View Full Version : Monster camera

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04-23-2007, 12:31 PM
Certainly not the world's largest camera but it is big.

Here is a 16" x 36" camera that I made. A bit crude, but it works well. A smaller version using 9.5 inch aero film should be easy to make too. It beats having to deal with film holders.

Ron in Alaska


04-23-2007, 12:45 PM
I'm impressed. What do you do with the negatives?

04-23-2007, 12:51 PM
Yeah, my question also...where do you get the film, and how do you process the negatives or transparencies (for color)??

David A. Goldfarb
04-23-2007, 01:04 PM
Cool. I like the idea of building it around Cirkut film.

04-23-2007, 01:08 PM
Film is custom ordered from Kodak. Last time we ordered it was $5,000, but the minimum order has gone up. I still have 500 feet of color and 300 feet of black and white which will probably last me for a while. It probably costs $75 per shot, but with care, all you need to shoot is one image.

I have been processing 16 inch cirkut film for years in tubs and it is not a problem to get good uniform development even with color.

Negatives are either contact printed or digitalized for murals.

I hope to make an improved version this summer that fixes some of the little quirks that are annoying but not stopping me from using the camera.


04-23-2007, 01:10 PM
Do you use a film leader to avoid using a darkslide when you replace the ground glass.

04-23-2007, 01:17 PM
The film has a 48 inch leader and about ten inches of trailer.

I can load the camera in daylight, then when the film magazine is on the camera, I crank the leader onto the take up spool until I can't wind it anymore, then I crank the rewind back enough for the film to be in the right area. This also tensions the film. There are top and bottom guides and that is all so you have to be careful to prevent film sagging. With daylight tests, it looked pretty good though.

Any size camera like this could be made, although bigger would be problematic, If I had the lens that could cover, I'd go for it.

04-23-2007, 01:24 PM

I gotta ask, what lens covers that?

04-23-2007, 01:30 PM
I have been processing 16 inch cirkut film for years in tubs and it is not a problem to get good uniform development even with color.


Is that "tubs" like "bathtubs"? or Tubes as in "toobs"

04-23-2007, 01:51 PM
Depending on the film size, I use rubbermaid dish tubs for ten inch cirkut film and cafeteria busing trays for the bigger negatives. The film is rolled back and forth like a Dead Sea scroll, not seesawed, it is always in the developer. It takes about two gallons of developer which is replenished so it lasts a long time. In my darkroom, I heat all the other chemistry to near correct temps and lastly heat the color developer to 102 degrees.

By the time I get it into the tray and then turn the lights out and get the film into the solution the temp is 100.5. When it comes out of the developer the temp is 99.5 so I've hit the temp just right. I've been doing this for 25 years and rarely lost a negative, in fact I can't remember when the last time I screwed up developing because of bad temps. I've processed over 1,000 cirkut negatives this way. Trust me there are ways of messing up the film, but this is an easy way to develop long rolls.


04-23-2007, 02:01 PM
I just love creative solutions to processing!! I have used some during my lifetime also.

04-23-2007, 05:11 PM

Thought of you the other day - picked up the book "America by the Yard", of Cirkut pics. Wow..! I can see where shooting with such a thing would be addictive.

Whoops, got OT there. Repeat: Sweet camera!

04-23-2007, 05:58 PM
Hah! That's just absurd! Resolves cormorants at > 1 kilometer!

I want one, and a lifetime of free film.

04-23-2007, 06:41 PM
Amazing!! I have a question, how are you digitizing it? Is there a scanner that covers that size?

04-23-2007, 08:26 PM
One could use a big color-corrected light table kinda light, and a high-resolution 4x5 scanning back from Betterlight on a 4x5 view camera.

Hugo Zhang
04-23-2007, 09:53 PM

Wow!!! I thought 20x24 was big. I am speechless with admiration for yur wonderful creation.

04-23-2007, 09:54 PM
I use an Epson 1640XL scanner and scan in four sections that are stitched together. File sizes are around 300 MEGs for a slightly bigger than contact print size (18.5 inches by 43 inches) and are printed on an Epson 9800 at 360 DPI. If the print needs to be bigger, I scan at a higher res, sometimes 720 or 800 DPI but then you are getting into GIGs instead of MEGs and I need to upgrade the ol computer or it gets time consuming. The 9800 could make a print 44" by 100" at 360 DPI that would be awesome, but I haven't done that yet.

Real prints are made the same way I print my cirkut negs with a huge contact printing frame. I have had problems with getting good contact on 16 inch wide film so I am inventing a vacuum frame to suck the negative down.

Ten inch negs don't need anything special.


04-23-2007, 10:20 PM
One could use a big color-corrected light table kinda light, and a high-resolution 4x5 scanning back from Betterlight on a 4x5 view camera.

That's just dumb - sorry. Then you'd be better off shooting the original scene with a better light. A scanner would give a far superior result. Many drums can handle CLOSE to that size... though that particular size - i don't know about.

04-23-2007, 10:50 PM
A scanner would give a far superior result.

How so? Just idle curiosity.

04-23-2007, 10:52 PM
How so? Just idle curiosity.

Please send me a PM if you're apt to pursue this discussion as it is not appropriate chatter for the apug forums.