View Full Version : Hmmm...Move "up" to 11x14, or stick with 8x10?

Daniel Stone
2-May-2012, 22:48
Hey guys,

I've been shooting a lot of MF(Hasselblad) lately, and have been enlarging the majority of my b/w onto 11x14 paper. Been going through Ilford WT FB like its water :o! The past 3 weeks or so, every time I pick up a 11x14 piece of paper, I've thought "why not try out 11x14 film?

But then I get to thinking some more. That would mean I'd need to sell my 8x10 camera, at least 1/2 my 8x10 holders(that's about 11 holders), buy 4-5 11x14 holders(preferably Fidelity's), and a camera. I really like the Phillips design, but the 11x14 reversible(Compact II model, IIRC) is rarer than hen's teeth it seems, and damned expensive! Not to mention get a scanner that can handle 11x14 film(hence my interest in trading my drum scanner for an Eversmart Supreme II)

Does anyone here in the LA area have an 11x14 I could meet up with you to see in-person, to see if this is something I'd like to partake in pursuing?

My main reasons for going to 11x14 would be that

1. I like the larger negative(primarily to contact print b/w)
2. I can still use 8x10 for when I'd like to shoot color, but with an 8x10 reducing back.

Am I crazy to think this way? I'm 24, not made of money(yet at least ;)), but have compiled a nice kit of lenses that for the most part, can cover 11x14 with movements(14" 7.7 Dagor, 450mm Nikkor-M, 24" RDA, 30" RDA). Although I purchased them with the intention of using them with 8x10. Most people my age would rather hang out with friends(I don't really have any, honest) and drink beer. I'd rather make photographs and camp out.

I don't shoot a "lot", but looking at 11x14 contact prints of Brett Westons(Carmel, CA, for a Christopher Burkett show) has me entranced, and shooting MF as my "light camera" would be a nice complement for when I need more frames quickly.



Mark Woods
2-May-2012, 22:57
Hello Dan, I have an 11x14 Chamoix with Fidelity holders and some lenses. Contact me and I can break it out for you.

2-May-2012, 23:21
Are you into gear or making photographs? I ask because you seem to trade a lot of stuff. The best approach would be only to change when you have absolutely exhausted the potential of what you have already. I am guessing there is plenty of room for growth in yer britches.

3-May-2012, 00:03

I'd skip 11x14 and go to 14x17. Most of your lenses (stopped down) will cover that format. Check with Hugo Zhang: there are photographers in S Cal that shoot 14x17.

Obviously not cheap, in terms of equipment and film, but 14x17 contact prints seem to me to be the best compromise in the ULF world, in terms of bulk, weight, etc.


3-May-2012, 06:04
If you really like it, go for it. Of course, as with every size up, everything gets more expensive. Want to scan in your film? Can't do it with the V700 and 11x14; you need Epson's very expensive 10000XL - Graphic ($2500) or Photo ($3000) scanner for larger sizes: http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/jsp/ProductCategory.do?BV_UseBVCookie=yes&oid=-16224

The Epson V700, which can do 8x10, is $500. Then there is the lack of color film, and the more limited lens selections.

I have the Nikkor-T 600/9, 800/12, 1200/18 series and also an APO-Nikkor 610/9 that was put into an Ilex 5 by SK Grimes (currently in a very nice Wehman lensboard). I have to do some comparison of the APO-Nikkor 610/9 with the Nikkor-T 600/9, but I may end up selling the 610/9 (although I have a problem as I just can't unscrew the elements form the shutter!). I've read that it has enough coverage for 11x14 and maybe 14x17, but I only know personally that it covers my 8x10.

I will have to do a comparison between the Nikkor-T 600/9 and APO-Nikkor 610/9 to see if I wish to keep the 610/9. It is a very sharp lens.

3-May-2012, 07:22
Do you have a 4x5 kit?

Personally for large prints I shoot 4x5 and enlarge it. By "large" I mean everything 11x14 and over. 8x10 is for contact printing. I was considering an 11x14 before I got an 8x10, but I am glad I got an 8x10 instead. It's just right for now.

You don't mention what you're shooting; I think that's really the question.

Brian C. Miller
3-May-2012, 07:26
Daniel, why not make an 11x14 pinhole camera for paper negatives? Then you'll quickly figure out if you want to invest in, or build, an actual camera.

John Kasaian
3-May-2012, 07:34
11x14 is a great format! When I win the lottery, an 11x14 Deardorff & 19" f/7.7 Dagor will be on my shopping list!:cool:

E. von Hoegh
3-May-2012, 08:03
11x14 is a great format! When I win the lottery, an 11x14 Deardorff & 19" f/7.7 Dagor will be on my shopping list!:cool:

Couldn't have said it better. I just need the 19" Dagor though. (complacent smiley)

Edit - I don't have a Deardorff V11, mine's an old Hoffman.

Daniel Stone
3-May-2012, 08:23
Do you have a 4x5 kit?...

Yes, a Calumet CC-401(longer rail version)

...You don't mention what you're shooting; I think that's really the question.

As of right now, shooting primarily landscape and 3/4 length portraits.

If you really like it, go for it. Of course, as with every size up, everything gets more expensive. Want to scan in your film?

The Epson V700, which can do 8x10, is $500. Then there is the lack of color film, and the more limited lens selections.

Well currently I've been drum scanning on my DPL8000. The drums can support up to 8x10 maximum. Its a great scanner, but if I were to jump ship and move up to 11x14, I'd definitely like to have a scanner capable of handling the larger film, rather than scanning in chunks and stitching. Thusly, I've been looking at the Eversmart Supreme II as a replacement for my DPL8000. It has more than enough resolution for LF scanning(heck, even MF), and I can wet-mount on the bed too(can't do that with the bigger Epson IIRC). Its not a "cheap" route, but its the next best thing quality-wise after my drum scanner.

Color film in 11x14 isn't much of a concern, and I could happily shoot 8x10 for color. No worries there. I'd be happy with 11x14 b/w only. But if a s/o on Portra 400 came up in the 11x14 format, I'd probably have to buy a few boxes, despite the cost. Just in case I decide otherwise. That's a BIG "if" though.


adam satushek
3-May-2012, 08:56
Personally, I don't really understand wanting to move up. You have a 4x5 and 8x10 setup and a sweet scanner (I know, because I have the same one). To me, it sounds like you are set. And if I remember correctly from older posts you acquired this scanner in the last 6 months or so. It surprises me that you would want to trade it in this soon.

That being said, I have to admit that I don't shoot black and white, so the allure of contact printing is not the same for me. Don't get me wrong part of me wants to make large black and white contacts, there is a simple elegance to the process, and the results can be amazing. But I think 8x10 is amazing too. It's a good mix of portability and quality. The equipment is easier to find and cheaper, and there are still film options, including color neg and transparencies.

But I guess the my real concern is that you would be trading in some of you 8x10 stuff and your scanner. I know from experience (not much though as I am not much older than you) that every time I trade in equipment for something 'better' I regret it. Happened with my Leica M6, and my first Mamiya 7ii. I will never be able to get such a deal on a Leica again, i miss it. The only time I have sold equipment and been happy was when I sold my 5DMkII setup to fund my DPL800. I have no regrets, though it has been less than a year so there is always time for regret to set in, though I don't think it will in this case. I guess what I am saying is by all means try 11x14, sound like a lot of fun, just be careful about selling off gear that you will want later. Or hell, just get serious an go for 16x20 or 20x24....skip all that junk in between...

3-May-2012, 10:17
I've done all of them. 8x10 through 14x17. Then I got a very cheap Fotar 10x10 enlarger and my view of the world changed. I started enlarging my 8x10 negs and it is wonderful. See who has a LF enlarger and visit.

Mark Woods
3-May-2012, 10:30
Hello Ken, I also have a 10x10 enlarger and enlarge my 8x10 negs. I love it. I've actually thought about getting rid of my 11x14 because I'm not using it. My V8 is my go to camera.

Hugo Zhang
3-May-2012, 11:04

Like you, after seeing Weston's prints, I didn't want to use an enlarger anymore.

Why don't you take up Mark's offer and see? All the four lenses you mentioned will cover up to 16x20", even the 14" Dagor will not give you much movement on 16x20". But be warned: ULF is addictive. I know a 11x14 photographer whose 810 camera is collecting dust and he is thinking of moving up to 14x17. :)

Hey, I am twice your age and lugging a 16x20 camera around. You will shoot fewer sheets of film than your 8x10 for sure, but the view on the ground glass, not saying the developed negs and prints, are just breath taking.


Jim Fitzgerald
3-May-2012, 12:40
Dan, I'll chime in. When I built my 14x17 I find that I shoot it as much or more than my 11x14. I loved the 11x14 print size and this is why I built the 11x14. Then the bug bit me hard and I built the 14x17. The 14x17 carbon prints that I do Have "presence" to them IMHO. If I had the money to buy a 14x17 it would be a Chamonix but my camera is fine. I'm almost 3 times as old as you are and I backpack with my 14x17. There are several of us ULF guys that are local. Let me know.

Daniel Stone
3-May-2012, 13:10
hey all,

well I sent a PM to Mark to see about meeting up to see his Chamonix in-person. Currently waiting to hear back.

I know I will NOT go any larger than 11x14 if I were to step up from 8x10. Its primarily a space issue, nothing more, nothing less. I'm not a "backpacker", usually I work from the car, but have been known to walk 1-2mi from the car, if I've already scouted something out before returning with the camera, or have pre-planned a particular photograph.

For the time being, I'll continue to use my 8x10, until I've either saved up enough to splurge on a nice folding 11x14 camera(such as a Chamonix, V11 or similar type) and a 4-5 holders.

Someone I know personally has called me a "fart in the wind" in terms of my equipment, I think he's right ;). I hate it even thought its true...


3-May-2012, 17:09
Hello Ken, I also have a 10x10 enlarger and enlarge my 8x10 negs. I love it. I've actually thought about getting rid of my 11x14 because I'm not using it. My V8 is my go to camera.

I print with a 12 inch APO Artar. I zeroed in the base board to lens stage to neg carrier for nearly a week. once that was done it was a snap and with good old fashioned dektol I get great prints. Now I'm building a new carrier that will pull the neg flat without a glass.

David A. Goldfarb
3-May-2012, 17:33
Just remember that when you start shooting 11x14", everything gets bigger and bulkier. You need larger processing trays and a place to use them, more storage space for negs and prints, smaller prints aren't a practical option when you decide "this would make a good 5x7" (dupe on a smaller format or scan, lacking an 11x14" enlarger with enough bellows for reductions), a larger light table to inspect and retouch negs (if you do that), and even your rejects will require a larger garbage can. The kit is also much bigger and harder to lug around. I can put my 8x10" Gowland in a knapsack with holders, lenses, and the usual accessories, and hike for a few miles, but I don't feel I can do that with my 11x14" American Optical camera, even though it's pretty light for an 11x14".

3-May-2012, 18:11
If you REALLY want to do something then do it now while your young, healthy and free from other responsibilities. Don't let anything hold you back. Any year now... or even months from now... your entire future... and therefore your PRESENT can change permanently. You might never get the chance again. If you do make this decision then make up your mind right now that you'll not regret it and to live with the consequences both good and bad. Yeah... maybe my BS is boot deep. ;)

Ole Tjugen
4-May-2012, 03:18
I have owned and used a 30x40cm (12x16") camera, and it was just too big for my taste.

The biggest I have now is 24x30cm (9 1/2 x 12"). That's the same size as most of the enlarged prints I make; I have very rarely used larger print sizes than that.