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Thread: Need Advice on 16x20 cameras and film from owners/users

  1. #1

    Need Advice on 16x20 cameras and film from owners/users

    I have always had a draw to move up to an ULF from my 8x10 cameras. Its a BIG step for sure. I have the tripods and developing trays and even the Fuji 600mm Lens to cover 16x20. Yet it is a Major investment of Money and Time to move into the 16x20 world. I would enjoy hearing from actual owners and users of this glorious format. The good and the bad. Thank You.

  2. #2

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    Re: Need Advice on 16x20 cameras and film from owners/users

    Shot 14x17 (close enough) for a while. For me (setting up the camera alone) after a while was more of a chore and many were the times that I struggled to set up the camera and after composing on the GG decided not to make the exposure. Need for using 2 tripods was always a pain to get everything to balance up. Camera was an Improved Empire State which morphed into a sail/kite with the slightest breeze. Switched to an 11x14 Chamonix and never looked back. Before investing in a truly ULF camera, get to know someone who uses one and ask to assist them on a couple of their shoots. If you do fall in love with the 16x20 format, by all means go for it. Never regret using a 14x17, cause it led me to now shooting 11x14 and loving every minute of it. Only drawback are bystanders who tend to stand around and stare silently at me setting up the camera. Onlookers who ask questions, don't mind a bit. One time led into a conversation that led me to discovering some LF equipment that in the end was given to me. The equipment was about to be destined for the trash.

  3. #3
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Need Advice on 16x20 cameras and film from owners/users

    I am very slowly adapting a camera to 14X17"

    I have three 14X17 NOS plastic holders, very heavy and I chose 14X17 because X-Ray film is available and cheap

    My process camera being adapted is also very heavy with only front rise or fall

    It will be used in studio or on a wheeled cart close to my truck

    Let's see how many 16X20 users show up!
    sin eater

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    Angus Parker angusparker's Avatar
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    Re: Need Advice on 16x20 cameras and film from owners/users

    I'd echo the above comments. I have a Chamonix 14x17 but much prefer my 11x14. I'd go with a Ritter (super light). But the holders are what actually weigh the most in ULF.

  5. #5

    Re: Need Advice on 16x20 cameras and film from owners/users

    I am considering it will be more of a studio camera and once in a while taken by SUV to a location on a nice weather day. I already have noticed and live with the limitations of the 8x10.

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    Angus Parker angusparker's Avatar
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    Need Advice on 16x20 cameras and film from owners/users

    Quote Originally Posted by Torontoamateur View Post
    I am considering it will be more of a studio camera and once in a while taken by SUV to a location on a nice weather day. I already have noticed and live with the limitations of the 8x10.
    Then maybe the Chamonix 11x14 if you want something new. Or a good condition Korona or similar used. 7x17 and 8x20 often come with short bellows to take portraits at banquets, hence their name.

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    Re: Need Advice on 16x20 cameras and film from owners/users

    also factor in your commitment to the format. Big cameras are easy to buy, but hard to sell if you change your mind.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart
    http://www.searing.photography

  8. #8

    Re: Need Advice on 16x20 cameras and film from owners/users

    Ha Ha Ha ! I am not seeing much support for this format. I keep hearing I should go smaller... Well I walked away from the 11x14 and 12x20 format offers. I am not considering anything smaller . Don't wast time advising me of smaller. If anything advise me of 20x24. I turned down a full Deardorf V11 kit with several holders already. I will just skip your posts that contain advice on any format under 16x20.

  9. #9
    Angus Parker angusparker's Avatar
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    Re: Need Advice on 16x20 cameras and film from owners/users

    In that case, if you want to use it at all outside the studio I would go with a Ritter. It will be feasible to shoot with only one person that way. Otherwise with any other camera you will need at least one helper. Also consider the darkroom requirements: trays that take 16x20 film are big! You need a big sink even if the trays lie down sideways.....

  10. #10
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Need Advice on 16x20 cameras and film from owners/users

    Any thread may drift, if you want 16X20 by all means go for it

    My project, in planning stage only is much bigger, as I work out how to do it with my limited budget

    Here goes, 14 X 72" film, you figure it out...



    Quote Originally Posted by Torontoamateur View Post
    Ha Ha Ha ! I am not seeing much support for this format. I keep hearing I should go smaller... Well I walked away from the 11x14 and 12x20 format offers. I am not considering anything smaller . Don't wast time advising me of smaller. If anything advise me of 20x24. I turned down a full Deardorf V11 kit with several holders already. I will just skip your posts that contain advice on any format under 16x20.
    sin eater

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