Why do you use ULF?

Discussion in 'Ultra Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Nick Zentena, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    So can I ask why? Is it for large silver contacts? Alt?
     
  2. Mark Sawyer

    Mark Sawyer Member

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    I use it to justify all the money I wasted on it.

    And because I'm so overtly obsessive about certain prints that only a contact print will do.

    And because I want to. (Always the best reason)
     
  3. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    Because Florida is flat, my 7X17 panorama camera is appropriate. And Alt processes are challenging.
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  5. garysamson

    garysamson Subscriber

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    Certainly the romance of photographing with a really big camera is part of why I work with ULF. And add to that the way the subject matter in the image is rendered in a finished contact print (the physical description of skin, glass, wood, fog, metal etc) is so palpable especially combined with a handmade process like platinum. I was pushed over the edge after seeing some of Carleton Watkins giant 18x22 inch albumen prints of the American west eight years ago.
     
  6. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    The process of photographing with LF equipment forces one to slow down and think carefully about the image before, during, and after the act of releasing the shutter. It's diametrically different from the snapshot process.

    LF produces large negatives that can be used to produce prints that are grainless and that have a glow and tonality that cannot be matched in prints made from smaller negatives.

    It is possible to make prints using alternative processes (such as Pt/Pd) that are radically different from conventional silver prints.

    And using a LF camera in the field stimulates fascinating conversations with total strangers.
     
  7. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    Because it fits my vision.
     
  8. Hugo Zhang

    Hugo Zhang Member

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    Because I prefer contact prints.
     
  9. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    It provides a venue....

    When one feels all alone and unappreciated, you can set up your ulf in a public place and draw a nice crowd....in no time at all, you will be waxing eloquent. Many will be astounded, amazed, and ask intelligent questions, some converts will come forth, and many will walk away, unenlightened, into the darkness muttering that there is always one complete idiot in every small crowd. If you feel the need, and can afford it, you can actually load up a film holder and fire off a shot; but that is totally unnecessary.
     
  10. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Thanks. I've got plenty of time to flip flop before making a choice
     
  11. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Image quality, perspective control and the ability to fine tune or CONTROL every step in the process.

    It is also the only photography as slow as my wife sketches or does water color. A mutual appreciation and enjoyment of visual arts together cuts w-a-y back on the complaint I hear in many ULF marriages, "Why don't we do anything together?"

    John Powers
     
  12. Eyepix

    Eyepix Member

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    I love it for the same exact reasons. And the last bit, "the complaint I hear in many ULF marriages, "Why don't we do anything together?"", basically sums it all up. :wink:
     
  13. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    masochistic tendencies. or so the voices in my head tell me.
     
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  15. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    Well now, this is interesting! My wife decided this was the "thing to do" a while back. She just bought a "pochade" box http://www.dickblick.com/zz528/03/ and I had to donate a tripod to the effort. We've only been out once, and it was successful, but we'll see ...

    Trouble is, I shoot medium format. Is this gonna drive me to sheet film?

    I think you're just over-compensating for something else, but whadda I know? :wink:
     
  16. Mark Sawyer

    Mark Sawyer Member

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    Because Edward Weston only had an 8x10, so my 11x14 makes me better than him... :rolleyes:
     
  17. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    Funny. Another one of the voices in my head was just saying the same thing.
     
  18. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2008
  19. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    Oh, absolutely! The best piece of luck I ever had was marrying an artist!


    Sorry John, but I wouldn't be able to afford drinks and dinner for anyone else if I bought a 12x20. I'll just have to borrow Scooter's when he's feeling better about himself ... :D

    (I have been "looking" at 4x5's lately! :surprised: )
     
  20. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    (I have been "looking" at 4x5's lately! :surprised: )[/QUOTE]

    1 1/2 maybe 2 years from the time the 4x5 arrived until the 7x17 with a stop at 810. Always remember that it is your wife who will love it. You are doing it for her.

    John
     
  21. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    I ask my husband that same question. However, I am the one doing the ULF photography, not him. :confused:
     
  22. Scott Peters

    Scott Peters Member

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    I like the big ground glass, kind of like a canvas...and the tonality and detail of a contact print. They have a 'tactile' quality about them. Plus it's challenging and fun at the same time.
     
  23. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i like making big paper negative contacts.
    they are a lot of fun.
     
  24. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    A lot of people stop and talk to me. Most of the time, they ask "Is that a Hasselblad? Will it take color pictures?" Then, the pixel gizmo comes out of the pocket and they ask "Why don't you use on of these? Its a lot smaller!"
     
  25. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    I have a lot of people who stop and talk to me too. Sometimes the digital question comes up, most of the time though, it doesn't. Sometimes I get asked what I do with my pictures and I am to the point where I want to give a better answer than to say I do nothing with them. I just haven't figured out what to do with them. I shoot for myself or for my own reasons.
     
  26. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Jorge, who many should remember, tried to persuade me to move to ULF, and if I had it would have been to use a Banquet camera 7x17 or a similar format.

    What stopped me was a realisation, I'd already gone 10x8 and had planned to contact print but one look at my negatives wanted to enlarge, so found an enlarger. Will I change, will Pigs fly :smile: but I'll always want to enlarge

    Practicalities stopped me in my tracks, I never "Contact Print" and so instead I first bought a 6x17 (cm) camera because it's portable, can be used hand-held.

    That doesn't rule out buying and using a ULF camera, but only if I find a good camera with sufficient dark-slides at a reasonable price.

    Ian