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Thread: Ritter 11x14 Feedback

  1. #1

    Ritter 11x14 Feedback

    Is there a user base here with first hand experience?


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  2. #2
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    Re: Ritter 11x14 Feedback

    RR made me five 11X14 film holders and modified a back with his 11X14 GG bail back

    Very happy, all used on SC 11X14 Deardorff

    Those RR Holders also fit my 11X14 Seneca

    and I bet they fit his cameras also

    I highly recomend Richard Ritter
    sin eater

  3. #3

    Re: Ritter 11x14 Feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    RR made me five 11X14 film holders and modified a back with his 11X14 GG bail back

    Very happy, all used on SC 11X14 Deardorff

    Those RR Holders also fit my 11X14 Seneca

    and I bet they fit his cameras also

    I highly recomend Richard Ritter
    No doubts about the craftsmanship element of it. Iím trying to find someone who owns his ULF rigs and can offer insight into the practical use in the field.


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  4. #4
    Angus Parker angusparker's Avatar
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    Ritter 11x14 Feedback

    I have his 8x10 and own a 120 year old antique folding 11x14 and a modern Chamonix 14x17, so I have the gamut of light to heavy and rigid. The RR 11x14 will be lighter than all the other options, but you will be surprised at how moderate in weight my antique 11x14 is. Chamonix are more rigid but much much heavier. You will have some issues with wind with the RR. In a studio setting you may still have some issues with very heavy lenses.

    The RR is not a precision piece of equipment like a Chamonix, but you will find it more than gets the job done. The light weight means you will use it. Having matching film holders is key (and possible with RR) so unless you can buy an antique with holders you wonít have much in the way of alternatives anyway. Chamonix holders are beautiful but very pricey.

    The film holders also kill you in ULF. The medical film holders are like tanks, completely impractical for field use if you need more than an couple. Unlike LF, in ULF the holders can weight as much or more than the camera if you have 4 or 5 like I like to bring.

    So I would endorse the RR 11x14 as an excellent option, but I absolutely love my antique 11x14 - the movements are somewhat limited but it came with some holders and I adapted the front standard to take Sinar plates. So if you can find a good antique folder Iíd serious consider it. RR can make you holders to fit it if you canít find film holders. As it happens there is a good looking Eastman View Camera 11x14 on the auction site right now. This kind doesnít have super long bellows but long bellows can lead to vignetting in ULF so itís often best you donít have them! If you can buy the camera with bellows in good condition and say two holders for under $2k Iíd say that was a good enough deal.

  5. #5
    Angus Parker angusparker's Avatar
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    Re: Ritter 11x14 Feedback

    You might want to consider 7x17 or 8x20 banquet cameras as well - they are usually much cheaper than 11x14 but you are limited in film availability and bellows length that you wonít have with an 11x14.

  6. #6

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    Re: Ritter 11x14 Feedback

    The lightest 11x14 camera that I have ever owned and used was an Improved Empire State view camera:
    http://www.piercevaubel.com/cam/roc/empimp.htm
    http://www.piercevaubel.com/cam/roc/empvar2.htm
    At first its limited movements, especially with the front standard, bothered me a bit. But after using it in the field, I quickly learned to live with them. Its inherent non-rigidity, especially in the wind, can easily be overcome by a rod and 2 clamps connecting the top of both standards. Only downside is that if you acquire one without the front bed extension, you may never find one FS, and you will have to fabricate one yourself as I had to do. Matching the wood stock was actually easy. A local craftsman who restored furniture had a huge pile of old wooded furniture parts. For a very fare price, he milled the wood I needed to construct the front extension bed. Replacement metal parts I got from buying, for very little money, another Improves Empire State which was a total basket case as far as the wood was concerned.

  7. #7

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    Re: Ritter 11x14 Feedback

    I got an 8x20 from Richard last year. Great build, light weight and a well thought out camera. My only complaint has to do with me more than the camera in that it's a different design from the standard wooden folding camera when you go to set it up. it's just my old feeble mind that has taken a little time to get use to a new system. One of the great things about his camera's is that you can order a new back and have another camera. I got a 14x17 back now to go along with my 8x20.

  8. #8

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    Re: Ritter 11x14 Feedback

    I have the Ritter 20x24 - which I believe is the same basic design as the 11 x14.

    I have shot with the camera for several years now in the studio and in the field and I can testify to how well thought out and made it is. You won't find a lighter camera which means you are more likely to use it.

    And, very importantly, he stands behind what he makes.

  9. #9

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    Re: Ritter 11x14 Feedback

    Compared to the chamonix, how much less stable are we walking? I have the option to buy one of the two in the next few months and stability is one thing I really care about. Nothing worse than camera shake ruining your $10 negative after humping the equipment in and out. I love his design and the $1000 difference is really tempting, but if im already going to spend upwards for $4000, I want to make sure its the best I can get.

  10. #10

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    Re: Ritter 11x14 Feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhyno214 View Post
    Compared to the chamonix, how much less stable are we walking? I have the option to buy one of the two in the next few months and stability is one thing I really care about. Nothing worse than camera shake ruining your $10 negative after humping the equipment in and out. I love his design and the $1000 difference is really tempting, but if im already going to spend upwards for $4000, I want to make sure its the best I can get.
    Seven years ago I acquired an 11x14 Chamonix. Initially I was planning on adapting a pair of wind stabilizers to the camera, but after shooting in windy conditions and seeing no movements in my negatives, decided that I didn't need them. Camera is always used in the field, and mounted on a large Ries tripod with a large Ries Head, or sometimes on a Linhof Heavy Duty Tripod with a Gitzo G1570M head (when shooting from the back of my car). Just once I have experienced "camera shake"... my fault at the time when I packed the wrong cable release and manually tripped the shutter with my finger. I have been 100% satisfied with the stability of my 11x14 Chamonix.

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