View Full Version : No longer a ULF virgin!

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Jim Fitzgerald
10-21-2007, 01:11 AM
Finally my Walnut 8x20 is officially done! I got the bellows installed on Saturday October 13th in the morning. I picked them up from Jim at Western Bellow about 3 weeks late. It was just in time for the trip to the Per Vloquartz Owens Valley workshop. I exposed six sheets of Berrger 200 as the trial run. If everything works out I should have some great negs and prints. I must say that I was like a kid in a candy store when I pulled the dark slide and exposed that first sheet. I'm going to develop the negs one at a time in trays in Pyrocat HD. Any suggestions on starting times would be appreciated. I shot it at 80. I have some minor issues to deal with on the camera but it generally performed very well even in the wind. I used my 14" Rodenstock Gerogon and my Ilex Paragon Process lenses and they both cover well. The Gerogon wide open and the Ilex I needed to stop down. I will attach some shots of the camera.

Jim Fitzgerald
10-21-2007, 01:27 AM
I had to resize some shots so I could load them. I have a very slooow computer. These are taken at 11,000 feet in the Bristlecone pine forest in the White mountains.


10-21-2007, 02:37 AM
Jim, that bellows looks really great, why did you decide to go with Western Bellows? How many holders do you have? It looks like you are in for the time of your life with that great looking camera.

Have fun,

10-21-2007, 02:58 AM
Congratulations on the lost virginity ;-)

The camera looks great, I hope you make many great images with it.


Jim Fitzgerald
10-21-2007, 11:24 AM
I have 4 holders for this system. I went with Western bellows because they are in California and I could pick it up. You need to stay on top of Jim so it gets done on time. The bellows is very nice. The format is very addictive.


10-21-2007, 11:58 AM
Gorgeous camera Jim. I see Kodak 2D in it's lineage. I see the light at 11,000 feet is brutal as ever. You really need cloud cover up there. Looking forward to seeing some pics :)

Jim Fitzgerald
10-21-2007, 12:02 PM
Jim, yes the 2-D gave its parts willingly in the cause. The light at that altitude was brutal but it was great at sunset. Just hope everything was locked down for the shot. If at all possible I'll try to get to Tonopah next month so you can take a closer look.


Scott Peters
10-21-2007, 12:51 PM
Congratulations! Enjoy the larger format while I lament my baby 8x10 and 7x17 contact prints :( - see my website for j7x17 and 8x10 contact prints....

I have always been tempted by the 8x20 - - -

Hugo Zhang
10-21-2007, 02:07 PM
Congratulations, Jim!

It's beautiful camera! Did you really make a trip to the White Mountains without Dan and me? We need to shoot that sand dunes together.


Alex Hawley
10-21-2007, 08:05 PM
Congrats Jim. Lovley photos of yourself and the camera; as intrepid a ULF'er as I've seen! :D

David A. Goldfarb
10-21-2007, 08:31 PM
It's a short descent from ULF virgin to ULF whore. Welcome to the brothel.

10-21-2007, 08:51 PM
Jim should mention he made a very nice (and light) tripod to set that rig up on.
The walnut looks beeuteeful too..

10-21-2007, 08:52 PM
It's a short descent from ULF virgin to ULF whore. Welcome to the brothel.

Priceless quote of the month

Jim Fitzgerald
10-21-2007, 11:18 PM
Scott, I've been to your site several times and have been inspired to get in closer. If i had more time, the sunset at 11,000 feet goes very quickly and it gets really really dark. I wanted to get in closer to this root. It was an amazing root system. The Rodenstock Gerogon 360mm lens is great for this format. I have 32 inches of bellows and I had plenty left to use. The wind was an issue. I just developed the negative today and I have to say it is one of the sharpest and best i have ever produced. I can't wait to print it. I am extremely happy because this was a rather rushed shot. Not something you want to do with ULF. Fortunately my friend Bill Theis was there to help me break down before it got to dark. All in all I have only one problem with a holder that has a light leak. It is a little smaller than the others and I'm going to have to shim it some how. Any ideas would be appreciated. Hugo, I sent Dan an E-mail with all of the details of the Owens Valley workshop and at the end I told him it is either the Joshua Trees or the Guadalupe Dunes... they are open now! Alex, thanks for the kind words. I've enjoyed your work and I would like to thank all of the ULF photographers out there whose comments, websites and information I've gathered during this year and a half project have helped me get to this point. So, you can do it with hand tools and some passion after all.


Jim Fitzgerald
10-21-2007, 11:22 PM
David and Matt. I love being a brothel goer! Bring it on! Yes the tripod is light and I'll post the weights as soon as I can find a scale to weight my new babies.


10-21-2007, 11:32 PM
Hey Jim, it was very nice to meet you and your camera over in Lee Vining. That's an excellent piece of work there, and I look forward to the photos...

10-21-2007, 11:37 PM
Jim, I have an old 8x10 Kodak 2D with a shot bellows but the hardware is complete... ...you are a year older than me so I still have time....right?

The hardest thing I have done recently, physically, was moving my son to the University dorm room this fall, that tells you how long we waited to have kids!

When you take your camera out do you have a camper or do you sleep in the back of your truck or stay in motels? I have a Dodge Ram truck and small trailer but the larger the camera collection and its larger sizes makes me want a larger rv.


ps; Can you get a clear view of the fires from Ventura?

10-21-2007, 11:49 PM
also to add.... thats a gorgeous looking camera, Jim.

Jim Fitzgerald
10-22-2007, 12:30 AM
Curt, it is never to late. I have put one son through Stanford University, I have another who will graduate from the University of Southern California in 2008 and my youngest son is in his second year at UC Santa Cruz. I also have an ex who does not work!! I have a degree in moving science technology from all of these places and it keeps me fit. I work out regularly and just had another birthday last Wednesday. I normally sleep in the back of my four door truck,but on this last trip I used my new 4 seasons REI light weight tent. I loved the space and the threat of bears at night was not good but none were seen the whole time. We used our heads in the campground and did not leave ANYTHING that smelled around. I managed to take the 8x20, my 4x5with the 6x9 back holders, food, clothes etc. and etc. I like being mobile. No $$$ for motels but I figure I'll do that when the last one gets out of college in 09' or 2010. The truck and the trailer thing should work fine. Park the trailer and go out in the truck. Sounds ideal. I just do whatever works for me.

It's never to late to get that 8x10 done. It took me a year and a half to build the 8x20. I did it when the inspiration came. If I can do it in an apartment anyone can do it. The 11x14 is being built as we speak. In my spare time as the inspiration comes. This time I'm going to use up all of my Walnut. No more after this one, I promise. Matt, thanks, I love the way the Walnut camera looks on the Walnut tripod. I am very happy and proud of my accomplishment.


Jim Fitzgerald
10-22-2007, 12:31 AM
Sorry, I meant Scott.