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Thread: "Budget" ULF Landscape Rig?

  1. #1
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    "Budget" ULF Landscape Rig?

    What follows are just my coffee fueled early morning idle thoughts while sitting in the pre-dawn silence of the house . . . .

    A ULF camera could be built along the lines of an "Afghan" arm-hole box or chest camera. In my inner vision, it would be fixed focus at infinity, set up for a specific lens. Maybe it is a single load one shot at a time or it could have an Afghan camera like arm sleeve or two to allow changing films.

    The basic idea is to trade ease of transport and storage for ease of DIY construction and reduced cost (for ULF). I am thinking of some kind of wooden chest with a length or depth (width?) close to the infinity focus of the taking lens. The sheet of film or the glass plate would be clipped or clamped in place without a film holder. The lens would be permanently mounted. Perhaps a small box would fit over the mounted lens to protect it in transit.

    Exact steps in operation would depend on contraction details, but I am thinking it is moved around in an SUV or pick up and operated from that vehicle, not packed around. Maybe some sort of cart would work too. Format might be variable; just put in something bigger or smaller. Focus is fixed, so after setting it up, there is no need for a GG or rear viewing hatch. Simplest build uses a top-hat shutter, (the box cover?) . More money brings a large Packard shutter.

    Ok . . .I'm done.
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  2. #2
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: "Budget" ULF Landscape Rig?

    It's worth getting a film holder and making that work with it.. Otherwise, one shot and go home. If you have a camera with no film holder and film/plate in place, you will need a shutter to keep light off it at all times such as when your hat is in use.
    Some of the cheap pinhole cameras have cams that lock the film holder tight rather than dealing with fancy springs, etc...

  3. #3
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: "Budget" ULF Landscape Rig?

    I have 2 ULF Pinhole boxes

    One uses a 11X14 film holder and weighs a lot, I have posted it before

    Just before winter I made a 5.5 X 14" box camera

    Sprayed heavy duty cardboard box flat black inside, added DIY shutter, bent scrap metal into a radius that matched focal length, gaff tape X-Ray, one shot

    Both are picnic table cameras, the cardboard one needs a sand bag

    Testing will resume

    IMG-0231 by TIN CAN COLLEGE, on Flickr

    IMG-0233 by TIN CAN COLLEGE, on Flickr

  4. #4
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    Re: "Budget" ULF Landscape Rig?


  5. #5

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    Re: "Budget" ULF Landscape Rig?

    Sliding box tailboard camera seems like the simplest practical thing.
    Those Afghan cameras are big, but they're only taking small photos with it. The ones I saw they were doing like Brownie size photos or smaller. The box is so big because it contains the darkroom...
    If I wanted to get serious with ULF, I'd become skillful at making dry plates.

  6. #6
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: "Budget" ULF Landscape Rig?

    Afghan Camera: Sure, small ID size portraits. That is what they do. The format is small to allow them to do wet chemistry development inside the cvamera.

    What I was kicking around was something along the lines of the old falling plate casmerasd where the exposed plate (or sheet of film) would be stored laying down flat in a box in front of the focal plane. Changing plates/film is done with the arm-sleeves, so no film holder is needed . . .and the formqat could be pretty large.

    Eliminating the ULF film holder cuts way down on initial cost here. Also allows for multiple formats as materials become available, such as odd sized X-Ray film or different sized dry plates.
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  7. #7

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    Re: "Budget" ULF Landscape Rig?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Bedo View Post
    Afghan Camera: Sure, small ID size portraits. That is what they do. The format is small to allow them to do wet chemistry development inside the cvamera.

    What I was kicking around was something along the lines of the old falling plate casmerasd where the exposed plate (or sheet of film) would be stored laying down flat in a box in front of the focal plane. Changing plates/film is done with the arm-sleeves, so no film holder is needed . . .and the formqat could be pretty large.

    Eliminating the ULF film holder cuts way down on initial cost here. Also allows for multiple formats as materials become available, such as odd sized X-Ray film or different sized dry plates.


    i was kicking around this idea where the camera can be slimmer by used of a mirror. I won't need the processing to be done in the box. I just need to be able to keep the exposed sheet into a film/paper box and shoot the next one.

  8. #8
    William Whitaker's Avatar
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    Re: "Budget" ULF Landscape Rig?

    Quote Originally Posted by pound View Post


    i was kicking around this idea where the camera can be slimmer by used of a mirror. I won't need the processing to be done in the box. I just need to be able to keep the exposed sheet into a film/paper box and shoot the next one.


    This is brilliant!! Kind of like a ULF, wet, SX-70...
    Last edited by William Whitaker; 14-Mar-2021 at 17:07.

  9. #9
    William Whitaker's Avatar
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    Re: "Budget" ULF Landscape Rig?

    I'm sure this idea has been suggested (and probably done).
    A yard barn with a lens in the wall and with an internal wall at the film plane on which film (or paper) could be placed (via masking tape or a magnetic easel arrangement).
    The subject area would be outside (obviously!), perhaps as a nice garden to be a set/backdrop with appropriate furniture for a portrait setting (or still life). Of course it would be weather-dependent. And there would be a lot of other difficulties.
    But you wouldn't be limited by format size. The processing facility could be placed within the building itself for an "all in one" camera.

    And it wouldn't require a film holder.
    Last edited by William Whitaker; 14-Mar-2021 at 17:08.

  10. #10
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: "Budget" ULF Landscape Rig?

    I should do this as I have 2 yard barn options right now

    At my old Chicago studio I made a series of 6" holes in my 100% blackout studio/darkroom facing a street with blank wall 30 ft away, old elevated railway

    I tested with the 790mm Reinhart Wollenstan lens and expected a staircase to be built right in front 30 ft away as that was in the plans for The 606. Plans were changed, I sold and moved.

    If you go to The 606 link, my old studio is the first picture.

    Don't miss it at all

    Quote Originally Posted by William Whitaker View Post
    I'm sure this idea has been suggested (and probably done).
    A yard barn with a lens in the wall and with an internal wall at the film plane on which film (or paper) could be placed (via masking tape or a magnetic easel arrangement).
    The subject area would be outside (obviously!), perhaps as a nice garden to be a backdrop with appropriate furniture for a portrait setting (or still life). Of course it would be weather-dependent. And there would be a lot of other difficulties.
    But you wouldn't be limited by format size. The processing facility could be placed within the building itself for an "all in one" camera.

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