What Camera/format do you use?
ULF encompases such a variety of different formats.
What cameras do you use, and why have you chosen this format?
I have an 1890s American Optical 11x14" field camera. It has front rise and fall and axis tilt, rear base tilt and geared rear swing, and the back slides forward for use with wide lenses. It's about 15 lbs, a little wobbly, but I've repaired bed cracks and added an aluminum plate around the tripod connection to stiffen it up a bit. I think I'll add another tripod socket at some point. I've adapted the front standard to take Sinar boards and replaced the bellows with a 36" bellows from Camera Bellows UK. I've got two Hoffman filmholders and two S&S holders and had to adapt the back slightly to get them all to fit properly (distance from the lock rib to the end was a shade too small, but width and T-distance were okay). I don't use it as much as I'd like.
I think of 11x14" and 7x17" as about as large as I would want to deal with in the field, and 11x14" is a nice portrait format. I don't often print larger than 11x14", and my current darkroom situation doesn't lend itself well to anything bigger--but I still manage to do 11x14" in a tiny bathroom in a 1 bedroom apartment. If I get another ULF camera, it would be 7x17".
I have just bought a very old German plate camera for 24x30cm (9.5x12"), age and maker unknown. It's a classic rear-focusing "Reisekamera" - front rise/fall and shift by moving the lensboard on a very rigid front, and about 10° each of swing and tilt on the rear. I've put an iris lens mount on it, allowing me to use any lens under 12cm diameter and focal lengths between 80mm and 1000mm. It also folds up into a compact box around 40x35x12cm, making it eminently portable. It came with three plate holders and a Voigtländer 280mm f:7.7 Triple-Anastigmat.
I also have a Russian 30x40cm (12x16") camera of the same basic construction. While it isn't all that much larger it's heavier, bulkier, wobbly'er and overall shoddier...
I'll keep the 24x30 and sell the 30x40. It may be on the small side to call ULF, but the increase in size over 8x10" is significant.
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
I have an 11x14 Burke and James which I don't use nearly enough as I should and an 8x20 Korona which just sits on a shelf in need of a new bellows. I have several different types of film holders for the 11x14 including a sweet AWB walnut holder. The others are all old Graphlex, Korona or Eastman. I have about 7 or 8 holders total.
I've been using the 11x14 lately to mainly shoot wetplate collodion full-plates in an adapted 8x10 holder and revolving back on the B&J. This week I adapted an old 11x14 dryplate holder so that it takes 10x12 plates and I plan to do a few large ambrotype in that format very soon.
The 11x14 also has an iris mount and a 8 1/2 Packard shutter on it so I can attch barrel lenses and synch them to electronic flash in the studio. I've also built a custom cradle to attach this beast to a Majestic geared tripod.
I have way too many lenses for the camera and usually find myself using either a Dallmeyer 1A or 3A on it with the smaller wetplate stuff or a 210mm Angulon in the field.
I got into 11x14 because of my interest in portraiture and figure work. It is the smallest format you can record a life-sized head in a contact print. I also have always liked that print size and being into alternative printing processes I have been drawn to contact printing for awhile. I really don't care for prints over 14x17 anyways so that would be my upper limit for any future camera format I think.
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7x17 Folmer & Schwing, slightly modified to accept the "standard" 7x17 Korona holders.
only drawback Ive found is the limited bellows. But I would barely call it a drawback as Ive made due pretty well I think.
these things were built like tanks. I think its almost 100yrs old and almost looks brand new. Just wish this thing could talk. would love to hear what and where its been.
why I use it? well I will blame this one on Michael Mutmansky. I picked up a copy of View Camera maybe 2 yrs ago and saw the article on he and clay harmons visit to the BNSF train locale and fell in love with the slender and long format. Its sort of the reason I even contenplated and eventually explored LF in the first place. and here I am a few years later.
Crimoney, people are always blaming crap on me. Why don't people ever give me credit for anything?
I Use 7x17 and 10x12. I blame the 10x12 on Clay, as he had one first, and when we discussed it one day, I realized that it may be the ideal travelling ULF for contact printing. Small enough to pack easily for travel, but big enough to hold it's own on the wall (50% larger than an 8x10).
I chose my formats based on the portability, as I often will carry the gear into the wilds, or at least may leave the car behind for the better part of a day, and I want to be able to carry all the gear I need. These two sizes work very well for that.
Here's a recent 7x17 image that utilizes the format in a fairly non-traditional manner:
That's actually the front page to my site; click on the image if you want to go in.
Last edited by Michael Mutmansky; 03-21-2006 at 08:40 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Originally Posted by Michael Mutmansky
the blame part comes from my bank account Michael.
but the love part comes from how gorgeous and inspiring your work was, and continues to be (for me)
so its a "thank you for showing me" and "damn you for showing me"
really like the new work you have on your site. Havent been there in a month or so. inspiring.
I use the format that works for the job at hand!