What does you ULF Camera look like? Here's mine...

Discussion in 'Ultra Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Enrico Scotece, Aug 29, 2014.

  1. Enrico Scotece

    Enrico Scotece Member

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    I just recently have completed (well almost completed!) my ULF. Its a 20x24 with a soon to be added 16x20 conversion.

    My next one is a 10x15 format from a camera that spent its former life as a Xerox Photocopy/graphic arts camera. Essentially just a big view camera.
    Looking forward to seeing your cameras and creations.

    Anyway here's the 20x24:

    photo 1.JPG.jpg

    photo 2.JPG.jpg
     
  2. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    very impressive;I hope you have a schlepperor sherpa.:smile:
     
  3. jp80874

    jp80874 Member

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    Dick Phillips built the 7x17 in my avatar.

    John Powers
     
  4. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Cool. How do film holders work for such a large camera? How do you keep the film flat? And what's the focal length on that?
     
  5. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    ULF cam

    Here's one of mine..
     

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  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    mine looks like this more or less, but with a more ornate semi centennial camera stand, no plate-rack
    and a few different backs
     
  7. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    What's the cutoff between LF and ULF?
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    8x10? or so i was told. :smile:
     
  9. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    Hmm. My two latest box cameras both use 8-1/2 x 11 holders. So not very ULF :smile:
    But I use them with 8x10 or 7x11 paper so I'll leave them out... I think OP is looking for bigger guns!
     
  10. craigt

    craigt Member

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  11. Pioneer

    Pioneer Subscriber

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    Oh wow! A camera van. I gotta have one of those!! What size film does it use?
     
  12. craigt

    craigt Member

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    I don't use film, I shoot wet plate. I do 24"x32" ambrotypes and tintypes in it.
     
  13. thomnola

    thomnola Member

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    IMG_2525.jpg

    11x14 Century, patented 1902. New bellows and a general tightening up from Richard Ritter. I got the camera from a studio I used to work at that dates back to the early 20th century here in New Orleans so I feel connected to a bit of the history of New Orleans photography when I use it.

    I've only taken it out a few times and, I must say, the move from 8x10 to 11x14 seems a much larger step than from 4x5 to 8x10. The camera handles easily enough but the sheer size of it requires extra effort all along the line; loading holders, setting up the camera, manipulating the framing, processing, etc.

    To tell the truth, I've been wavering about keeping it. I've been so attached to 8x10 for so long that I wonder if I should just stay with that format. Did any of you experience "beginner's remorse" when starting with ULF? Is it a hump I will get over? I have made a print and, comparing it to 8x10, it seems enormous. I can't imagine how you 16x20 shooters do it!
     
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  15. carlj

    carlj Member

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    re: What does your ULF Camera look like?....

    Hey Tom,

    Still very much a humble beginner myself so can't really add much more than 11x14 is obviously [much] more of a handful than 8x10 -- and then I'd say the obvious thing like give it some time. :smile: I still have a few more logistical bumps to work out, like finding a better means for carrying the camera in the field, for one. I've only shot with X-ray film so far and have had best results developing in trays with plexiglass on the bottom to avoid scratching under a safelight. I have the same Century as you (I remember seeing yours in Richard's shop) with a Richard Ritter replacement rear extension. He also added a nice bail so inserting and removing the film holders is smooth as silk. On the other hand using the rear extension is a little rough because the gear racks are of a slightly different pitch. It works, but takes some effort and convincing to get the standard onto the rear extension. For transport, right now I carry it short distances by the handle, tripod in the other hand, and a backpack with a one or two holders. Speaking of film holders, I wound up with a couple -- for cheap, fortunately -- that turned out to be light-tight on only one side, but now have three that seem to be pretty good.

    Yes, maybe more details than you wanted to know and sometimes it does seem overwhelming, but I think you're still ahead of the game. It's taken longer than I expected to get -- almost -- up to speed (more my fault than anything else) but I think (hope, crosses fingers) I'm getting there and excited about the prospect of shooting some Ilford FP4 in the near future. I'll process the FP4+ in Unicolor drums one sheet-at-a-time. Intended subject matter is man-made landscape (local small farms, CSA's, etc.) and also very, very, keen on doing some portraits. Will likely use HP5+ for that but I have shot a couple of portraits on X-ray film at 50iso and gotten sharp results -- never mind that I messed up development in the tray (fogged one sheet w/film prob. too close to the safelight, another sheet improperly fixed or something). The point is despite all that results were encouraging and I'd say it's definitely doable. Also, I have access to an Epson 10000XL scanner at work which can do 11x14, so that helps since I'm not quite set up for contact printing.

    BTW, I like that tripod/head combination you have. What are you using for transporting your Century?

    But, honestly, I suspect once you're up and running you'll do just fine!



     
  16. thomnola

    thomnola Member

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    carlj, thanks for the encouragement. Don't you love the Century? That's funny that you saw mine at Ritter's.

    I've been working out the bugs and actually had great success on the last outing; all negs look good. I did make a print from a neg from an earlier outing and, must say, that I do think I'm really going to like this format. Right now I'm just working out of the truck but intend on getting a Tenba CC22 for the camera and am thinking of getting something like the attached hauler to carry it beyond a quick walk. Got a film holder bag on ebay from Hong Kong that has slots for five holders which I eventually intend to have. Have been very attentive to wrapping the darkcloth around the camera and back in order to keep light leaks to a minimum. Going to shoot some portraits soon which, I'm sure, will bring its own set of interesting problems.
     

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  17. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    David shooting 11x14,byBobCiccone.jpg

    That's the 11x14" American Optical at a LF photo gathering in Central Park in 2007, photo by Bob Ciconne.

    I'll have to make a new photo of the 7x17" next time it's out and about.
     
  18. jp80874

    jp80874 Member

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    There are quite a few threads here and the LF Forum on carrying or transporting ULF. I keep the 7x17 on a large Reis tripod and double tilt head. I carry it laid out on a towel in the back of a SUV. I use bungee cord to hold it in place so it doesn’t get bounced around.

    From there it depends on the terrain you plan to cross. I did a series on the OH & Erie canal. This meant walking on a fairly level towpath. I found a large baby jogger on eBay with 20” wheels and 100 pound shocks. I carry the film holders in a bag on rails between front and rear axles. This gives a low center of gravity, which avoids tipping over. Lenses and things are carried in a cooler bag in the seat. Camera and tripod are strapped onto the bag with the tripod spikes going through the footpad. On level I can walk this rig two miles out and two back. There are parking places at least this often. At age 74 I don’t do cliffs and stairs.

    If you buy some sort of wheeled transport, avoid small wheels. They get stuck in cracks, can’t cross-puddles and are easily bogged down by mud and sand.

    Enjoy. Wait until you see the extraordinary detail in big negatives. I shoot both 8x10 and 7x17. The two formats give an interesting change of view.

    John Powers
     
  19. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Member

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    My 11x14, it's very fancy...

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1411172037.800464.jpg
     
  20. jp80874

    jp80874 Member

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    I particularly like the use of two kinds of tape for an elegant contrasting fashion statement.

    You can't knock success. If it works, it works. Something like this can teach you whether a big negative is worth it to you. Then you know whether to save up for one with movements and bellows.

    John
     
  21. mhcfires

    mhcfires Member

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    Cool camera, I mean, like it's on ice!

    m
     
  22. Arklatexian

    Arklatexian Subscriber

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    To Thomnola, could the 11 x 14 Century have ever belonged to "Pops" Whitesell? Our photographic society brought him to Shreveport many years ago. Quite a character. I only just found out that his old studio is where Preservation Hall, in the Vieux Carre, (sp) is now. He did not believe in using lenses that did not have a spider web or two between the elements....regards!
     
  23. thomnola

    thomnola Member

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    oldtimermetoo, that's a great question. I know he and C.F. Weber (who owned the studio prior to my boss, Joe Bergeron) were friends. I work just a block away from Preservation Hall, http://www.rauantiques.com/. I'll have to look into this. Thanks for the info.
     
  24. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    On the small side of ULF. Me and my 11x14 (ownership is actually shared).
     

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  25. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    All those cameras are nice!

    Jeff
     
  26. carlj

    carlj Member

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    Yes, I've seen this in action. It works, mostly :smile: :smile: Kudos to Stone and it gives me some ammunition for what might be done with one of those 14x17 Fidelity Medical holders I lucked into through the very generous help of Whitey Morange.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2014
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