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RobertP
05-25-2007, 07:08 AM
Tom, Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner, Edward Curtis all worked with mammouth size plates and produced huge albumen prints with their glass negatives. Brady called his 17x20 inch prints "Brady Imperials" so it was being done back in the mid 1800's. Of course Gardner was the first of the Brady Corps to do it but Brady took the credit.

Tom Stanworth
05-25-2007, 07:19 AM
Tom, Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner, Edward Curtis all worked with mammouth size plates and produced huge albumen prints with their glass negatives. Brady called his 17x20 inch prints "Brady Imperials" so it was being done back in the mid 1800's. Of course Gardner was the first of the Brady Corps to do it but Brady took the credit.

So, I could legitimately tell my wife that the purchase of a $10,000 20x16 was in order to do something that nobody has done for 150 years then? Kinda like a pioneer retrospective .....

She'd break my jaw. I wonder who bought Sandy's home made 20x24? The logistics would be a nightmare. If you have seen Don McC's book (which I assume he used a MF camera (with a little 35mm) for...can you imagine using a 20x24....changing film etc. What a hoot! Before I die, I HAVE to try this....I will have to hang on to my 10x8 in order to apprentice for this ridiculous folly. At $30 a sheet for 20x24 one would have to ensure that one's exposure technique was pretty good....

RobertP
05-25-2007, 07:46 AM
Its not that bad. Star Camera can set you up with a wet plate system that large for around 6000.00 I think. Go for it! Its only money and you only live once. But you won't be the only one doing it. There are a handful of guys already shooting plates this size. John Coffer in New York is shooting 20x24 along with Zebra and a few others. Now if you want to do film and wet plate then it is going to cost you a few pennies more. Zebra's camera is probably worth more than all my photo equipment combined including my new alternative process darkroom and all of its contents and my soon to be cargo van/ mobile wet plate darkroom. But like I said, its only money. I always give credit...I just tell everyone that I have the best equipment that my wife can afford...lol

Jim Chinn
05-25-2007, 08:53 AM
If you don't mind limitations, you can build a big camera pretty cheap. Sliding box camera, make the ground glass frame removable so after focusing you slide out the gg and insert the film holder. Use plexiglass for the ground glass. If you are shooting landscapes you don't even need to build in that much slide in the boxes. I build my own film holders for my ULF cameras using komatex (an expanded PVC sheet plastic) and use double sided tape to hold the film in place. The tape stays tacky enough that you can load the holders about 10 times before you need to replace the tape. Sheet of powder coated .080 aluminum in the middle and a composite plastic called garolite for the dark slides. The only precision machining involved is the light baffle end to insure a smooth fit for the darkslide. Everything else can be cut with good home shop tools. A holder for something as big as 12x20 costs me about $90 to make.

The down side with the holders is the plastic comes in .5" sheets so the final holder is 1.080 thick and therefore the camera is not compatible with standard holders. But hey, when you can build 4 for the cost of one standard holder, who cares!

Jim Fitzgerald
05-25-2007, 08:59 AM
Now look whats happened....I am thinking about it....[/QUOTE]


Tom, the "Obsession" idea grows and grows! Now it has me thinking! Just go look at a 16x20 enlargement or 20x24 and think "Big Contact Print!!" Even bigger enlargement! This post just grows and grows!! The monster continues!!

Jim

Hugo Zhang
05-25-2007, 10:36 AM
Jim,

My current plan is to have a 16x20 camera custom built with a 14x17 reducing back. Now I am debating with myself if I should have a 20x24 camera built with 16x20 and 14x17 reducing backs.

What is obsession if this crazy idea not???

sanking
05-25-2007, 11:25 AM
Its not that bad. Star Camera can set you up with a wet plate system that large for around 6000.00 I think. Go for it! Its only money and you only live once. But you won't be the only one doing it. There are a handful of guys already shooting plates this size. John Coffer in New York is shooting 20x24 along with Zebra and a few others. Now if you want to do film and wet plate then it is going to cost you a few pennies more. Zebra's camera is probably worth more than all my photo equipment combined including my new alternative process darkroom and all of its contents and my soon to be cargo van/ mobile wet plate darkroom. But like I said, its only money. I always give credit...I just tell everyone that I have the best equipment that my wife can afford...lol

If ever I seriously think about doing 20X24" wet plate I am going to do the poor man's alternative, i.e. blue sensitive lith film.

A person has to draw the line somewhere in this world of obsession.

Sandy King

RobertP
05-25-2007, 01:11 PM
Sandy, Richard could easily build you a wet plate back for that new camera. Might as well take the plunge while it is in construction.

sanking
05-25-2007, 03:50 PM
Sandy, Richard could easily build you a wet plate back for that new camera. Might as well take the plunge while it is in construction.

Robert,

The great attraction to me of the RR 20X24 is the incredibly low weight of around 20 lbs with 48" of bellows draw. No way I am going to blow that away by attaching a 25 lb weight plate conversion on the back. No big deal for Monty, of course, since that big Ebony already comes in at 55 lbs.

This has been a good thread. My wife has always thought of me as a very obsessed person. When I show her that there are people out there doing 20X24" wet plates with cameras three times as heavy as mine I expect she will come to her senses.

Sandy King

RobertP
05-25-2007, 04:00 PM
Sandy, my wife says the same thing....or was it possessed and not obsessed? I'll have to ask her again.

sanking
05-25-2007, 05:11 PM
I wonder who bought Sandy's home made 20x24? The logistics would be a nightmare. If you have seen Don McC's book (which I assume he used a MF camera (with a little 35mm) for...can you imagine using a 20x24....changing film etc. What a hoot! Before I die, I HAVE to try this....I will have to hang on to my 10x8 in order to apprentice for this ridiculous folly. At $30 a sheet for 20x24 one would have to ensure that one's exposure technique was pretty good....

Tom,

That is confidential unless the buyer wants to speak up. However, just for the record the home-built 20X24 that I recently sold weighs less than a Wisner, and a lot less than an Ebony, so in the comparitive world of weight of 20X24" cameras the buyer gets a break.

Sandy

Curt
05-25-2007, 06:42 PM
If you don't mind limitations, you can build a big camera pretty cheap. Sliding box camera, make the ground glass frame removable so after focusing you slide out the gg and insert the film holder. Use plexiglass for the ground glass. If you are shooting landscapes you don't even need to build in that much slide in the boxes. I build my own film holders for my ULF cameras using komatex (an expanded PVC sheet plastic) and use double sided tape to hold the film in place. The tape stays tacky enough that you can load the holders about 10 times before you need to replace the tape. Sheet of powder coated .080 aluminum in the middle and a composite plastic called garolite for the dark slides. The only precision machining involved is the light baffle end to insure a smooth fit for the darkslide. Everything else can be cut with good home shop tools. A holder for something as big as 12x20 costs me about $90 to make.

This reminds me of the time when I was in school and living in a one bedroom apartment with my wife and used the coffee table to build my first field camera out of cherry and brass from the hobby shop. I got the bellows material from a fabric shop and did it over a period of months. I was hand sawing and sanding everything like a precision hand crafter. My wife bought me a small table saw that I used for very short times to cut some of the wood.

Now I have a shop and house but the methods are the same, make a design, get the materials and do the build to a precision you have decided on. With the internet you don't have to spend a dime on gas to go shopping for items either. You can be obsessed right at home in your own space.

Curt

Jim Fitzgerald
05-25-2007, 10:09 PM
Like I keep saying this thing we call Obsession or possesion just grows and grows. It just goes to show you the incredible minds and creativity that is part of this community.

Hugo, if you are going to do it big might as well go 20x24 with the reducing backs. I will even help you haul it!! Now that is not a bad offer seeing as how the camera will be bigger than me!!!

Jim

Black Dog
05-26-2007, 08:06 AM
Just obsessed!:)