View Full Version : LARGEST color film available

Clemens M.
12-Oct-2005, 01:48
I am planning a megalomaniac project with a friend. Getting a camera beyong 8x10 is not too difficult, but we are in trouble finding color film and a lab that processes it. We will go for a camera that fits the largest film we get.

Any suggestions?

Diane Maher
12-Oct-2005, 06:44
Polaroid 20x24 is the largest color film I know of and you would probably process it yourself. I have also heard of people shooting 11x14 chromes too. As for labs, it's hard to give recommendations without knowing where you are.

David A. Goldfarb
12-Oct-2005, 07:07
I've seen E-6 and Portra color neg film in 20x24" as a special order item. Check with Kodak before ordering the camera.

There's the Polaroid 40x80" camera at Moby c Studio in New York.

12-Oct-2005, 08:12
If you have some money, anything is possible. Kodak (and probably Fuji) will run a batch of sheet film cut to whatever size you want, but it's roughly a $10,000 minimum order. For processing, you'd just buy a Jobo ATL and d.i.y., as only a few labs still process 11x14; most max out at 8x10.

Short of that, however, 8x10 is your maximum for true neg or transparency film. Both Kodak and Fuji made 11x14 color films into the 1990s, and every once in awhile a box or two of new old stock shows up somewhere. Occasionally some old duplicating film in larger-than-8x10 sizes shows up, but it's scarce and probably of limited value.

The only other current alternative is aerial film, which comes in 9.5"-wide rolls by 200-400' lengths, for $2000 and $3000 respectively at B&H and other places. Sheet-film-camera users cut it to size needed and figure out a way to keep the film (which because it is rolled isn't as stiff as sheet film) from bowing. The gigapixl project uses Kodak aerial film, so it can give good results if set up and processed properly. (Agfa is also an option for aerial film; I think they sell rolls for as "little" as $1400 but you'll still have to figure out how to process it.)

I didn't mention a final option because I suspect it may be unsuitable for your project: "tiling" 8x10 film and digitally stitching the tiles together. To save money, you could buy new-old-stock on ebay.

No cheap-and-easy answers!

Daniel Schmidt
12-Oct-2005, 11:47
you should think about trying cibachrome (ilfochrome) color printing paper in the camera.

20x24 sheets of ilfochrome are available, and there apears to also be 50 inch wide roll stock.

for a general discussion see:


Kirk Fry
13-Oct-2005, 00:42
You could do the tricolor thing with Red, Blue, Green filters and then figure out how to register the images and contract print thru the primary colors. Then you could use black and white film.

Colin Myers
13-Oct-2005, 04:46
Hi Dan, Your idea of using Cibachrome/Ilfochrome paper is something which I have been mulling over myself recently. Is it something you have tried yourself? If so. how did you rate the paper? When I have used paper negs before, albeit monochrome, the speed is abysmally slow, 2 to 6 A.S.A depending on the paper. I did try your www. glenview.com. but came up blank. Do you have another lead on this ?
Best Regards

Daniel Schmidt
13-Oct-2005, 09:24

I have not tried it. Always wanted to, but am not set up to process ilfochromes. The glennview link works for me. There are 2 n's in glennview. Glennview's link says about 3 asa, so yes slow. Some people use ilfochrome in pinhole cameras.


15-Oct-2005, 11:12
Before I invested in some out-of-date RDP in 8x10, I played around using Ilfochrome in my 8x10. Nice results if you have a color meter and can filter it, or want to shoot the paper, scan, and correct in PhotoShop.

What is your intended end result? A color contact print? There are few if any enlargers which handle larger than 8x10, and they're pretty scarce. I've never heard of a color enlarger (for photographic purposes, not industrial) which handles over 11x14, though I'm sure one has existed...

If you're looking for a contact print, perhaps shooting color paper is the best choice. Or just shooting 8x10 film and printing it. If you're going for a HUGE print, due to the enlarger problem, I'd say that shooting 8x10 and either enlarging or scanning would work best.

The idea of shooting separations is insane, but it could work. If you can keep the registration, shoot three or four separations, just like they did in the old days, and print them up. Hell, maybe even think about dye transfer...

If you're truly insane, this is your answer:

Ilfochrome makes a CLEAR (TRANSPARENT) DISPLAY FILM. The idea is to use it for lightbox overlays, etc. It is a clear film coated with an Ilfochrome emulsion. They make it in sizes up to 50" wide x 98' long rolls. They sell cut sizes from 8.5x11" to 20x24", and various roll widths from 8.5" to 50". It's probably the best bet for something like "color film" in large sizes - it IS color film, but not in the traditional sense. The only problem would be the color balance issue, so you either need a color meter and some seriously exact filtering, or to contact print (onto Ilfochrome paper) with a filtered lightsource.

Keep us posted...

PS - as to price, a box of 100 sheets 8.5x11 will run you $194 at B&H, whereas the 50"x98' roll will run about $1800.

David A. Goldfarb
16-Oct-2005, 08:30
Incidentally, I think that Moby c studio, which I mentioned above, also has a Lotus 20x24", and I know that Eric Taubman, whom you could reach through Sixty-Eight Degrees Lab in New York has a Lotus 20x24". Between them and any contacts you can make through Wisner and Lotus, you probably could get enough people together to finance a group purchase of color film.

8-Dec-2005, 17:57
I have purchased portra 160 nc and 400 nc this year in 11x14. LTI in NYC can process upto 20x24 color neg and also get some orders for 11x14 film. put your name down with Jamil for the next order. But yes its $10k minium from kodak.. but proves easy to get a co-op buy together. Only a few labs can enlarge 11x14 negs without digital help.. Color Zenith in Milan can make huge prints from 11x14 neg.