The ground glass on my camera is a Satin Snow, and its PLENTY bright and sharp. However, when you are under the darkcloth, its just difficult to view the whole image. I have a rather larger darkcloth so I can back up abit to really SEE the whole ground glass...but then my arms are not long enough to reach the camera to move it around!
Originally Posted by Petzi
I think 8x10 is a perfect size for alot of people, but some 8x10 cameras are more limiting then others. Such as Kevin pointed out, his Deardorff is rather bulky which can slow a photographer down. I've shot with an ArcaSwiss and some other 8x10 cameras which are soooo simple and easy to use, its like shooting a 35mm camera. However, I think that large format slowing a photographer down is a good thing because it makes you think about your image more...but when your shooting with such a cumbersome camera that it slows you down so much that you miss the shot...that is not good!
This was the case lastnight. I was out shooting at sunset and an amazing scene was before me, however...I just could not get the 11x14 set up as fast as my 8x10, and I missed the shot because the sun set!
Remember the 6" rule. You can't shoot a good image until you have shot a 6" stack of film.
I guess one of the advantages of middle age is that one has a great excuse for staying within a few feet of the truck - even with "only" an 8x10.
Originally Posted by Ryan McIntosh
Ryan, I guess my only suggestion that may speed up the 11x14 setup is to get a Humvee and mount the camera on top where the machine gun would normally be. It would make a great elevated viewpoint. :rolleyes:
Haha. Thanks Alex.
Its just not the speed of the camera setup however. Its not being able to see the whole image, not having the ablity to fully "use" the camera because its so cumbersome, the cost of film/larger paper and chemicals, having to purchase more expensive lenses to cover the format, and finally not being able to haul the camera far distances into the field.
Ryan, I shot 12X20 for a while. It was not my bag. My experience paralleled what yours is. I still have a couple of V8 Deardorffs...but I shoot about four or five times as much film through 4x5.
Since I converted to a point light source on my Durst enlarger, I can get 11X14 enlarged prints from 4X5 negatives that equal any contact print that I ever saw on Chloride contact paper.
If you want to check it out sometime, give me a call because I am just down the road from you.
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I have a big camera too but I don't take it out on hikes it takes me out on hikes. What I mean is if want to shoot with the huge camera I find the image first and return with the camera later. This makes the initial hikes a bit more enjoyable as a hike and I can come back later, in the correct light to take the image I want. I tend to save the really good images for the big camera if I can. Rarely, almost never do I set out to hike with the big camera its just too big and heavy to aimlessly carry around. If I know I have a good shot I'll take it back to a pre scouted location.
I do understand the viewing difficulty you are having. I have the same problem and its much easier for me to see the entire gg at on the 8x10. It sounds like you've made up your mind and if you feel the 11x14 is hampering your style and limiting your ability to make the images you want then go back to 8x10. On the other hand some day you might regret selling the 11x14 and want to go back to it. My ulf was pretty inexpensive and I use it sparingly. Actually its a POS but it functions for the use I give it. I still shoot more 8x10 than anything else.
KJS-just want to warn you about the Canham 8x10. I would take a Dorf anytime over one. And yes; I did own the Canham once. The $3500 model. Slippery and slidy all the time. If you do buy one send it to Richard Ritter to fine tune it and make it slow down. Just a word of advice. I now have a lovely Ansco 8x10 View and it is great. Cost only $525 on Ebay. Sorry-didn't mean to barge in in the thread but thought my 2 cents were worth it!!
[COLOR=Blue][SIZE=4]"Ryan, I guess my only suggestion that may speed up the 11x14 setup is to get a Humvee and mount the camera on top where the machine gun would normally be. It would make a great elevated viewpoint." [/SIZE] [/COLOR]
Now that's a great idea, I would add one of those boom lifts so you can really get a good look around; imagine booming out over a clift or some house or barn?
With an 11x14 if someone came running after me I would just have to stand there and die. A built in taser would be a must with an 11x14.
I have found that the 5x7 works best, it's a whole lot lighter than a 8x10 and bigger than a 4x5 for that "large" feeling and the negative size is just right. I bet Goldie Locks had one.
Ryan if you are using an 11x14 then stepping down to an 8x10 might be good for a while. p.s. send me you metered light meter, I wait, I wait, I wait. You might be happy with a 5x7 and leave the 11x14 for "sometimes" shots.
I'm almost 100% sure Kevin shoots with a 5x7 wooden Canham already, and he loves the camera dearly!
Do you know how the metal 8x10 Canhams are? I think they are an interesting design..however, I'ver heard some people complain about flex of the sliding rail.
I bought my first 11x14 well over 20 years ago and found it 'overkill' and also overweight. So I sold it and didn't have any ULF for around 20 years until I got my 12x15 Gandolfi.
For: the huge ground-glass is mesmerizing.
Against: almost everything else.
But then, I'm no great addict of big prints: I like 5x7 contacts, and the main reason for keeping my 8x10 is Hollywood portraits.
I haven't yet tried ULF argyrotypes which may persuade me to keep the camera. Otherwise it's back to 5x7 (I have a Gandolfi and a Linhof).