ULF Kits

Kodachrome Skies

A
Kodachrome Skies

  • 1
  • 0
  • 97
The Dive

A
The Dive

  • 4
  • 2
  • 133
Edinburgh nights

Edinburgh nights

  • 1
  • 6
  • 187

Recent Classifieds

Forum statistics

Threads
178,731
Messages
2,458,836
Members
94,629
Latest member
swededreams
Recent bookmarks
0

mikewhi

Member
Joined
May 22, 2004
Messages
807
Location
Redmond, WA
Shooter
8x10 Format
Hi:

I know of the Bender, which stops at the minature 8"x10". Does anyone know of a ULF kit maker anywhere? Bender 8x10 is $430, so imagine what we could get a ULF kit for (12x20, 15x20, etc).

Thanks.

-Mike
 

John Kasaian

Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2002
Messages
1,024
Mike,

Interesting idea. IMHO, ULF cameras are like horses---if you think the cost of buying one is steep, just wait until you start feeding it. Now if someone would come up with a kit to make your own 12x20 holders, you see this armenian boy smile from ear to ear!
 

Dave Parker

Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2004
Messages
4,031
Shooter
Multi Format
Never heard of a ULF kit, in fact, the Bender 8 x 10 is the biggest kit I have ever heard of, the demand is low enough, unless you invent and market yourself, I am pretty sure you will not find one...

Dave
 
OP
OP
mikewhi

mikewhi

Member
Joined
May 22, 2004
Messages
807
Location
Redmond, WA
Shooter
8x10 Format
That's what I thought. I am talking with a woodworking guy I know and I mentioned there may be a market for assorted ULF kits, better made than the Bender. Possibly with varying levels of finish\pre-assembly, like a kit airplane. I also mentioned holder kits to him, but they seem so detailed, I'm not sure anyone would want to assemble one.

-Mike
 
OP
OP
mikewhi

mikewhi

Member
Joined
May 22, 2004
Messages
807
Location
Redmond, WA
Shooter
8x10 Format
John Kasaian said:
Mike,

Interesting idea. IMHO, ULF cameras are like horses---if you think the cost of buying one is steep, just wait until you start feeding it. Now if someone would come up with a kit to make your own 12x20 holders, you see this armenian boy smile from ear to ear!

Are vacuum holders a very practical idea for ULF? Say, via a manual pump or a small one run by a small 6-volt battery (like astronomers use in the field).

-Mike
 

photomc

Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2003
Messages
3,575
Location
Texas
Shooter
Multi Format
Don't forget Jim Chinn's new cameras, while not a ULF kit, from what I understand they will be adaptable to different formats from one camera size to another..but don't quote me..Jim?
 
OP
OP
mikewhi

mikewhi

Member
Joined
May 22, 2004
Messages
807
Location
Redmond, WA
Shooter
8x10 Format
I haven't forgotten.....I just haven't seen any pictures, pricing, etc. I know he's as busy as can be getting this all together. I'd love to see what he comes out with.

-Mike
 

Dave Parker

Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2004
Messages
4,031
Shooter
Multi Format
I know Jim is getting close, I have been doing all of the ground glass screens for him, so they should be out and about real soon....and they sound, like they are going to set the industry on its ears..

Dave
 
OP
OP
mikewhi

mikewhi

Member
Joined
May 22, 2004
Messages
807
Location
Redmond, WA
Shooter
8x10 Format
Does anyone have any guesses on pricing for 11x14,12x20 or even 16x20?

Thanks.

-Mike
 

Nick Zentena

Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2004
Messages
4,668
Location
Italia
Shooter
Multi Format
In a way ULF kits make more sense then the Benders. 4x5 Benders are competing with both the used market and the Shen Haos of the world. Not a great deal of room in between. The 8x10 market is a little better but still you can get a used camera for less then a Bender or a new for not a massive amount more. But the ULF seems more out there. But like John said it's the feeding that'll kill ya.
 
OP
OP
mikewhi

mikewhi

Member
Joined
May 22, 2004
Messages
807
Location
Redmond, WA
Shooter
8x10 Format
Yep, that's the expensive part. That's why I think as cheap an entry into ULF in terms of the camera, the better. If someone could put together a good kit it might be worthwhile.

-Mike
 

Jim Chinn

Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2002
Messages
2,512
Location
Omaha, Nebra
Shooter
Multi Format
Well, we are getting close. I have 4 cameras nearing completion. All were for testing or evaluations but the individuals involved have decided to purchase the cameras.

As far as pricing goes, the idea of the modular design is to make ULF affordable to more people. For specific pricing and options on a specific format PM or email me. There are variables that adjust the prices down or up depending on the configuration of a particular camera. I look at each camera as a collaboration between me and the photographer, so we can customize extensions, lens board configurations, movements, extra format options, left or right hand controls etc. For example one of the 11x14 cameras I am working on will have a Packard Shutter mounted and a 10x12 reducing back.

One change from my original plans is that the film holders for these cameras will be compatible with other ULF cameras. Of course when dealing with older cameras there are some differences so we will encourage anyone that wants film holders made for older cameras to send dimensions or a film holder they are using. The reason for the change is that there are a lot of very good used ULF cameras out there that are affordable except for film holders. Our top loading holders will help out in this regard. For example, Film holders for Jorge's 12x20 would run $185 for one, with discounts for a purchase of 3 or more. I believe that is almost $200 less then anyone else. I would even be willing to provide a discount for a purchase of one or two if someone from APUG buys his camera.

We will have two other options for changing formats. There will be a film holder adapter that will allow the use of similar long dimension formats with the same back and GG. For example, 12x20/8x20 14x17/7x17.

In addition our film holders can use inserts that would allow multiple formats to be used with the same film holder. And we will have provide the option of dedicated reducing backs for any standard format or custom size.

So we are getting there. Dave shipped me a boat load of the nicest GG I have ever seen, and my bellows maker is shipping bellows in the next week. We are really close.
 

Jorge

Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2002
Messages
4,515
Shooter
Large Format
While a kit sounds like a good idea, I am not sure that it would be all that "cheap." Jim can give us better info, but one of the mayor expenses of the kit would be the bellows. Bellows for 8x20, 7x17, 12x20 etc, are expensive, not because of the materials but for the labor involved in doing them. They have to be folded by hand, no other way about it. So lets imagine an average of $375 for the bellows, add another $375 to $400 for the wood and all the work involved in cutting it etc. You are up to $700 to $800. And you still have no holders.

Jim is now offering holders at $185, but in the past the chepeast holders were made by King and Sam Wang for $395 each. Brubaker and Wisner as well as Lotus charge somewhere in the neighborhood of $600 to $900 for their holders EACH!

So, for a kit you would be looking at at least $1130 and you would still have to put it together. Most likely anybody that would undertake this would sell it for about $1400 to $1500.

This is why James' camera is a great deal, depending on the format you want for a few hundred more you can get a brand new camera with two holders, and it is the reason I auctioned mine so cheap with 3 holders. I had to make it attractive as a starting kit without at the same time loosing my shirt in the deal.

As Jim said, I decided to buy his camera sight unseen for a few reasons. One, I have been the recepient of wonderful support by APUG members who have bought my prints. I beleive in passing around the good karma. Two, I think Jim is doing something which many camera makers are going to say "why didnt I think of that?" Revolutionary ideas deserve support. Third, I have found photographers in general and APUG members in particular to be a pretty honest bunch. I know I wont be screwed by Jim.

On the subject of "feeding" the camera, it really is not that expensive. Sure, film is much more expensive, but you all have to realize that shots appropriate for these formats are not all that frequent. On a typical outing you might see 1 or 2 shots that would be good in ULF as opposed to many more which can be done in 8x10 or 4x5. So you tipically dont use that much film.

So as I see it anyone wanting to get started in ULF has a few options. You can be patient and wait for someone like me who is upgrading and places their old Korona on e bay. You can save a little longer and get a smaller format from Jim, I imagine a 7x17 or an 11x14 would not be but a few hundred dollars more than an E bay auction for a brand new camera with holders. There is always the do it yourself option, but I think that ends up costing more if one factors in the time it takes to make it.
 

Jim Chinn

Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2002
Messages
2,512
Location
Omaha, Nebra
Shooter
Multi Format
I looked at the option of selling kits but decided that the headaches of dealing with customers who had problems or made mistakes was not want I wanted to get into.

If you are really intersted in such an endeavor you need to first make decisions on what kind of camera to sell. Wood, metal, folding, rail? Kinds of movements, extension, etc. Find vendors for hardware, gg, bellows, etc. Then determine what you can do and what needs to be outsoruced. Get quotes for outsourced labor (woodworking, machining etc,) Tally up all the costs for a single camera, then add what you want to make. Of course what you want to make and what the market will pay may be different. This is where talking to people on the web helps out. If you can do the above and after all your effort make what you want and sell kits your set.

Now go back and find out what all the costs involved are if you are making say 5 cameras at a time. Any savings by working in quantitiy gives you more in your pocket or leeway in pricing.

One thing to keep in mind is that the kit must be priced less then used Koronas, Follmer and Schwings, Empires etc or be a far better camera when the kit is complete for a premium price.

Finally you need to decide how complicated is the kit? The more involved the building is for the customer the less time you have invested. The simpler to build the more you need to finish and less $per hour for your effort.

So you should investigate the options. More affordable sources for ULF cameras means mroe people getting into the formats and assures us that they will always be around.
 
OP
OP
mikewhi

mikewhi

Member
Joined
May 22, 2004
Messages
807
Location
Redmond, WA
Shooter
8x10 Format
Great points from both Jorge and Jim. I do want to point out that I'm not trying to put Jim out of business before he even begins, I even offered to buy his next prototype in my planned format. I am just making tentative and initial probes for a friend who is interested in this type of a product. At the time, I did not know that Jim's cameras were so reasonably priced. I only knew of prices by Wisner and Canham, both are very expensive as we all know.

Having said that, there may still be a place in the market for a kit camera, if it's possible. Certainly anything like a prototype is at least a year away.

Jorge, can you e-mail me or post some pictures of your new camera? I have seen nothing of the design and I'm very curious.

Thanks.

-Mike
 

Jorge

Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2002
Messages
4,515
Shooter
Large Format
mikewhi said:
Jorge, can you e-mail me or post some pictures of your new camera? I have seen nothing of the design and I'm very curious.

Thanks.

-Mike

Mike, Jim asked me to write a review of the camera for APUG, initially I was supposed to get the camera for testing but I figure what the heck might as well buy it and pay shipping charges one way only.

In order to avoid any thoughts of preferential treatment I paid full price for the camera and I intend to write a fully impartial review.

Having said that, if I think if there is a major problem I will let Jim know before I post the article, I want to see him succeed and I am sure he will make every effort to correct the problem in my camera as well as those that follow.
 
Photrio.com contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
To read our full affiliate disclosure statement please click Here.

PHOTRIO PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Ilford ADOX Freestyle Photographic Stearman Press Weldon Color Lab
Top Bottom