12x15in Camera - best way to get started

Discussion in 'Ultra Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by davidjt, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. davidjt

    davidjt Member

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    In a slightly mad moment I picked up a 12X15 camera on ebay at the weekend. It doesnt have any film backs and having now done some research this may be a bigger problem that I thought. I have a 450mm f9 nikkor which will cover it so just need to sort out film and holders. What options have I got ?

    As an aside, it has no name but was pictured on a Gandolfi tripod, would I be able to tell if it was a Gandolfi in any easy way ?

    Thanks

    Dave
     
  2. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If you post a picture of it, we might be able to identify it. There are a couple of members here who have Gandolfi cameras...

    One way to get film holders is to contact Gandolfi. I suspect that could be expensive, though...
     
  3. Andrey Donchev

    Andrey Donchev Member

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    .... or you can make or have someone make for you an 11x14 reducing back. I think that this size holders/film combination is far more readily available and maybe, cheaper.
     
  4. Struan Gray

    Struan Gray Member

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    You might get lucky and find some spare filmholders. I have been looking for 12x15 gear since I was given a camera in 1999 or so and I have only ever seen them for sale with cameras.

    30x40 cm (which is very close in size) was supposedly a standard X-ray size, so you might be able to find some X-ray holders if you know the right skips to check out. It was also a standard graphics arts size, so you might be able to find a holder from a stat camera or something similar that you can adapt.

    There are ways to make your own, especially if you can live with single-sided holders. Various threads in the archives here at apug discuss ideas of various levels of complexity.

    But if you want to get taking photos quickly I'd suggest getting a camera maker like Chamonix, Argentum or Richard Ritter to make you a back you can attache to your exisiting camera and compatible holders to go with it. When I win the lottery (and lose interest in long lenses and long walks) I would like to adapt my camera to the 40x40 cm square format. The owner/front man for Argentum has some pictures of his camera and holders in this size on the Argentum website:

    http://www.argentumcamera.com/_angol/html_pages/manufaktory.htm
     
  5. jgjbowen

    jgjbowen Member

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    I would second the advice on contacting Richard Ritter for an 11x14 reducing back. 11x14 holders and film will be much more available than 12x15.

    Good Luck!
     
  6. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    You could contact Hugo Zhang and have him get you a price to have Chamonix build you a back and 3 holders. That only solves one problem though. Maybe you could get the folks in China to make some rolls of 12" wide film. A couple of rolls 12 inch X 150 feet. Any soluton is likely to make the cost of the original camera pale in comparison, but still, 12X15 would be very cool.
     
  7. Andrey Donchev

    Andrey Donchev Member

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    Hi again, I saw today that one of the APUG sponsors, GVB groundglass sells Wephota sheet film in 12x15" size.
     
  8. davidjt

    davidjt Member

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    Many thanks

    Thanks for the input. I had suspected that the best approach would be to get an 11x14 back made for the camera and buy a couple of std holders. I will post some piccies of the camera as soon as I can. I have a horrible feeling about this becoming a potentially expensive addiction.

    Dave
     
  9. davidjt

    davidjt Member

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    Hi again, I now have the camera in my sweaty mit and here are the pictures. It is a fantastic piece of mahogany albeit with some damage. All parts are original but the GG was wasted by the postal system so a new one will be required. It has much in common with the 5x4 Gandolfi traditional I have - all the screw heads line up for e.g., some of the brass parts look very similar. Anyway, what do you think ? A happy Easter cleaning and restoring in prospect :D

    I found a chap who kindly offered to sell me a 15x12 bookform holder so I am nearly ready to get started.
     

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