View Full Version : 14x20 ULF In Practice

13-Jan-2019, 08:29
Well hereís my dilemma I have been working with all formats up to 8x10 for years now but I am not satisfied yet because Iím missing something in my work and so itís time for me to think about something bigger than I have worked on in the past! I have seen some amazing 14x20 platinum prints from Kenro Izu! I have seen his camera and so itís what Iím looking for!

Iím more than likely going to have one built and I know about the current camera builders available but I havenít decided which one will I use for the moment!

Yes, I have seen RR 14x20 that he has built for other photographers...

I want to see the photographers who are actually using this big camera and the lenses they are using with them!

Please share your best images and not so best images, pros and cons of course is always greatly appreciated!

I photograph landscapes/seascapes, still life and abstracts!

My wants for the camera I will have built will also have a reducing back for 11x14....

The negatives will be mainly platinum prints and silver gelatin contact prints...

Yes, Iím very aware of the film availability for this format Ilford FP4+ that itís the best film to use for platinum prints and more

Thanks for your help in this ULF adventure

William Whitaker
13-Jan-2019, 10:48
Have you looked into the cost of having 14x20 film holders specially made? It might be sobering.

Consider 16x20 and a razor blade.

I personally can't imagine carrying a camera as large as you propose plus an 11x14 reducing back, plus 11x14 holders. Use the razor blade some more if you really want 11x14.

I admire your enthusiasm and I don't mean to be a wet blanket. If you want to restrict yourself to a studio, I can maybe see it. But the thought of carrying all the necessary equipment makes me feel faint!

~Will (who's pretty much met his match at 12x20...)

Jim Fitzgerald
13-Jan-2019, 11:08
Will, that is why we use the rolling carts!

13-Jan-2019, 14:59
One approach that I would take is to purchase a Chamonix 11x14 and make or have someone make you a custom back extension for 14x20.
I have seen a 14x17 back extension made to fit an 11x14 view camera. A 14x20 back extension seems like it would be a very plausible unit to have and shoot with. First though I'd seriously consider the format size that you want to shoot. I love the 11x14 format, but if I were to start over, I'd increase the 14 inch dimension by a few inches. Just because someone else shoots 14x20, no reason for you to copy that format. You just might see things as more square or more panoramic.
As far as film holders go:
Chamonix 12x20 $585.00
Chamonix 16x20 $695.00
I don't recall if I bought my 3 Chamonix 11x14 holders new or pre-owned, but new ones now go for $540.00 each. I could have easily got by with 2 based on shooting with my 11x14 over the past years. I bet you that Chamonix could make 14x20 holders for around $650.00? each. Doubt that you'd never have the need for more than 2 14x20 holders.
Also how would you transport your camera seems to be dictated by where and what you shoot. My favorite places are the gorges in New England... a rolling cart out of the question for me. For me, hiking up gorges dictated my switching to an 8x10 camera that I was able to backpack in. Tried it once with my 11x14 in a backpack, but hiking with it up 4th class "trails" proved to be too dangerous for me.
Good luck and if you really like the 14x20 format ... go for it.

Jim Fitzgerald
13-Jan-2019, 15:04
Richard Ritter could make the camera and holders as well.

13-Jan-2019, 15:24
Richard Ritter could make the camera and holders as well.

Thanks for adding in Richard. Ironically he's only a couple of hours ride north of me. Personally use Chamonix LF and ULF, but over the years have know of a few other photographers that used Ritter's cameras and universally they all loved them.

13-Jan-2019, 17:22
Any images of your rolling cart? So wish I could use one on the trails and up the gorges down here here in New England.

lab black
14-Jan-2019, 06:09
The Nikkor M 450 mm (stopped down) is often considered a good first lens for ULF. The 19 in Dagor (stopped down) should also cover 14 x 20.

Carl J
14-Jan-2019, 17:08
Richard Ritter could make the camera and holders as well.

And for a better price than the Chamonix. Lighter, too, and sturdy enough judging from another 14x20 users comments a couple years back. If you're serious give him a call.

17-Jan-2019, 08:33

I have asked myself this question wehter to upgrade or not. Coming from 4x5 and 8x10 I have been keen on 16x20.

I mainly take landscape, architecture, industry, only b/w but also wetplate in full plate/8x10. At the moment I am printing exclusivly wet or on contact pt/pd and carbon.

Finally I decided against .. for the time being. Main reasons have been bulkiness not only with the camera but also with the sometimes necessary two tripods. The invest from the very first beginning: camera, lens(es), holder(s), film.

I am just creating my own workflow with scanning 4x5/8x10 and print negatives on a cheep used epson 7800 for contacts, either pt/pd or carbon. So my resulting negatives can (potentially) up to 24 inches wide and what ever long. This is a size I probably need some years to handle in carbon ;-)

In that way there is enough money and room left to buy as much film and chemicals as I ever want ;-). With my Technika and 3 lenses and some holders on tour with my motor bike? No problem. Easy travelling ...

I am flexible with my tools, can easily repair, replace or extend them without asking a specialist or to save money before.

To be honest I am thinking about constructing my own 50x70cm or larger. But it is more the challenge with building a CNC molding cutter, constructing building and improving ;-)


17-Jan-2019, 09:52
I have a 14x17 and 11x14 and 8x10. Truth be told I hardly ever use the 14x17 because of the hassle and the need for assistance to operate the beast - it's a Chamonix. I find 11x14 and 8x10 big enough these days. My 11x14 is old (120 years) and has few movements but its very light. Film holders are the bit the weight the most at this size. The 8x10 is convenient because I can use the Jobo to develop 5 sheets in one go. I love my 11x14 though for its presence but it is a bit harder on the developing and printing end. But if you do go big I'd recommend an RR camera (one of my 8x10 is an RR) and at ULF that really is the way to go.

20-Jan-2019, 06:20
I have an old, heavy, Folmer & Schwing 8X10 and have made a plywood extension back to accommodate my one and only Vageeswari 8.5 X 15" Plate Holder (it has adapters for film use). I am making the finishing touches to make it light-tight so hope to do some test shots in the next week or so.