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ndg
22-Jun-2014, 19:51
Ever since I started doing alternative process work, I've yearned to work with ultra-large in-camera negatives.
I have an 11x 14 Studio camera but wanted a larger field camera.
20x24 was out of question - just too big. It was between the 14x17 or 16x20 , but I am not a big fan of the 4:5 ratio. Too squarish, I think. I prefer the 2:3 format.
The more I thought of it, the more the 14x20 format kept coming up. Kenro Izu has one and I think Pete Roddy on this forum has one too.
Early last year, I asked Ricahrd Ritter to build me a 14x20. He agreed.
I received the camera earlier this month and am still finding my way around the nether world of Ultra-large format photography.

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It weighs all of 21 lbs, has 50" bellows and 10" lens boards.
I have 14" x 36" sheets of Xray film that I cut down in the darkroom with a Rotratrim.
I also have some FP4 and plan to shoot on photo paper too.
Lenses - a beat up 19" Dagor, a 21" Euryscope (Series IV), 30" and 42" RDAs. All lenses are in barrels.

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Above is the first negative. Shot on Xray film and developed in a JOBO 3063 drum with Rodinal.
The print is a gold-toned Kallitype.
I plan to use the negatives for alternative process work.

Jeffrey Arthur
22-Jun-2014, 22:10
Congratulations! It looks awesome.
Waiting for my Ritter 14x17 around September.

Randy Moe
22-Jun-2014, 23:10
Very nice, hard to judge the size without somebody, like you, next to it.

Mammoth camera!

Congratulations.

andreios
23-Jun-2014, 00:19
Nice looking camera and "sweet" format.. I wish you many good negatives made with it!

Bruce Barlow
23-Jun-2014, 04:55
Did Richard send you the video owner's manual we made on DVD? That'll help your navigation some.

ndg
23-Jun-2014, 05:37
Did Richard send you the video owner's manual we made on DVD? That'll help your navigation some.

Yes he did. It certainly helped in putting it together.

Michael Roberts
23-Jun-2014, 05:42
Wow! Congratulations--a great new camera, and you have a great plan for how to make the most of it.

What are you doing for film holders?

Andrew Plume
23-Jun-2014, 06:16
yes, absolutely beautiful

and good luck

regards

andrew

ndg
23-Jun-2014, 06:26
Wow! Congratulations--a great new camera, and you have a great plan for how to make the most of it.

What are you doing for film holders?

Richard made me some holders too.

Michael Roberts
23-Jun-2014, 06:32
sweet

pierre506
23-Jun-2014, 06:36
How many 14x20 holders do you own?

ndg
23-Jun-2014, 06:47
I have 3 for now. I got the impression that building the holders is the hardest bit of the whole process. Maybe if this format became popular, more camera builders will make the holders for it..... hint, hint! [emoji6]

angusparker
23-Jun-2014, 07:02
I have 3 for now. I got the impression that building the holders is the hardest bit of the whole process. Maybe if this format became popular, more camera builders will make the holders for it..... hint, hint! [emoji6]

First congratulations, I am seriously envious and a great fan of my Ritter 8x10. As to your point above. Ha ha! A popular format - don't hold your breath. I'm getting my 14x17 up and running. It's a Fatif monorail with a Ritter back. I think anything over 8x10 is fairly exotic these days, especially with digital negatives kind of negating the need for ULF except for in camera wet plate and paper. Really looking forward to it though. Would be great to know which film, JOBO tube, developer concentration and developing workflow (DEV time, stop, fix, clear and wash cycles) you use. I'll be in hot pursuit!

ndg
23-Jun-2014, 07:25
First congratulations, I am seriously envious and a great fan of my Ritter 8x10. As to your point above. Ha ha! A popular format - don't hold your breath. I'm getting my 14x17 up and running. It's a Fatif monorail with a Ritter back. I think anything over 8x10 is fairly exotic these days, especially with digital negatives kind of negating the need for ULF except for in camera wet plate and paper. Really looking forward to it though. Would be great to know which film, JOBO tube, developer concentration and developing workflow (DEV time, stop, fix, clear and wash cycles) you use. I'll be in hot pursuit!
Can't a man wish…lol!

angusparker
23-Jun-2014, 07:44
Can't a man wish…lol!

Perhaps if it were 1885 you could be setting the new standard. Time machine needed....

ndg
23-Jun-2014, 08:10
The few LF camera makers left advertise the formats they make on the respective sites - 4x5 to 20x 24. Maybe the 14x20 format can be added to it. Ilford added that format to their yearly ULF run. I don't think you need a time machine for that. Just another choice for those who want it, small as it may be.

Pete Roody
23-Jun-2014, 09:29
Nice camera. I think you made the right choices with having a bigger lensboard and a reversing back. My camera (also a 14x20 by Ritter) takes a 6x6 Deardorff board and you have to rotate the entire rear frame and bellows to shoot verticals. In hindsight I would have opted for your choices. Yes I save some weight (mine is 16.5 lbs.) and some size (see the photo) but your camera is close. What made you choose 10x10 for a board size? That matches the opening in my Deardorff Portrait studio camera. I didn't have that camera at that time otherwise I would have fit the built in shutter box from the Deardorff to my Ritter. Anyway, good luck with the camera.

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RichardRitter
23-Jun-2014, 09:29
I have 3 for now. I got the impression that building the holders is the hardest bit of the whole process. Maybe if this format became popular, more camera builders will make the holders for it..... hint, hint! [emoji6]
Holders other than 4 x 5 , 5 x 7 and 8 x 10 are all custom built. When some sizes are made extras are made. But it ties up a lot of money in holding inventory that might not sell in a year.

Pete Roody
23-Jun-2014, 09:47
I have 3 for now. I got the impression that building the holders is the hardest bit of the whole process. Maybe if this format became popular, more camera builders will make the holders for it..... hint, hint! [emoji6]

3 holders should be fine. That is all I have. When you shoot a bigger format you learn not to take doubles for each shot. 3 holders gives you the potential for 6 shots in a given day. Just reload at night.

ndg
23-Jun-2014, 09:47
Nice camera. I think you made the right choices with having a bigger lensboard and a reversing back. My camera (also a 14x20 by Ritter) takes a 6x6 Deardorff board and you have to rotate the entire rear frame and bellows to shoot verticals. In hindsight I would have opted for your choices. Yes I save some weight (mine is 16.5 lbs.) and some size (see the photo) but your camera is close. What made you choose 10x10 for a board size? That matches the opening in my Deardorff Portrait studio camera. I didn't have that camera at that time otherwise I would have fit the built in shutter box from the Deardorff to my Ritter. Anyway, good luck with the camera.

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I have the Century 8A which uses the 10 inch boards. That informed my decision.

ndg
23-Jun-2014, 09:53
3 holders should be fine. That is all I have. When you shoot a bigger format you learn not to take doubles for each shot. 3 holders gives you the potential for 6 shots in a given day. Just reload at night.

I am finding that out! BTW, I apologize for misspelling your name in my earlier post.

ndg
23-Jun-2014, 09:53
Holders other than 4 x 5 , 5 x 7 and 8 x 10 are all custom built. When some sizes are made extras are made. But it ties up a lot of money in holding inventory that might not sell in a year.

Ah well!

Tracy Storer
23-Jun-2014, 11:31
Looks great, both the camera ()kudos again Mr. R.R. and your first image (Kudos to You) !

ndg
23-Jun-2014, 13:13
Thanks for all the kind comments. Thanks to Richard for a nice camera. I hope to put it to good use.

P Wright
24-Jun-2014, 06:34
Holders other than 4 x 5 , 5 x 7 and 8 x 10 are all custom built. When some sizes are made extras are made. But it ties up a lot of money in holding inventory that might not sell in a year.

Richard, would it be possible to post your inventory on your website? That way everyone knows the holders are available and you can sell them quicker.

Jmarmck
24-Jun-2014, 07:01
Nice. Good choice on the aspect ratio. Does that thing get HBO?

ndg
24-Jun-2014, 09:29
Nice. Good choice on the aspect ratio. Does that thing get HBO?

No, ESPN. Need to follow the World Cup. Ghana is competing![emoji6]

dodphotography
25-Jun-2014, 07:13
I just received my 8x10... I'm almost too nervous to use it because it's so damn nice and expensive

Carl J
25-Jun-2014, 19:02
I just received my 8x10... I'm almost too nervous to use it because it's so damn nice and expensive

Glad you got it, must be exciting!

dodphotography
25-Jun-2014, 19:11
Glad you got it, must be exciting!

Seems to be a never ending battle... Waiting for some lenses to be mounted to 6x6 boards. THEN I can use it

angusparker
1-Jul-2014, 22:03
The few LF camera makers left advertise the formats they make on the respective sites - 4x5 to 20x 24. Maybe the 14x20 format can be added to it. Ilford added that format to their yearly ULF run. I don't think you need a time machine for that. Just another choice for those who want it, small as it may be.

That's fantastic that Ilford is supporting 14x20.

StoneNYC
8-Aug-2015, 19:48
That's fantastic that Ilford is supporting 14x20.

Yea, I wondered why they only offered it on FP4+ but not in HP5+

Obviously at this time I'm not interested but if I were 14x20 would be the format I would choose and certainly HP5+ makes a lot more sense as it's faster.

UNLESS FP4+ is better for alt process negs?

Dave Wooten
8-Aug-2015, 21:04
Slower film is often an advantage with barrel lenses on ulf. Focus, stop way down, check focus, put hat over lens, put in holder, pull slide, wait for camera to "calm down", remove hat, pour a glass of wine, replace hat, replace dark slide. This method works best with FP4+. You will be needing longer exposures for coverage and depth stopping down.
Beautiful camera! Richard Ritter is 'da man! :).

StoneNYC
8-Aug-2015, 21:11
Slower film is often an advantage with barrel lenses on ulf. Focus, stop way down, check focus, put hat over lens, put in holder, pull slide, wait for camera to "calm down", remove hat, pour a glass of wine, replace hat, replace dark slide. This method works best with FP4+. You will be needing longer exposures for coverage and depth stoping down.
Beautiful camera! Richard Rittervis 'da man! :).

Ahh I hadn't thought of a barrel lens, all my lenses that cover 14x20 (just 2 for sure, possibly 3 stopped down) are in shutters and I prefer the faster speed for higher shutter speed for the work I tend to shoot.

Totally makes sense if you're shooting barrel lenses.

N Dhananjay
8-Aug-2015, 22:30
Another reason to prefer FP4 over HP5 is a factor of the paper you print on. If you are doing alternative/Lodima/Azo which require a good negative density range, FP4 does that better than HP5, in my experience, especially once you get into N+ territory.

As regards that lovely bit of 14x20 kit.... Thou shalt not lust, thou shalt not lust......

Have fun and make lots of good photographs.
Cheers, DJ

Jim Galli
9-Aug-2015, 10:13
Lovely camera! My first question was . . . film?? But that is answered nicely.

ndg
9-Aug-2015, 11:16
When I thought of getting the camera, I emailed Simon over at APUG about that size film. He thought it would be possible and I was just happy to get that size. I didn't worry too much whether it was FP4 or HP5.
Initially I ordered 2 but got only one box which I've hardly used. At almost $20/sheet, I'm almost afraid to touch the box. [emoji3]
I've been using Xray film and photo paper mostly.
The other thing I realized is how restricted one is shooting with barrel lenses. My kit lenses are now the Nikon 450, the Fuji 600 and a RDA 30" that I had a shutter added to.
The camera has impressed me with how sturdy it is. I haven't used it in the last few months since I pulled my back and have been having spasms. Hopefully that will subside soon.

Jim Fitzgerald
9-Aug-2015, 15:25
Beautiful work indeed. I found that FP-4+ always gave me better negatives for my carbon work but when you get to this size you take what you can get.

ndg
9-Aug-2015, 16:22
Jim, in my limited experience, the one process that seems to get the most out of those Xray negatives seems to be carbon.
The negative for the picture below was hardly usable, IMHO. Then I used it for a carbon print. The jpg absolutely does not do it justice.
http://nanadadzie.com/darkroom/pix/Pier.jpg


Beautiful work indeed. I found that FP-4+ always gave me better negatives for my carbon work but when you get to this size you take what you can get.

Jim Fitzgerald
9-Aug-2015, 20:22
Jim, in my limited experience, the one process that seems to get the most out of those Xray negatives seems to be carbon.
The negative for the picture below was hardly usable, IMHO. Then I used it for a carbon print. The jpg absolutely does not do it justice.
http://nanadadzie.com/darkroom/pix/Pier.jpg

Quiet! There is magic in carbon and when you find it well don't tell. Beautiful image and I can "see it".

sanking
10-Aug-2015, 11:43
When I thought of getting the camera, I emailed Simon over at APUG about that size film. He thought it would be possible and I was just happy to get that size. I didn't worry too much whether it was FP4 or HP5.
Initially I ordered 2 but got only one box which I've hardly used. At almost $20/sheet, I'm almost afraid to touch the box. [emoji3]
I've been using Xray film and photo paper mostly.
The other thing I realized is how restricted one is shooting with barrel lenses. My kit lenses are now the Nikon 450, the Fuji 600 and a RDA 30" that I had a shutter added to.
The camera has impressed me with how sturdy it is. I haven't used it in the last few months since I pulled my back and have been having spasms. Hopefully that will subside soon.


Nana,

Congratulations on the beautiful camera from Richard, and hope you enjoy using it.

I too would consider FP4+ a much better film for almost any type of printing with alternative processes because of its expansion potential, especially useful in scenes of low contrast where you need a film that will develop to a high CI.

X-Ray film is certainly an attractive alternative, and as you and Jim have found, it can be made to work nicely with carbon transfer printing.

Sandy

fan8877
16-Oct-2015, 03:01
I'm here waiting for my Ritter 14x20 camera too, maybe around December.:cool:

ndg
16-Oct-2015, 15:05
I'm here waiting for my Ritter 14x20 camera too, maybe around December.:cool:

Good for you!

John Bowen
29-Oct-2015, 16:34
I'm here waiting for my Ritter 14x20 camera too, maybe around December.:cool:

Well, Richard does remind me of Santa! :rolleyes:

Pierre 2
29-Oct-2015, 16:50
What a path... Lets there be followers !

Bruce Barlow
29-Oct-2015, 16:53
Well, Richard does remind me of Santa! :rolleyes:

And you are always a good little boy so that Santa will make you toys.

Nevertheless, Richard doesn't resemble Santa below the neck. Or maybe mid-chest where the beard ends. Too much walking the trails in the woods of Vermont to have acquired Santa's tummy. Unlike you and me...

Greg
18-Nov-2015, 18:06
If someone is looking for 14x17 film holders, keep checking out your state's surplus store that sells surplus equipment from your state's Medical school. While back picked up a bunch of used X-ray 11x14 and 14x17 film holders for a few dollars each. Passed on the 14x17s to someone who shoots 14x17. Kept and have been using the Fidelity 11x14s. Mine had plastic extensions on the 14" sides held on by 2 screws that were easily removed. Even though the Medical school may have gone digital 20+ years ago, the unused ULF film holders usually go into the back of a closet and stay there till the closet is cleaned out and items surplussed.

Greg

StoneNYC
20-Nov-2015, 14:55
Now if ilford would just add 14x20 HP5+ to their ULF run... FP4+ is nice for alt printers but for me, normal contact printing, HP5+ is preferred, again, to me.

Ah well, the 14x17 is nice but I do find the 14x20 a much better ratio personally.

interneg
21-Nov-2015, 14:02
Now if ilford would just add 14x20 HP5+ to their ULF run... FP4+ is nice for alt printers but for me, normal contact printing, HP5+ is preferred, again, to me.

Ah well, the 14x17 is nice but I do find the 14x20 a much better ratio personally.

They'll make it outside the annual run too - I vaguely recall you'd have to order somewhere in the low 1000s of dollars - at that size you'd be looking at about 100 sheets or so - it'd also be cheaper per sheet than the ULF run. If you're dropping $6k on a new camera it's a worthwhile investment.

The other big expenditure to think about is a vacuum contact print unit - goes with the territory in alt-process at those dimensions, tends to get forgotten about in silver gelatin ULF contact print processes - some 8x10 enlargers had vac easels which would do the trick nicely.

StoneNYC
21-Nov-2015, 16:07
They'll make it outside the annual run too - I vaguely recall you'd have to order somewhere in the low 1000s of dollars - at that size you'd be looking at about 100 sheets or so - it'd also be cheaper per sheet than the ULF run. If you're dropping $6k on a new camera it's a worthwhile investment.

The other big expenditure to think about is a vacuum contact print unit - goes with the territory in alt-process at those dimensions, tends to get forgotten about in silver gelatin ULF contact print processes - some 8x10 enlargers had vac easels which would do the trick nicely.

You need a vac in the contact print frame for alt? Why? Does the paper crinkle? Interesting. I would think the pressure on the backboard would flatten it out like any other paper, but I have no concept of alt printing.

I also build my own, $100-$300 investment is all it takes to build a 14x17 camera if you're handy. (I when to link my YouTube video and realized I never posted it because I've been putting off scanning the 14x17 negs and sticking them.... Have to get on that...)

interneg
21-Nov-2015, 18:02
You need a vac in the contact print frame for alt? Why? Does the paper crinkle? Interesting. I would think the pressure on the backboard would flatten it out like any other paper, but I have no concept of alt printing.

I also build my own, $100-$300 investment is all it takes to build a 14x17 camera if you're handy. (I when to link my YouTube video and realized I never posted it because I've been putting off scanning the 14x17 negs and sticking them.... Have to get on that...)

Most decently sized UV plateburners/ exposure units have them - guarantees good contact throughout - no point in risking tens of dollars of materials on the chance that there are areas of less than perfect contact. All coated materials tend to curl in one way or another, and sheet films over 8x10 become exponentially harder to hold in perfect contact with a couple of springy metal strips.

100-300 might get you something, but I'd rather have a camera with some proper movements, bellows etc. Holders alone will be over $500 each. The actual camera itself is relatively simple, especially if you know some skilled machinists who like a challenge - I'm currently plotting a 10x12 based around some sort of monorail design - possibly using Devere/MPP/Linhof parts depending on what's cheapest. Probably a 250mm WF Ektar or similar on the front.

I'd looked into making an 18x22 horizontal only, but the size of the thing & the subsequent weight were major factors in putting that idea to rest for a long time.

I'd rather have a solution that gives me the camera I want, than a sequence of compromises that cost far more in the long run.

Jim Fitzgerald
21-Nov-2015, 19:31
I'm working on my 3rd 14 x 17 camera build for a customer. This one will be a little different. Stay tuned. About as big as I want to go.

SergeiR
4-Dec-2015, 07:25
You need a vac in the contact print frame for alt? Why? Does the paper crinkle? Interesting. I would think the pressure on the backboard would flatten it out like any other paper, but I have no concept of alt printing.

I also build my own, $100-$300 investment is all it takes to build a 14x17 camera if you're handy. (I when to link my YouTube video and realized I never posted it because I've been putting off scanning the 14x17 negs and sticking them.... Have to get on that...)

Stone, do you mind sharing plans? :) I am not super handy, but i like dorking with with stuff, when i could ;) (and of course how the hell you got ground glass sorted out?!)

StoneNYC
4-Dec-2015, 23:59
Stone, do you mind sharing plans? :) I am not super handy, but i like dorking with with stuff, when i could ;) (and of course how the hell you got ground glass sorted out?!)

Your wish is my command...

Honestly, thanks for forcing me to finally scan the darn film, I had made a video this summer, but kind of slacked on scanning the film after I developed it, so I did that tonight! :)

Here's the video!

https://youtu.be/NW4dhOJVfzk