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Thread: Getting started in 11x14"

  1. #21
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    Re: Getting started in 11x14"

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Kadillak View Post
    Weight reduction comes at a price.
    In general that's true, but design matters a lot. Used with wide-ish lenses (and thus short extensions) and with everything properly tightened down, the Phillips Explorer is a rock. Even with a monster lens like the 480 Sironar-N and the base extended to accommodate, it's still respectably rigid - more so than the Canham 5x12 I owned for a while was at any extension.

    Hugo's website shows only a reversing-back model in 11x14. I don't know if Chamonix is set up to do custom designs for a single buyer, but they should certainly have the capability to build something close to the Explorer if not quite match it in weight.

  2. #22

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    Re: Getting started in 11x14"

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    In general that's true, but design matters a lot. Used with wide-ish lenses (and thus short extensions) and with everything properly tightened down, the Phillips Explorer is a rock. Even with a monster lens like the 480 Sironar-N and the base extended to accommodate, it's still respectably rigid - more so than the Canham 5x12 I owned for a while was at any extension.

    Hugo's website shows only a reversing-back model in 11x14. I don't know if Chamonix is set up to do custom designs for a single buyer, but they should certainly have the capability to build something close to the Explorer if not quite match it in weight.
    Oren,

    We are currently making a few ultra-light weight horizontal only 11x14 cameras much in the tradition of Philips Explorer. It will have a weight of 6kg and it is designed with landscape photographers in mind. I use my Chamonix 1114 camera with reversible back this morning in Mono lake area and made four exposures. All of them were horizontal format. It would be nice if I used a lighter camera because it was quite a walk from the parking lot to the shore of the lake.

    HUgo

  3. #23
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    Re: Getting started in 11x14"

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Zhang View Post
    We are currently making a few ultra-light weight horizontal only 11x14 cameras much in the tradition of Philips Explorer. It will have a weight of 6kg and it is designed with landscape photographers in mind.
    Most excellent!

  4. #24
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Getting started in 11x14"

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Zhang View Post
    ...I use my Chamonix 1114 camera with reversible back this morning in Mono lake area and made four exposures. All of them were horizontal format. It would be nice if I used a lighter camera because it was quite a walk from the parking lot to the shore of the lake. HUgo
    I used my Chamonix 1114 last weekend at Mono Lake -- Navy Beach and the sand tufa. Used both orientations...perhaps 70% horizontals, but usually it is closer to 50/50, with a higher percentage of verticals when photographing in the forest. When I modify a dark slide to get two 5x14 negs on an 11x14 sheet, the percentage might favor horizontals.

    A 4x10 platinum/palladium print:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails RedwoodPrairieCreek1.jpg  
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  5. #25
    Angus Parker angusparker's Avatar
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    Getting started in 11x14"

    My advice based on owning an old 11x14 1895 ROC King, a new 14x17 Chamonix and a new 8x10 Ritter (and a Shen Hao) along the way is this:

    Buy an old 11x14 with film holders and get new bellows made - probably cheapest option and low weight if you get the right brand. No 11x14 holders are standard so beware..

    If you must go new look at the Chamonix horizontal only. They are better build quality than Shen Hao and the company is responsive and relatively fast to produce the product. The holders are specific to the camera and light. Holders end up weighing much more than the camera once you have 4-5! Be careful how you open and close the camera you can sheer off some small pins as I learned with my 14x17.

    Consider the Ritter, it is super low weight but not as rigid. The 8x10 is so easy to carry around. A joy. But wait times for production are long unless you can get a second hand one. Build quality is good but not beautiful like a Chamonix.

    Happy to answer any more specific questions.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

  6. #26
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Getting started in 11x14"

    IF and only if you shoot only in the studio, there are huge Deardorff 11x14 Studio cameras. Look here. http://deardorffcameras.0catch.com/s11/s11.html

    I bought one fairly reasonably but installed new bellows, 3 sets. A Richard Ritter Bail Back and 5 of his wonderful film holders, so not free in the end. One piece at a time.

    The S11 comes from 1929-1965 Chicago where it was designed for high definition catalog shots, shot in huge studios that had as many as 100 0f them setup. The Montgomery Ward space still exists. Cool building. Perhaps 500 S11 made.

    As the link states some had 20 ft tall stands, mine came with 13-ft which I sadly cut to 7-ft, yet it still rises to meet an 11-foot ceiling. Fun to use.

    The advantage is, it can easily carry the heaviest old lens, use an internal shutter, expand the triple bellows to 75" and shoot my 900 mm lens at 1-1.

    Much later I found my Richard Ritter film holders fit perfectly in a Chamonix 11x14. A cost saving. Finally...

  7. #27

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    Re: Getting started in 11x14"

    I'll be needing a field camera, so the larger Deardorffs are out of the question unfortunately.

    The new Chamonix lightweight version sounds good (although I would most probably miss being able to rotate the back,) as does the standard version, which is already light by comparision with many other brands. I'd love to see some photos of the two models side by side for comparison.

    Another forum member has also been in touch regarding his Wisner, and that is incredibly tempting too – I'd most probably pull the trigger if I had that much money already accumulated, but sadly not yet. I'm really gutted I can't jump just yet.

    I've also been thinking about the logistics of it all and if 8x10" is a more practical option. I was reading about Nicholas Nixon's work the other day, and he talking about his love / hate with the ungainly format for what he does, but that he's shot predominantly with 11x14" for a good few years now (at least at the time of his last retrospective book.) Stunning work. Truly great, I think. Very intimate, even when he's photographing the built environment and vast spaces. I really just want to contact print, hence the 11x14" seems right to me, but you never know. Sometimes I might want to scan and print large.

  8. #28

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    Re: Getting started in 11x14"

    I recently ended up with a Vageeswari 11x14 field

    I'm still getting it together as it came w/o back and bad bellows..and missing some knobs, but otherwise in pretty decent condition

    it seems like it won't be as 'lock down steady' as ..say the deardorff..but it's reasonably light (for an 11x14)

  9. #29

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    Re: Getting started in 11x14"

    Thanks DrTang,

    I've thought about charging ahead as you have too with an older camera; doing it up and making do, but the thought of the extra work that goes into this scares me a little. I'm not talking necessarily about replacing the bellows etc, but more the non-standard cut film holders and crafting / sourcing new knobs, etc. I'm not an overly 'handy' person, my achilles heal! Especially in this game of technical cameras!

    The more I think about it, my perfect setup would be the Chamonix standard version 11x14", but with shorter bellows to make it easier to use short lenses (90mm equivalent in 4x5") and slightly less bulk / weight (although that would be marginal, I bet.) Are Chamonix open to such requests, and if so do they charge resonably for the privilege?

    The Wisner offered here for sale by Henry looks too like a great option, all be it heavier than the Chamonix, but the price is right and it looks beautifully maintened and featured! I'd just as soon jump on that, but I'm as yet still saving the money.

  10. #30
    multi format
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    Re: Getting started in 11x14"

    if you can live with the orthochromatic looking negative that paper or xray film offers
    it makes using a 11x14 camera affordable ! keep your eyes open for a century empire state
    sometimes they sell for a song and dance and they do the job. also look at dr's offices and xray clinics
    sometimes they sell film holders for less than what a fidelity might cost. if you don't mind old glass
    and the round sometimes less contrast it offers look for wollensak 1a triple convertibles they cover the format with ease
    not sure about the turner reich from the same generation but you might search the archives to see, or to the way back machine
    ( archive.org ) and search the gundalach catalogs at camera eccentric.com.
    good luck with the format, its a lot of fun and i agree about skipping the smaller formats

    john

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