Anyone here used/seen a Polaroid 20x24?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Robert Kennedy, Sep 8, 2003.

  1. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    I have some questions regarding the once-was-rare-now-being-made-by-Wisner Polaroid 20x24 camera.

    Anyone here used one or know how it works?
     
  2. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Other then in publications, I have not seen the camera. Polaroid also (apart from Wisner's efforts) has three of the 20X24 cameras (not Wisner) out. I believe that they are rental or leased units.

    From what I understand about Ron Wisner's business model I don't know that I would go in that direction.

    Additionally, there is another fellow that has hand built and is using a 24X30 camera and it uses Polaroid materials as well.
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Tracy Storer hangs out on the LF forum at photo.net (soon to reconstitute itself over at largeformatphotography.info, by the way). He handles one of the Polaroid cameras available for rental. I think they're in New York, San Francisco, and Boston.
     
  4. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    That is good news on the LF forum. With the switch to photonet it lost a number of long standing contributors and a more congenial, collegiate feel. At the LF photography web site is where it belongs.

    David is correct about the locations, although I believe that one of the cameras is sometimes transported to different locations for various events.

    There was a pretty in depth article in View Camera a couple of years ago, about Tracey and others who run the camera. If I remember anyone can schedule a time to use it, and that includes technicians to help with lighting and the camera operation. I don't know if the article mentioned the cost, but the number $200 an hour seems to stick in my head and I believe that incuded materials.

    David, perhaps you know the amount and details better then I can recall.
     
  5. J.Leslie

    J.Leslie Member

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    Where would you find media 20x24. I've checked the polaroid site for the Polacolor and Polapan mentioned in the article about the camera. No luck finding it. For that matter, nothing over 8x10.
     
  6. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Polaroid does supply material for their 20X24 camera.

    Additionally, Polaroid also supplies 20X30 material for Joachim Knill's homebuilt camera. (View Camera Sept/Oct 2002)

    Knill typically uses 8 inch (200 mm) and 12 inch (300 mm) process lenses on his camera. Now that is some serious wide angle considering that 37.5 inches or 952 mm would be a normal focal length for that format.
     
  7. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Not sure of the cost. I just skimmed the article in the Polaroid issue of _VC_ mag (sept/oct 2001) and didn't find it, but I know I've seen it somewhere. I don't think there's much reason for Polaroid to list the materials on their website, since the market is so small. Anyone who needs 20x24" is probably on a first-name basis with the Polaroid folks (or they ARE the Polaroid folks).
     
  8. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    You can also shoot 20x24 B&W. Wisner makes a camera with a standard back and I think S&S makes the holders. $9000 for the camera, $600 for a film holder and $350 for a 25 sheet box of HP5.


    or another way to look at it is about $163 a lb at 55 lbs.

    I have drawn up plans to build such a camera that would weigh about 30lbs., have full front movements and rear tilt and swing. It is contained in a clamshell design that provides the camera bed when opened and protection for GG and film and holder(s). It would have 40" of extension so it could handle a 36" Turner Riech lens and several Goerz Apo Artars that cover 20x24. But for now the drawings are on the shelf for lack of time. But someday....
     
  9. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've seen a Lotus 20x24". It was a studio model set up on a kind of rolling stand, and I think it had motorized focus. Really a beautiful thing, and the owner (from whom I bought my 11x14" camera) had a hot light studio.
     
  10. Lex Jenkins

    Lex Jenkins Member

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    I've seen Joachim Knill's large Polaroids at the Fort Worth Main Street Arts Festival. Gorgeous stuff. He constructs elaborate still lifes with items seemingly suspended in air and emphasizes the almost surrealistic effect by using camera movements for selective focus across disorienting planes. If I could afford to collect fine art photography some of his work would be in my collection. It's so different from anything I do that I'm not tempted to analyze or figure it out - I just enjoy it.

    BTW, Knill built his own camera. He includes a photo of himself with the camera in his booth displays. Unfortunately it's impractical to actually lug the camera to these shows - I bet that'd draw a crowd.
     
  11. veriwide

    veriwide Member

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    I too have delusions of a 20x24 camera. I have bellows from the graphics camera we removed from the office with about 6 feet of draw (I work in pre-press), and a 1868 JS Dalmeyer 21x25 rapid rectilinear lens. I have been plannig to use the rails and focusing system from a Burke and James copy camera. I would be interested in a doing folding model though, Jim. I also have 16x20 bellows with a similar future.
     
  12. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    Polariod is involve with a "traveling show" right now. Several years ago , the last time they came to ALtanta, folks could rent out time. It was something like 900 a day. They furnished technical support. Film was about 100 dollars a sheet. One of my students went in on renting the equipment with a friend for a 4 hour session. THe work was outstanding. She was very happy with the results and the support given by the fellow who took care of the camera. She was very careful about planning out each shot before she went so she would not waste precious time and cost.
    Years ago in New YOrk the going price was $1600 a day for camera use and then film cost was also about 100 dollars a sheet.
     
  13. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I haven't seen the cameras, but I have seen a 20x24 Polaroid emulsion transfer.

    Amazing...
     
  14. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    if you have any money stashed in a cookie jar somewhere, the 20x24 Lotus View is 13,000 (euro) and one film holder (I assume double sided) is 990 euro.
     
  15. wm blunt

    wm blunt Member

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    If you go to http://www.bigshotz.co.nz/other/html I believe you will see the polaroid 20x24 being used by Tracy Storer at the Mammoth Camera Workshop a couple years ago.
    I saw the camera at the View Camera Conference in new Mexico last year. There were several wonderful color portraits that had just been made with the camera. Something to behold.
    Wm Blunt
     
  16. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    a boston area photographer elsa dorfman has one of the cameras in her studio that she regularly uses -

    http://elsa.photo.net/camera.html

    she is pretty well known in the area for shooting huge portraits in her studio ... and from what i remember she shoots chromes of her polaroids to make color prints from at the local pro-lab ..


    i think the info on her site might be a little dated ..

    - john
     
  17. Lex Jenkins

    Lex Jenkins Member

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    What's kinda funny about Elsa's wonderful photography is that she could work the same magic with a MF or any other LF camera. It's her quirky aesthetic - aided in no small part, I'm sure, by her personality - that makes her photography so unique.

    But, yeh, the big Polaroid thing is cool.

    Other photographers known for using the big Polaroids are William Wegman (those amazing doggie photos) and Joyce Tenneson.
     
  18. SusanV

    SusanV Member

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    A friend of mine, Linda Broadfoot uses one of the Polaroid 20x24 cameras in her work. A statement by her about the camera, and examples of her work can be seen at the Weston Gallery website here. http://www.westongallery.com/artists/l_broadfoot/linda_broadfoot.html

    sorry i don't remember the cost of rental but it includes the studio and assistants. The camera can be transported as well... When i lived in Jacksonville i believe i remember Jennifer Johnson having it sent there for her to use.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2004
  19. BarryWilkinson

    BarryWilkinson Subscriber

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    LF's in the UK have an opportunity to meet Tracy Storer, Tillman Crane and others at a Inversnaid Photography Centre workshop next May in Scotland.
    The centre is running a Mamouth Camera workshop. I believe the 20x24 will be there.

    BTW I am not connected in any way to Inversnaid, just interested in attending.

    Barry
     
  20. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Jim,

    Your modular design sounds very interesting and the projected weight, 30 lbs, would make a camera of this size relatively easy to use. Hope it gets off the drawing board sometime soon.

    If you go to http://ulf.janvanhove.com/other.html you will find an image made by Sam Wang of me working with my home made 20X24" camera. As you can see it is a flat bed folding camera similar in design to the Nagoaka/Ikeda. The wood is elm and the metal parts were fabricated from aluminum. There is approximately 44" of useful bellows draw and a range of movements similar to those of the Nagaoka: on the front, rise and fall, shift and tilt; on the back, shift and tilt. The camera weighs approximately 45 lbs and it is rather difficult for one person to place it on a tripod in field work. For that reason I am currently thinking about building a kind of large wheel platform similar to the Lotus design. I have four S&S holders for the camera, which represents a full day of work in the field.


    Sandy
     
  21. TracyStorer

    TracyStorer Member

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    Hello, just came across this and thought I'd weigh in. I'm the person who brought the camera to Atlanta Celebrates Photography independently of Polaroid in 2001, and for the Polaroid Roadshow in 2003. (nice to hear I left satisfied customers!) I have rental and film prices as well as contact info on my website: http://www.mammothcamera.com.

    More information on the Mammoth Camera Workshop I'm doing with Tillman Crane in Scotland next May: http://www.inversnaidphoto.com/mcwfinal.htm
    We'll be using conventional film only (no Polaroid) on the 20x24 there. (a loaner Lotus)

    Best, Tracy
     
  22. Melisa Taylor

    Melisa Taylor Member

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    I shot a Wisner/Polaroid 20 x 24 almost 2 years ago. (there's ONE picture in my gallery here from it). One travelled to Florida for Fotofusion or some show like that and stopped at a local community college. I rented it then. It wasn't cheap, but it was worth it. Although, it was cheaper there than it would've been flying out to rent it.

    There's actually about 14 cameras now, whereas there used to be only 5. Since Wisner is making them now, they are starting to pop-up again.

    My good friend Barbra Oosting recently purchased one, it's the camera she uses for her art and will save her money in the long run.
    She won't have to travel to San Fran and use Tracy Storer's camera anymore. By the way, he's a really nice guy!


    They are pretty expensive. When it's all said and done, you will be spending about 30,000 grand between the lenses, processing back, camera, stand, etc.
     
  23. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    NYPL,20x24pola.jpg

    I happen to be working at the New York Public Library this week and came across the 20x24" Polaroid camera and crew "in the wild" yesterday and today.