ULF format suggestions sought
OK, here's my dilemma...
I have ca. 1000 sheets of 16x20 lith film that I can't see go to waste;
I presently have 4 4x5 cameras, 2 8x10 cameras and I really want bigger, but 16x20 seems like a really big jump. Panoramic photography has always interested me, soooo...
I'm thinking of building either a 8x20 camera, or possibly a 5x16. Basically something that will maximize my use of 16x20 film (and paper for contact prints). glass is less of an issue, as I have a 360mm componon, a 16 1/2" artar, and a 21" Kodak Anast., and probably a bunch of lenses that will cover converted, as well as a variety of packard and packard-like shutters. I'm not adverse to building my own holders, as I have a pretty good stash of quarter-sawn cherry (about 250 bd.ft., though the # goes up and down as I use some and replace it), tons of Al. sheet and extrusions, as well as a full woodworking shop, a cnc router, and access to a machine shop. What I can't do myself, I tend to know people that can.
Given that my loving spouse has banned me from ebay (and this time I think she means it! Must've been that last RB outfit.), as well as any large $$ shopping, I have to work with what I have. I'm open to any and all suggestions that you guys may have.
Sometimes, too many possibilities are a curse...
awww... what the heck, build a 5x12!
5x16 sounds like a really nice if offbeat format. If you have the wherewithal to build one, I'd go for that format. Certainly it would be unique, and you'd be able to get 4000 exposures out of your existing film stock before you'd have to buy anything else. That's a LOT of exposures. Or make yourself a 10x16 portrait-format camera. There's a different format for you.
For the cost of shipping, I could perhaps send you a 12x16" camera as a "basis for construction". But shipping would be expensive, the camera is way too heavy (which is why I don't feel a great need to use it)...
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
I think you definitely need a 12x20" camera for serious work, and a 4x10" camera for snapshots and to use up the 4x20" strips left over from the sheets cut down to 12x20".
On the other hand, do you really want to be shooting lith film in camera? You can do it, but why not use it to make enlarged negs for alt process printing from your small camera negs?
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I vote for David's suggestion. You've got to look beyond the film. Your 16 1/2" Artar will cover 8x10; the 21" Anastigmat, 11x14; the Componon?... And even so, will you tire of your odd format before the film supply expires? What do you really want to accomplish? The prospect of an pleasurable eternity slicing and dicing film seems dubious.
Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
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Anyone can appreciate a fine print. But it takes a real photographer to appreciate a fine negative.
I've got a better suggestion: just ship the film to me. PM me for my addres.
I'm trying to acquire a repro camera at the moment to use as a basis for an ULF camera. There are a couple of A2 (17x23) models for sale locally that might fit the bill and should cost $20 or so (including fuel cost to pick them up). From what I have read previously this will give me a set of bellows, a couple of lenses that can't be mounted in shutters and a pile of scrap metal.
The idea is to build a modern version of the old studio cameras, complete with two post stand (on wheels) and gear driven height adjustment. I'm looking at something that can be used for portraits rather than landscapes. Needless to say, aluminium features strongly in most of my construction plans.
I'm not sure what format to aim for as I don't have any lith film to start with. However as there isn't any requirement to be able to swap parts with other cameras I don't see any reason to make filmholders in the traditional pattern. Being a keen Graflex user my initial thoughts have been towards putting the film in septums, possibly glued in place with remount glue or the like. As per the grafmatics the septums would be pushed against a frame to get the correct registration. Then maybe manufacture the world's largest bag mag to hold six or so of them. This probably wouldn't work so well out in the field, but in a studio it should be manageable (just).
Next step will be to play with Jim Galli's modified Rodinal formula using 4x5 sheets until I am confident that I can get what I want.
I have always thought that the 10X16 format made a lot of sense. It takes the 16X20 sheet and cuts them down the other way from what normally happens.
The 10X16 format is smaller then 12X20 and still has the same aspect ratio. Very near the "golden mean". It is not nearly as long and narrow as the 8X20 or 7X17 formats.
You might play with these dimensions and see what you think of them. Since you have the means to do anything that you want, it would be a way to do something very nice and unusual.
I just got in a 16x20 Wisner lightweight Demo for sale last week. 28lbs. Maybe the last one Ron will ever make. The wood has some marks and the bellows too but a great liteweight 16x20. Emile/www.deleon-ulf.com.