View Full Version : Largest ULF?

Joakim Ahnfelt
22-Sep-2003, 02:44
I just recieved a broschure from a paper company here in sweden advertising a new paper quality. They do this by offering me 4 photographs printed (on a printing press, just to avoid any missunderstandings) on the new paper. The pictures are taken with, and I quote "one of the worlds largest cameras" a 24x20 with "supposedly the worlds largest color negative".

Are there larger ULF cameras out there?

What's the "most common" ULF size?

Are there many 24x20, apart from the20x24 Polaroid giant cameras?

Bill Jefferson
22-Sep-2003, 03:20
Don't forget the Polaroid 40x80 camera in New York


Colin Carron
22-Sep-2003, 04:29
I believe the Radcliffe Camera in Oxford UK is larger than either of these.



Mark Sampson
22-Sep-2003, 06:53
Long ago in View Camera magazine, there was an interview with Douglas Busch. He pioneered the modern ultra-large camera idea in the early '80s, and the magazine article showed him with a field view camera that made a 30"x50" negative. Although his website doesn't show any signs that he's using it now.

David A. Goldfarb
22-Sep-2003, 07:09
Well, there's this one--http://www.rtpnet.org/robroy/lawrence/mammoth.html.

Alan Davenport
22-Sep-2003, 09:56
What about those guys who made a hotel room into a pinhole camera?

Alan Davenport
22-Sep-2003, 10:05
From David's link:

"The holder is put in position, the large front board, or front door as it may be called, is swung open, the operator passes inside with a camel's hair duster, the door is then closed and a ruby glass cap placed over the lens, the curtain slide is drawn and the operator dusts the plate in a portable dark room, after which the slide is closed and he passes out the same way as he entered."

When is someone going to step to the plate and invent an internal vacuum for LF cameras? You'd have a little hose trailing off to one side, after you pull the slide you'd just flip the switch on your dustbuster...

Michael Chmilar
22-Sep-2003, 18:38
The Radcliffe Camera is a camera if you define "camera" as: a chamber. It does not appear to be a photographic camera.

By this definition, there are plenty of cameras (chambers) that are much, much larger.

Don Wallace
23-Sep-2003, 07:51
The largest ULF camera was undoubtedly the famous Hossenpfeffer Camera created by Waldo Lydecker in 1876 to photograph the entire country of Ruritania. It was a pinhole camera and was placed on a scaffold built about 30 ft off the ground that completely covered Ruritania. The shutter was left open for a week and the resulting negative, which was 6 miles wide and 7 miles long, had to be contact printed in the neighbouring Duchy of Fenwick since the tray would have been bigger than Ruritania. The print, which was an exact scale copy of Ruritania, was then dry mounted to the country itself for its Jubilee celebrations. To this day, you can still see traces of it in remote corners of Ruritania. The camera was used only a few times since then (it was eventually dismantled and made into cattle pens and ships) and although the pictures are quite boring, they are definitely really really really big.

Colin Carron
2-Oct-2003, 15:19
OK the Hossenpfeffer gets it but I still think the Radcliffe is the biggest with a swinging lens.

Dan Fromm
2-Oct-2003, 17:33
Uh, Don, a close reading of The Prisoner of Zenda makes me doubt that the entire country of Ruritania could have been seen from a tower only 30 feet high. Thirty meters wouldn't have done, either. The same is true of the Duchy of Grand Fenwick (not merely Fenwick) and Graustark.