ULF exposures per setup?
I'm wondering if ULF users can tell me their actual experiences on (average), how many exposures do you make per trip, or per setup?
Given the processing logistics, I imagine that a low number is what will be reported. But I'm trying to rationalize the number of film holders I should plan on having.
This isn't like 8x10, where it's easy to have 5 holders ready to go. 5 8x20 holders will break the bank, require another huge case and the film costs will be high. Do any of you bracket 8x20?
OTOH, getting everything setup and then not having enough film would be frustrating.. In the smaller formates I've never run out of film on a location so I haven't had to deal with that.
You comments will be enlightening.
It all depends on how much time I have and how many filmholders. I like to shoot two per setup, but I can stretch it to one, if I have to.
I don't bracket except occasionally with color transparency film in 8x10" and 11x14". The 11x14" transparency film I have on hand is old and wonky, so before a shoot, I test to see where it's at and avoid the need to bracket in most cases. My stock of 8x10" Astia seems to be holding up well in the freezer, and I'm usually using it only under studio conditions, but I'll run a test sheet if I haven't used any for a while.
When shooting negs for Pt/Pd I don't bracket but in the 7 x 17 there are times when I will shoot two of the same exact exposure to give myself a chance at a different development time if I don't like the contrast of the first negative. When I am shooting the 20 x 24 its one shot and go. I don't screw that format up any less but it damn near breaks your heart and buckles you at the knee to butcher two 20 x 24's of the same shot you just had to have. Don't ask me how I know this to be true.
As to how many shots I take on an outing that's a bit different. I have three 7 x 17 holders and usually shoot all of them per outing and if its a rare all day freedom run away from the responsibilities of my 7 and 5 year olds then I will even take the changing tent with me. I would prefer to have 5 holders in that format. Its my understanding though from those that have shot both 7 x 17 and 8 x 20 that the difference in weight etc is significant between the two. I don't have any experience with that comparison.
As to the 20 x 24 I have two holders film holders and one wet plate holder (which is obviously enough, if you don't like what you got you wipe off the glass plate and head back into the abyss). The two holders seem enough (I've owned the camera for one year). The cost of the film makes shooting more than four shots per outing prohibitive. Portrait sessions I usually shoot all four shots, as the collabortive efforts make creativity and joy worth it, at least to me. Roaming for landscapes, city scenes, architecture with the girth, weight etc of the format I usually must feel rilly rilly rilly rilly rilly inspired and brilliant to get through all four shots in a day. That obviously doesn't happen much!
Hope that helps
I don't bracket with 7 x 17 (unless I think I have blown it, or actually blown it...yes, it happens sometimes..) so one shot per set-up. I carry 6 holders, but usually shoot 3 on average in a day...
I would start with a minimum of three if you can. Two holders at an absolute minimum.
If you are local you can always change out holders (if you aren't too far from home, or run back to the hotel and change you holders in a dark bathroom).
I hadn't thought of making 2 identical exposures and then using the first to decide the development of the 2nd. Good point.
Originally Posted by Zebra
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I have two 7x17 holders and plan to make a third one because 4 shots on an outing is really too little.
5 holders seem a lot to me, I hardly expose 8 sheets of 8x10 on an outing!
I make 2 exposures per setup (helps insure against a scratch or stray light leak) and I think 5 holders is plenty for a day's work. I own more than 5, but I've never exposed more than 10 sheets in a day.
I have gone through 18+ 8x10 holders in a day while shooting from sunrise to sunset.
By setup do you mean each time I place the camera on the tripod. Then its usually one. Sometimes two if there is more to see at that location. I don't normally bracket, shoot dupes to change processing, and I don't worry about scratches on negatives I develop in drums not trays.
It really depends on what your work habits are. I'm assuming you have moved up to ULF from 8x10, how many 8x10 exposures would you make in a typical day? Figure if you are still working in 8x10 and 8x20 then you might make as many as 1/8 the number of 8x10 exposures. If you are shooting the 8x20 alone then the number goes up but I would think it still stays under 1/3 the number of 8x10 exposures.
I normally have four holders loaded for a local days shooting. If I'm traveling I will add 2-4 more older holders into the holder case. My case holds 8 holders, and is very heavy. It's not meant for walking around with, its meant to keep the holders safe in the Jeep.
You really only have a few choices, buy more holders, buy a changing tent, shoot less or watch all the beautiful images that appear after you have exposed the last sheet of film for the day. I chose the first two options, YMMV.
I believe that 4-5 holders per shooting session is enough for all but the most prolific shooters. It is very hard work, and takes a lot of time as well, to set up an adjust the camera for 8-10 different exposures.
For 7X17 I actually have ten holders, which works well for me on days when I do am and pm shoots. But those times are fairly rare.
In 12X20 and 20X24 I recently sold my two cameras in those sizes and will have very soon a fairly light weight 20X24 (20lbs or so) with 20X24 and 12X20 reducing backs. I plan to have no more than five holders per format for this camera.
I never take a second shot of a scene unless I realize that I screwed up the first one. My exposure and development techniques are adequate to the extent that I can almost get what I want on one sheet of film.
One good reason to make a second exposure is to eliminate the possibility of some kind of damage to the first sheet from unexpected light leak or damage in processing. Such defects are very hard to correct in contact printing. If I have a problem of this type in 7X17 or 12X20 I prefer to scan, correct, and print with digital negatives rather than trying to physically correct the negative. For those not interested in doing anything digital making a second duplicate shot might make some sense if you see a fair number of these type of errors.
My habit is to also take along good medium format equipment (Fuji 6X9 for example) with color film in the event that the scene is one lends itself to other than straight B&W rendering, and many are.
Last edited by sanking; 08-06-2007 at 10:32 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Scan 12x20 negatives? Yikes. I can't imagine myself doing that. Can you tell us what resolution you scan a 12x20 at and what size file that results in?
Originally Posted by sanking
I think a cost/benefit analysis (for me) would say that making a duplicate exposure might be the answer (Unless of course one is already setup for that kind of file processing - which I'm not.)
These are all great answers, I appreciate everyone sharing their shooting technique.