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SimonSutcliffe
01-26-2012, 08:46 PM
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)

DREW WILEY
01-26-2012, 11:59 PM
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perhaps find some outdated 8x10 chrome film at a discount, just to practice and study on a lightbox before you try something more ambitious.

Oren Grad
01-27-2012, 12:13 AM
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.

davekarp
01-29-2012, 11:13 PM
Or maybe you could go 8x10 and try doing color with black and white film: www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=48583

wildbill
01-30-2012, 03:25 AM
massimo vitali shoots ulf color, 11x14 lately. Try 8x10 first, then when your wallet is empty, go bigger:)

PHOTOTONE
01-30-2012, 05:52 PM
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.

keithwms
01-30-2012, 06:01 PM
I have some fresh 11x14 provia, that's it. Everything else is 8x10 or other such diminutive formats ;) 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....

SimonSutcliffe
01-30-2012, 06:21 PM
I decided I was going to go 8x10 Thanks!

keithwms
01-30-2012, 06:28 PM
Ah where's your artistic conviction??!!! ;)

Bernard_61
01-30-2012, 07:09 PM
I'm one of Vitali's main collaborators, and I make the drum scans for him.
I can confirm a huge gap of "spatiality" between 8x10" and 11x14", it's not a banal problem of resolution. Massimo thinks the same.

You can see a lot of his works in 11x14" on my album:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/castorscan/6748095233/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/castorscan/

DREW WILEY
01-31-2012, 06:57 PM
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.

keithwms
01-31-2012, 07:37 PM
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!

Brian C. Miller
01-31-2012, 07:44 PM
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.

DREW WILEY
01-31-2012, 08:55 PM
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.

keithwms
01-31-2012, 09:06 PM
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 ;)

LJH
01-31-2012, 09:09 PM
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 ;)

And you can use a motordrive to shoot at half a frame per minute...

clayne
01-31-2012, 09:09 PM
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.

Too funny and oh so true.

The noseprinters will love it.

DREW WILEY
02-01-2012, 11:41 AM
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.

E. von Hoegh
02-01-2012, 12:09 PM
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.

But the big prints really POP... ;)

keithwms
02-01-2012, 12:15 PM
But size just for size seems a ploy

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 ;)