Colour ULF film

Discussion in 'Ultra Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by SimonSutcliffe, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. SimonSutcliffe

    SimonSutcliffe Member

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi I was wondering if I should go into ULF film if I am trying to make the biggest print possible (80 inches range). I have a small budget of roughly 2-3 thousand dollars at total total maximum. and then a 800$ film budget. Would ULF be worth going into if I was only concerned about image quality in colour? Thanks Simon(I would consider making my camera)
     
  2. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

    Messages:
    4,758
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Once in a great while 11X14 color film becomes available, but the largest
    standard size is 8x10. Getting anything custom cut bigger would involve a
    minimum order of many thousands of dollars, if anyone would do it at all.
    Your budget isn't very realistic for getting even into 8x10 color. But you
    could find a reasonable bargain on some kind of used 8x10 and lens, and
    perhaps find some outdated 8x10 chrome film at a discount, just to practice and study on a lightbox before you try something more ambitious.
     
  3. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Subscriber

    Messages:
    959
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    What Drew said. 11x14 Portra 160 or E100G is now $31.50 per sheet, special order only, minimum order something north of $15,000. You can wait to participate in one of Keith Canham's special-order co-ops, but you'll still face the very stiff per-sheet cost. If you need commercial processing, you'll be up around $50 total cost per exposure.

    Also, if you're looking to make big enlargements, depending on the nature of your subjects, the DOF and diffraction issues that make 4x5 vs 8x10 often a close call may become even more problematic.
     
  4. davekarp

    davekarp Member

    Messages:
    113
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Location:
    California
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
  5. wildbill

    wildbill Member

    Messages:
    2,851
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    massimo vitali shoots ulf color, 11x14 lately. Try 8x10 first, then when your wallet is empty, go bigger:smile:
     
  6. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

    Messages:
    2,411
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Van Buren, A
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    A question here, how do you intend to enlarge your ULF negative into an 80" wide print? Do you have an ULF enlarger. Have you explored just "WHO" might be able to do this. There probably aren't any labs anymore that can do this. Your alternative is a drum-scan and digital print.

    In practical terms, an 8x10 Portra negative will be so grain free and so sharp (depending on the quality of your lens) at the size you want to go, that I doubt you would want anything larger, and finding a lab that can handle 8x10, while rare, is not impossible, if you search on a worldwide basis.

    the "primary" use for ULF is to make killer contact prints, the same size as the negative.
     
  7. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,074
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have some fresh 11x14 provia, that's it. Everything else is 8x10 or other such diminutive formats :wink: Other than that, if you're shooting ULF then why not make colour sep negs. Probably lower cost than high-end colour materials and the result will probably be quite interesting.

    You can still get long rolls of portra, 70mm or such....
     
  8. SimonSutcliffe

    SimonSutcliffe Member

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I decided I was going to go 8x10 Thanks!
     
  9. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,074
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ah where's your artistic conviction??!!! :wink:
     
  10. Bernard_61

    Bernard_61 Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
  11. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

    Messages:
    4,758
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    But there are real depth of field issues the bigger you get. Quite a different ballgame than contact
    printing. Just how many of those tack sharp 11X14 negs are largely infinity subjects? Even with 8x10, the difference between f/45 and f/64 on a very large print can be significant. These are the kinds of logistical problems that someone moving up from smaller formats, even 4x5, aren't likely to
    anticipate. But I truly wonder how long this big, big print fad is going to last. If it's like anything else, the museums will probably exhibiting only Minox contact prints the next decade.
     
  12. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,074
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well, there is a difference between printing big and capturing big. Capturing big leads to "DOF challenges" but also very impressive tonality throughout the focus transitions and of course negs that are a joy to contact print.

    Bah... I'm not going to get drawn into one of these format battles. All formats have their place and their strengths!
     
  13. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

    Messages:
    494
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Everett, WA
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    They should just go for the gold and remake the Kodak Colorama. 18ft x 60ft, and call it a day.

    Then of course follow it up with the wet plate mini camera shots.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

    Messages:
    4,758
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Hey! If I was still a 45-year old teenageer with a lot of extra money to burn, I'd love to shoot ULF, preferably 20X24. But since I'm damn close to
    retirement and am looking forward to backpacking a lot more, I'll have to
    settle for something miniature like 8X10.
     
  16. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,074
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well if you're going to shoot something small 8x10 then why not just pick up an aerial camera with 9.5" roll film, then at least you can bracket :wink:
     
  17. LJH

    LJH Member

    Messages:
    712
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    And you can use a motordrive to shoot at half a frame per minute...
     
  18. clayne

    clayne Member

    Messages:
    2,837
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Too funny and oh so true.

    The noseprinters will love it.
     
  19. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

    Messages:
    4,758
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I was in an exhibit once where the curator liked to mix extremes, so he selected a bunch of my big
    Cibachromes and then put another guy in the exhibit who was also jeweler, but did photog on the
    side and was skilled at 35mm contact prints. He attached a little gooseneck magnifier to the top of each picture frame. But a lot of this mega photography going on at the moment seems a great deal
    like certain subject matter and treatment in the 70's, just printed way bigger. Then you've got guys
    like Gursky who alter the images in Fauxtoshop. But sheer size doesn't really impress me. I like making
    30X40 or so just because it brings out all the fine detail one wouldn't notice in a smaller print. But
    size just for size seems a ploy, esp at some of the obscene prices being paid for C prints which are
    going to differentially fade.
     
  20. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

    Messages:
    3,925
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    But the big prints really POP... :wink:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 1, 2012
  21. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,074
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I agree and wrote a little APUG blog post on the topic of Scale and the Photographic Print, in case it might interest you:

    http://www.apug.org/forums/blogs/keithwms/203-scale-photographic-print.html

    The bottom line is that there is only one print size immune to critique about whether it's too big or too small, namely life-sized 1:1 :wink:
     
  22. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

    Messages:
    4,758
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    A lot has to do with cultural distinctions. Around here no one will buy a really big print. The folks with the huge
    incomes locally (and some of the richest people in the world do live here) tend to build elaborate craftsmen style houses with lots of little niches and fancy woodwork, and not big blank walls like in Vegas or Miami. And when they purchase prints they're thinking more along the lines of the West Coast school - collect a Weston, for example. Commercial decor will use moderately big prints, but generally relatively chepo decor. Tricky market. There used to be a local saying, if they can't carry a print under their arm, it won't sell. But I was more
    poking fun at the sheer extremes in operation right now. It's like all that digital faux fresco on the ceiling of the Venetian in Vegas (speaking of a disgusting town) - pretty impressive technique, but otherwise just wallpaper
    than will get ripped down and replaced within ten years. Same thing with some of these huge wall prints - they're going to fade unevenly due to either the nasty UV display lighting or sunlight, and cost a small fortune
    to mount and hang. I have some friends down the street who specialize in ultra-large digital printing techniques,
    but they export everything to NYC or Europe.
     
  23. clayne

    clayne Member

    Messages:
    2,837
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Is it just me or does 32$ a sheet for 11x14 sound kind of out of whack? If a 135 roll is around 5-6$, and that's about 8x10 worth of surface area why does 11x14 cost 5 times that, even accounting for scale?
     
  24. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

    Messages:
    3,925
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Demand.
     
  25. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

    Messages:
    494
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Everett, WA
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Why is 11x14 three times the price of 8x10? Um, competition, supply and demand? I'm sure that it wouldn't be that expensive if Fuji were supplying 11x14.

    Of course, a sheet of 8x10 is about twice the price of a roll of 35mm. Is that fair? That's life.

    This means that in order to drive down the price of ULF color film, not only must be film popularized, but film in huge and unwieldy formats must be popularized.
     
  26. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

    Messages:
    3,925
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Years ago, when sizes up to 11x14 were pretty regularly used, a sheet of 11x14 was about twice the price of 8x10. In other words, the price and area tracked pretty closely from 35mm to 11x14.