spray painting w/o the usual dress up

    [​IMG]
    The frame, focus train assembly

    [​IMG]
    Looking all right, ready to take the box

    [​IMG]
    The box is hold in place by 4 8mm toggle screws

    [​IMG]
    A side view, you may spot the toggle screws

    [​IMG]
    As seen from the back

    [​IMG]
    Lens frame on the focus train

    [​IMG]
    The viewing screen, 3 pieces of 5mm glass to avoid breakage

    [​IMG]
    Double sided film holder in place

    Because of limits of pics posting per reply, I have to stop here. I will follow up shortly.



    Cheers all
    Martin aka Dogumentor
     

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  21. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Great!


    Will we see pictures of the trailer to take it too?
     
  22. dsefcik

    dsefcik Member

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    Very, very cool..!!
     
  23. AgX

    AgX Member

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    The camera is extraordinary. And that workshop premises does not look like a typical cabinet-maker's premises either.
     
  24. OP
    OP
    Dogumentor

    Dogumentor Member

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    You got that right, not an ordinary cabinet makers workshop. I am building this on the premises of an artist community, http://dctaiwan.blogspot.tw/ inside a new Building that will be decked out with all sort of art, and our darkroom is on the 14 floor. This is all kind of a special arrangement. The project was sparked by a young photographer living nearby, contacting us here.....the rest is history. We got 2 grants to help build it. But the custom made lens took the biggest chunk from that.
    As to trailer, I don't know what you mean. Most parts will snugly fit into the box and can be carried by 2 people. What we need is a VW bus or similar to carry it all. In the begining we can borrow such a car from the community. I shall post more pictures as it progresses, and yes, I can hardly wait for the first picture. But the darkroom set up is next.

    Might as well post the remaining 4 pics:
    [​IMG]
    Focus wheel

    [​IMG]
    Toggle screws detail, securing the film holder.

    [​IMG]
    Film holder as seen from inside, the light color wood will all be blackened .

    [​IMG]
    2 simple brackets and all is rock solid.
     

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  25. AgX

    AgX Member

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    I thought you might have considered a custom built trailer for transport.

    I guess we don't need photos of that...


    So, you got a transport box for the camera?
     
  26. AgX

    AgX Member

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    If I understand your design rightly, there is a kind of base rise via an accessory frame, and back standard tilt.

    Swing of the optical axis would be done be shoving around the camera on its two pair of feet I guess.
     
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