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  1. #1
    Curt's Avatar
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    The best 11X14 field camera...

    ...would be?

    discuss ideas of past, present, and future designs including 11X14 film holders, or different film holding designs. What materials, methods of design and building including the tools needed to build the ideal field camera.

    Curt
    Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand

  2. #2
    Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt View Post
    ...would be?

    discuss ideas of past, present, and future designs including 11X14 film holders, or different film holding designs. What materials, methods of design and building including the tools needed to build the ideal field camera.

    Curt
    Curt, I could use the help also. I have an idea for my 11x14. I'm planning on designing it like my Zone VI 4x5. I need to have a visual comparison. I may design the back differently. Still working that out.

    Jim

  3. #3
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    The earlier Phillips 11x14" with the reversible back seems like a great camera for the field. I saw one in person at PhotoGizzmo a while back. It's got good movements and bellows extension (I don't recall exactly), and is very rigid for a lightweight field camera. My century-old American Optical is of comparable weight--about 15 lbs--but Phillips bed much more solid, which is an important issue in a flatbed design. By contrast, I've seen a Wisner that has more bellows, very extensive movements, and good rigidity, but it's 30 lbs, which is heavier than some lightweight 20x24" cameras.

    At a certain point, Phillips stopped making them with the reversible back, which strikes me as a real liability. I can turn my Korona 7x17" on its side for verticals, but I don't think I'd want to do that with an 11x14" camera, or at least not without a couple of heavy counterweights that I probably wouldn't want to have to carry into the field, though I suppose a Lotus-style L-bracket may be a way around that.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  4. #4
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt View Post
    ...would be?



    Curt

    One I didn't have to carry.

  5. #5
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    As far as tools go, at a bare minimum, you'd need a pro grade table saw, router table, and drill press.

  6. #6

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    Deardorff!

  7. #7
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    John- have you ever handled an 11x14 'Dorff? They're MASSIVE. Simple, but MASSIVE. I don't know that I'd design one for myself using that as a template.

  8. #8
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    My earlier post was a bit flip, but in all seriousness, the weight of a ULF field becomes a consideration, and that points to the crux of a design- functional, without being clunky, unbearably heavy, or crude. In addition to Scotts list, you would most likely need a metal milling machine, and a bender, to make the small parts, as most are not easily or inexpensivly sourced, and small runs by a machinist are spendy.

    Of course those costs can be built in to the price of the camera, but then you are playing the market, if you are talking about commercial production. If you are just building a one off for your self, and I certainly understand that desire, you will lose the economy of scale (such that there is in LF gear) and you will spend as much or more fabricating and designing, than buying a name brand one, so the motivating factor would have to be the desire to do it for ones own edification.

    I have built a couple super simple cameras, and as a result wouldn't touch building a holder with a ten foot pole, but you may have more skill and confidence than I.

    If I was going to build a ULF camera, I would probably start with a monorail design, then a flat bed with a tail board, before I tackled a folding field, as far as the learning curve. On the other hand you could just beat your head on the latter and be done with it.
    Last edited by JBrunner; 10-31-2007 at 05:31 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #9
    Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Ok, you guys it is time to think out of the box! I just finished my 8x20 Walnut camera and tripod that I built with hand tools in my apartment. I did use the metal from a Kodak 2-D. Sure it needs to be a little more rigid and fine tuned but it can be done if you take the time. I had it at the Owens Valley workshop that Per put on. It comes in at 14lbs. That includes the extension rail that takes it out to 32" of extension. I used it in the wind and it seemed steady. I had it on the tripod I built also from Walnut with a Majestic head and it comes in at 10lbs. I.m going to try to get the 11x14 to the same weight if I can. Like I said I'm going to somewhat follow the Zone VI 4x5 that I have now for reference. Sure it could have been more precise, but the 8x20 images I have are very sharp, so I must have done something right. It will be sometime before the 11x14 field is done and I'll keep everyone aware of my progress.

    Jim

  10. #10

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    I like my Wisner P model quite a bit. It weighs far less than most other 11x14 cameras, and also less than the earlier Wisner Traditional models. At less than 20 lbs (I think about 16lbs to be exact), it is very managable, and does not weigh more than my previous 8x10. I think there are a few new models around still if you search amongst the large format camera dealers.

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