On the 11x14 format

Compiled by Q.-Tuan Luong for the Large Format Page

Wisner, Phillips and maybe Canham make 11x14 cameras.  A number of older
11x14's were available and can be found used (Kodak, Deardorff and others).
 (John Sparks)

Since you are not enlarging the film, just about any lens you can find
that will cover 11x14 is sharp enough.  I have a lens I bought for $75
(without a shutter) that will cover it and have two others that I
bought for 8x10 that would work as well (though not exactly cheap).
 There are several new lenses from each manufacturer that will cover
the format and many older ones including quite a few in the 12"-14"
range that often sell for less than $200.  One that is convertable
might be all you really need (the single cells of a 12" lens are
probably in the 18"-28" range).  Long lenses for 11x14 are pretty rare
and rather expensive (24" Artars are about the longest commonly found
which is about like a 210mm on 4x5 and they go for about $1200 these
days).  Besides the 800mm Apo- Tele-Xenar, there are some Zeiss
Apo-Germinars in 450mm, 600mm, 750mm and 1000mm that would cover
11x14.  The 750mm is about $3000 or less than half the price of the
Schneider :-).  Even the 600mm is supposed to cover 20x24.
 (John Sparks)

Which b&w-films for 11x14"?

1.Kodak Ektapan
2.Kodak T-Max
3.Ilford HP5
4.Ilford FP4
(Burkhardt Kiegeland)

The fidelity holders are quite good and there are at least 4 other
producers that I know of (Wisner, Hoffman,Brubaker,Great Basin)
(Richard Kuzniak)

Actually you need to know a bit about the holders and the camera. Not all
holders (old and new) are designed to fit all cameras -- 11x14 and above, we
are talking about both physical size (x,y dimensions) but more importantly--
the distance from the front surface of the holder to the film plane is
critical and VARIES WITH EACH MAKE OF HOLDER. (This isn't the mass production
and standardized world of 4x5-5x7 and 8x10). Just because that new film
holder fits in your camera does not ensure the dimensions are correct...
Have the holder and the camera measured to assure that the holder puts the
film at the same location as the ground glass surface for focusing.
Fidelity 11x14 follows the ANSI standard....  (but does your F&S or Corona or
whatever camera. expecially if it is really old??).
Alan Brubaker (AWB enterprises) makes outstanding holders for 11x14 and
up. I know you won't be disappointed. Great Basin also makes holders, but IMHO
not at the same quality level. We'll leave the Wisner holder discussion to
those that have already converted their Wisner 4x10 cameras to Keith Canham's
4x10 Fidelity holders....
(Don Nelson)

Nikkor 360 W, Schneider 355 G Claron,19" Red
Dots and  alot of Dagors cover the format beautifully and are
available used at a decent price.
(Richard Kuzniak)

Lenses:  They're out there.  I missed a fabulous opportunity to pick up
a 14" tessar-formula Wollensack for _$100_ at a swap I didn't think I
needed to go to.  This would've come close to covering.  Also, I passed
on an 18" HugoMeyers WITH Packard shutter for $250 this past fall.
(Chris Perez)

>Theres a guy in Florida name of Clyde Butcher who shoots (I believe
>20x24).  He made a camera from an old process camera.  He shoots
>exclusively huge format i.e. >8x10 and makes all his own equipment.  I
>have wanted to take a workshop with him but have not yet done so.

Mailing address:
        Big Cypress Gallery
        52388 Tamiami Trail (Rte. 41)
        Ochopee, FL 33943.

You can buy his books from:
        Shade Tree Press,
        5647 Shaddelee Lane, West
        Fort Myers FL 33919 Phone 813-433-0222
(Robert Hudyman)

kuzniak@inforamp.net (Richard Kuzniak)

                  I worked with a 12x20 for a year and sold it because
I was frustrated by the limitations of a 60 year old banquet camera
(mostly bellows draw,also problems with film holders etc.) I did
learn a lot though and agree that the big negs are addictive...
I am hoping to win a lottery and buy a NEW camera either
a Wisner or Canham (his ideas for 16x20 are different from Wisner's
and intriguing...) I would like nothing better than a 20x24 but first
I want to research how to assure absolute film registration and
also film flatness (this is not adequately dealt with except maybe
by the Phillips 12x20 which uses a magnetic strip around the
perimeter of the film  to hold it down-I rented this camera and that
system worked fine) . As far as I know Wisner's 20x24 does not
have any special provision to ensure film flatness.I think that
one would almost have to have a Phillips type system or a vacuum
holder.A big piece of film like that is bound to sag just from its own
Also I would like to acquire good lenses that would cover that format
(probably 19,24" Dagors)Gary Adams worked with that format but
had focus problems.Doug Busch has worked with formats up to 40x50
(I would love to see some of THOSE prints!)  and could probably advise
on the film problem.With the disappearance of XX and possibly Azo I
think that maybe we fanatics should organize and get a few runs of
these materials to last us till we (gulp) die...but first I've got to
win  that damn lottery, come up with foolproof film
flatness/registration and then 20x24 here I come!!

sanking@hubcap.clemson.edu (s carl king)

I guess you must first decide whether you want to spend $5k plus on
a new model (Wisner, and others) or about $2k on one of the older
banquet cameras, of which there were four I believe (Burke James,
Deardorff, Folmer & Schwing, and Gundlach Korona. There is an
interesting article on the banquet cameras in the November/December
issue of View Camera (1990). This issue also has some
good information about lenses for these cameras. If you can
not locate the article send me a dollar bill and I will be happy to
make you a copy and send it to you.
For your information, I have a Gundlach Korona 12X20 and am very pleased
with it, though I think the Former and Schwing is a tad better.

>I'd love to move to 11x14 (eventually) but I work exclusively in
>the field. Are these things pratical to lug around on the trail ?
>I'm a backpacker/hiker but try to limit my loads to about 30 to
>35 pounds. It seems to me that an old wooden 11x14 and a good
>tripod that could support the camera would exceed 30 pounds.

An 11x14 Deardorff weighs about 28 lbs.  I'd guess a Kodak or B&J 11x14
would be a bit lighter, but probably still around 24 lbs.  Phillips
makes new 11x14 cameras that are the lightest available but still 17.5
lbs (ignoring their horizontal only version that probably weighs 12-15
lbs).  Holders weigh about 2 or 3 lbs, most lenses in shutter that cover
11x14 probably weigh at least 1.5-2 lbs (a #3 Copal or #4 Ilex shutter
weighs 1 lb without a lens and most 11x14 lenses will be in a shutter at
least this big).  A tripod that can hold a camera this large and heavy
weighs at least 10-12 lbs with a head but sturdy tripods this light are
not cheap.  So starting with a 24 lbs camera, you are at about 38 lbs
minimum with only one holder and one lens and that doesn't count
darkcloth, light meter, filters, etc.  You could make 35lbs with a
Phillips, one lens, tripod, one or two holders, lightweight darkcloth
though this still doesn't count the backpack (5 lbs?).

>I don't have the money for a new technical field
>(if Wisner makes one).

Wisner's literature says their 11x14 weighs 30 lbs!  This is their old
brass construction so there is a possibility of an aluminum design at
about 22-25 lbs.  Canham also makes an 11x14 that's probably between the
weight of the Phillips and the Wisner a maybe 20-22 lbs.  I think the Phillips
was about $2500 in 1993, the others are probabably twice as much.

(John Sparks)

The best choice would be a new (or used) 11x14 Phillips view - compact
and very light weight. If you could find a used older 11x14 Improved
Empire State view, this would a good alternative for probably a lot less
money. It's not as stable, not as many movements, BUT extremely compact
and lightweight. They're getting hard to find though. As for
backpacking, the biggest hurdle might be the filmholders - they just
might take up more space than the camera itself.

(Gregory A Kriss)

KBCanham's 11x14, of which 4 are under construction as we speak, is specified
to be 16.5 lbs with 48" bellows (max).


        If you can find an older 11x14 they weigh in at 10 to 15
        lbs. My Rochester Universal weighs 14.5 lbs and it has a
        laminated bed.
        Street photographers tripods were made of thin aluminum
        and were fairly sturdy with large columns and big
        platform clam heads. Mine weighs in at 9 1/2 lbs.
        I do B&W landscapes so I get along with barrel lenses
        Protar Series 4 WA , 14" Dagor and one lens board with
        a adjustable len flange holder. The three weigh in at
        3 lbs...................

(William Franko)

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