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Thread: 5x12" format popularity and film availability.

  1. #1

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    5x12" format popularity and film availability.

    Hi all, enquiring for a friend...

    How popular is the 5x12" format these days, and who out there is using it? Are people using Canham, Chamonix, or what?

    Also, how often is Ilford and Kodak doing customs runs of format stuff these days? I ask because I see Keith Canham often advertising on his Facebook feed that he has all kinds of different formats arriving, so thought it might not be as little as once a year after all?

    The other option for "my friend" is to go for 11x14" as the film seems to always be available through B&H (Ilford at least) and a reducing back could always be ordered if needed. Smart?

    Thanks,

    Tim

  2. #2
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    Re: 5x12" format popularity and film availability.

    Ilford do their ULF run, which includes 5x12, once per annum. Film from this year's run has begun delivery and the next order period will probably be next April/May. Some dealers may have ordered some stock of fresh 5x12, you'd have to check with the various dealers who served as order handlers.

    Keith puts together a custom Kodak order based on interest. I believe the way it works is that someone contacts him to start the ball rolling. He gets a quote from Kodak and publicizes it. If he gets enough interest to hit the threshold he places the order. The best bet is to contact him directly.

  3. #3

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    Re: 5x12" format popularity and film availability.

    Thanks.

    So does Kodak do it in smaller runs, more than once a year if interest is high enough then? If so, I wonder what the threshold is for them to do it?

    Thanks again,

    Tim

  4. #4
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    Re: 5x12" format popularity and film availability.

    Keith seems to do a Kodak special order whenever he gets enough commitments to meet the minimum order threshold for the particular emulsion and size in question. You'd do much better asking him the specifics.

  5. #5

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    Re: 5x12" format popularity and film availability.

    Thanks. Yes, better to talk with him. I'm trying to figure out if a venture into 5x12" is worthwhile for me when 11x14" film far more common to find in stock at places like B&H. Completely different formats, I know, but at least with the latter there is the possibility of cropping or exposing two images per sheet (not to mention using a reducing back.)

    Anyway, it's all academic for me at this point unless I sell some more prints to fund a purchase. The age old dilemma...

    Thanks again,

    Tim

  6. #6
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    Re: 5x12" format popularity and film availability.

    I used to own a Canham 5x12 kit. I liked the format but didn't get along with the camera, so I eventually sold it. Richard Ritter offers that size too, and there were also Koronas made in 5x12. But it's not in very wide use, even as the odd formats go - 4x10 on the one hand and even 7x17 on the other are much more common.

    I can't recall seeing Keith Canham do a 5x12 run with Kodak, though that doesn't prove it has never happened. Definitive word will come from him, of course. I think the threshold for a Kodak order is somewhere over $10K, so even if in principle it's possible, it will probably be difficult to generate enough demand by aggregating small orders as users are few and far between.

    For small orders Ilford is your best bet, via the annual program; that's how I got film for my Canham. If you want several thousand dollars' worth it may be possible to place a special order at other times too, with delivery time of weeks to a few months depending on their production schedules.

    You can ask the dealers on Ilford's ULF program list whether any ordered 5x12 for their own stock. Cutting 10x12 in half is also a possibility if you can find any of that size in stock. Occasionally some Ilford odd-size stock ends up on eBay.

    I don't know what the situation is at the moment as far as custom-size orders from Foma - probably you'd need to inquire at one of the European dealers.

    I think that some flavor(s) of X-ray film may be available in 5x12, if you're into tinkering with that.

  7. #7

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    Re: 5x12" format popularity and film availability.

    Sadly, Kodak does not support anything out of the normal sizes 4x5, 5x7, 8x10, 11x14. Ilford is the only film manufacturer that I know of supports all formats.

  8. #8
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    Re: 5x12" format popularity and film availability.

    Here is a 5.5x14 negative. I used a modified darkslide to get two 5.5x14s on an 11x14 sheet of film. It does not work as well as the one I have for 8x10 (two 4x10s per sheet), mostly due to the variety of 11x14 holders I use.

    The advantage of a 5x12 camera would be its size. With slightly less film area as 8x10, the camera is significantly smaller than 11x14.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails GrottoNeg1.jpg  
    Last edited by Vaughn; 3-Oct-2018 at 11:54.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  9. #9

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    Re: 5x12" format popularity and film availability.

    I checked ebay and there's a lot of xray film available. I have an original Gundlach 5X12. Occasionally Aerial Recon 5" long roll film turns up and it's easy to cut 12" lengths for the 5X12.

  10. #10
    Ray Van Nes
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    Re: 5x12" format popularity and film availability.

    Hello Tim. 5 x 12 is alive and well. As Jim mentioned there is 5 x12 dental x-ray film also available which is very inexpensive. Chamonix also will build 5 x 12. I had them make my film holders which were the most reasonable. I built my own camera based on an old Seneca 5 x7. You should check out Tillman Crane's website , someone who is responsible for promoting the format. I recently purchased several boxes of FP4+ from him. Here are pictures of the homebuilt.
    Click image for larger version. 

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