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  1. #11

    Join Date
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    Setting up the camera goes faster if you don't break it down as far when your done with an exposure. I've meet people who will break a camera completely done after an exposure and put it back in a carring case just to walk sixty feet. That wastes a lot of time.

    I use a majestic head and take it off the tripod attached to either my 8x10 or my 8x20 (whichever I'm using at that moment) and place the whole thing in the back of my Jeep. I carry the setup into my house that same way and set it up on my camera stand. I think I only fully break down the camera about three or four times a year when I need to pack it into a tighter space in the car.

    Also 10-20 holders sounds nice, and makes great press,but more often then not most ULF shooters are working with less. I have four that I fully trust, two that are fine indoors. Its costs about the same to buy a Harrison changing tent as it does to buy one new 8x20 holder.
    George Losse
    www.georgelosse.com

  2. #12
    jimgalli's Avatar
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    Dave gave you a very nice answer and I was surprised (not sure why) how many of the steps I do exactly the same. Yesterday I had the good fortune to be at 11,000+ feet in the ancient bristlecones with the 12X20 Folmer. When I tipped over the very top of the mountain and got to my first planned stop just down the other side a bit I noticed a rear tire was 3/4 flat. I go better prepared than most but even with 2 spares, the fact that I had traversed 24.5 miles of sharp nasty rocks and had more in front of me dampened spirits a bit. Next time I'll have 3 spares for that trip.

    Brett Weston was 1000% correct about all the good shots being within 40 paces of the car with a camera that size. Even more so at 11,000+ elevation.

    The key item is this. If you're not enjoying the entire process in and of itself you likely won't be shooting the big camera very long.

    I set and level the big Ries tripod. Next the camera comes out of it's well protected case and goes on. Then the lens and darkcloth go in place. Time to compose. Yesterday I made 4 exposures. My confidence (or is it an inferiority complex that none of what I'm doing is worth 2 sheets of film anyways?) is such that I rarely make more than one exposure at a set-up. Such was the case yesterday. Of the 4 there was one where I moved the tripod 2 times to get the scene composed with all the elements I wanted in the right places. Next comes the film holders. The 2 holders travel very nicely wrapped in terri-cloth towells and in the same case with the camera. Meter, expose, done. I reverse every step and break everything down 100% and re-pack between shots. That way the camera isn't compromised bouncing around the interior of the truck on extreme roads. Each picture takes perhaps 20 - 40 minutes to complete.

    I refuse to hurry. OTOH! I didn't get home until 0-darkthirty and had to get up and going at 04:30 this Am for work.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

    http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Milwaukee, Wi
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    I get up in the morning. I think about ULF. I say "Nahh!". I forget it for the rest of the day.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  4. #14
    pandino's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
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    Some great suggestions here. You have given me some good ideas for streamlining things a little.

    I can foresee myself taking Claire's approach much sooner than I'd consider Juan's...
    Quote Originally Posted by Claire Senft
    I get up in the morning. I think about ULF. I say "Nahh!". I forget it for the rest of the day.
    Quote Originally Posted by juan
    Load your car, unload your kit, set it up, go through all the steps necessary to take a photo, repack the kit and load it back in the car. Do this 50 times and you'll have it down.
    Do that 50 times and the only 11x14 photos I'll be looking at will be the X-rays of my spine!

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Yorkville, Il
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    I've been shooting my 11x14 for a couple years now and this is the basic breakdown and setup of my equiptment.

    I keep my Phillips unfolded with a lens and hood attatched sitting on the back passenger side seat of my four door hatch back.

    My 4 holders (I could see maybe adding 2 more holders max) and my one and only extra lens are contained in a Xl messenger http://www.chromebags.com/kremlin.php bag on the driver side rear seat. (I love this bag, it swallows gear)

    My Berlebach tripod with Majestic head attatched and extended lay in the trunk.

    I wear a Lowepro utility belt that keeps my lens cleaning gadget, light meter and other odds and ends.

    So, as a few other experienced photographers have mentioned here, walk the area and look at the subject matter you want to shoot first. If you like what you see go rig up.

    For myself if I'm traveling a long distance from my vehicle (1-3 miles total) I'll put my unfolded camera and tripod over my shoulder, with my holders in the messenger bag and the utility belt on and start moving to where ever it is I'm going.

    I know this won't work for you and your B&J but it demonstrates the advantages of a light weight set up.

    Good Light,
    Mike

  6. #16
    climbabout's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
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    Fairfield County CT
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    Quote Originally Posted by pandino
    Okay, I finally got film holders for my 11x14 B&J and just had to take it for a test drive.

    I still don't have film, a proper tripod or lens, but I loaded the holder with paper and placed a 210 Symmar on it just to get a feel for using the format.

    I must say that it was a little more involved than I expected. Getting it on the tripod, carrying the film holder and meter, leveling the camera, focusing, etc. It was comical. I felt like I was about three arms and four hands short... and I was only eight feet outside my front door!

    So how do you guys do it? There's got to be an easier way. Do you have help?

    By the way, the paper neg came out just fine apart from a little too much contrast. The contact print left a little to be desired, but not bad for my first paper negative. Of course, I picked the worst possible subject; my 4-yr old son. You'd think he could sit still for 1/4 sec...

    As a side note, I was very surprised to find that the Symmar-S would cover 8x10 @ f/11 with no noticeable falloff. It is spec'd at 294 @ f/22.


    Lots of great advice regarding setup procedure in this thread - bottom line is with experience, you will develop your own routine that you are comfortable with - most important though - reread the post by Jamie Young - slow down and enjoy the experience.
    Climbabout
    Tim Jones

  7. #17

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    Jun 2004
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    I have a "lightweight" 11x14 outfit - I use a Phillips Explorer (about 11 pounds) on a Arca B2 which is on a Gitzo 1548 (or 1348 if I am trying to keep it light). I have a backpack frame called a Azora Pack Mule ( http://azora.biz ) - A lightware case contains the camera and 3 holders and is effortlessly strapped to the frame. I either carry the tripod and head in one hand or I strap it on top of the case on my back. A small padded bag with the other essentials (lenses, filters etc) either gets strapped onto the frame or is carried in my other hand. This outfit makes getting an 11x14 anywhere I want to go very feasible. The frame with the lightware case strapped on is very comfortable and if I had the urge, I wouldn't hesitate to do ten miles with it.

  8. #18
    Dave Wooten's Avatar
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    Nov 2004
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    Donsta,

    That is a nice frame set up...had not heard of it...thanks

  9. #19

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by pandino

    As a side note, I was very surprised to find that the Symmar-S would cover 8x10 @ f/11 with no noticeable falloff. It is spec'd at 294 @ f/22.
    I just bought a pair of lenses on ebay, a 180 symmar and a 210 componon, I was just as surprised when the 210 covered (definatly not sharp to the very edge) 8x10 with a little (very little) room to spare, probably best left for images I know I'll be contact printing.

    erie

  10. #20

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Yorkville, Il
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    Donsta, that frame is just what I've been look'n for. The old alice pack frames can be fitted with a cagro hauling shelf that was designed for a large radio but this frame looks much more ergonomicaly freindly.

    Mike

    Quote Originally Posted by Donsta
    I have a "lightweight" 11x14 outfit - I use a Phillips Explorer (about 11 pounds) on a Arca B2 which is on a Gitzo 1548 (or 1348 if I am trying to keep it light). I have a backpack frame called a Azora Pack Mule ( http://azora.biz ) - A lightware case contains the camera and 3 holders and is effortlessly strapped to the frame. I either carry the tripod and head in one hand or I strap it on top of the case on my back. A small padded bag with the other essentials (lenses, filters etc) either gets strapped onto the frame or is carried in my other hand. This outfit makes getting an 11x14 anywhere I want to go very feasible. The frame with the lightware case strapped on is very comfortable and if I had the urge, I wouldn't hesitate to do ten miles with it.

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