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Thread: Urge of ULF Panorama

  1. #1

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    Smile Urge of ULF Panorama

    Hi,

    I have had the desire to get into ULF panoramic photography for awhile. I have never developed my film and normally send it to a lab for development. With ULF, I am well aware that it is next to impossible to send a ULF film to a lab. To that end, I am thinking about setting up a darkroom space in this project as well.

    I presume that many of you will tell me to rethink about it, and I have. but hey I only live once, so I am going to follow the Regret Minimisation method to minimise my regret before I die of old age.

    To that end, I have acquired a large enough lenses to cover 900mm-ish IC. The long end is about 43 inches.

    Knowing about how my mind works, I will push the boundary again even if I settle for less. To that end, if I go 8x20, I will probably want something bigger later so I might as well go biggest now. I am thinking about commissioning a 12x30 camera with long enough bellow for my longest lens focused to 10 metres out. Will also get a 8x20 back just in case 12x30 films become hard to get. I will start contacting Canham to see if 12x30 is a format that Kodak can even cut. If not, I might step it down closer to 12x20 or 10x24.

    I will go talk to Camham, Chamonix, and Ritter to see if it is even feasible to build such a camera with the desired bellow length.

    From your experience,
    1. which camera design will be the most suitable for 1.4m of bellow? The camera needs to be portable field camera....
    2. how should I develop the film? I can always get big enough tray but is it possible to do drum based processing? JOBO can only go as big as 20x24. Anyone have experience DYI a drum solution?
    3. How do you print anything of this size? I shoot both BW and colour neg.

    What other difficulties do I have to overcome beyond the above?

    please advise.

  2. #2

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    Re: Urge of ULF Panorama

    I respect this willfulness to try this. Especially the "I will probably want something bigger later so I might as well go biggest now." That has been my thinking.

    You should think of a DIY foamboard construction before you comit to this custom format. What if you get a camera bulit and then you tire or it?

  3. #3
    Foamer
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    Re: Urge of ULF Panorama

    You should also begin thinking about tripods (plural.) Camera that big outdoors will be a a bedsheet in the breeze.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  4. #4

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    Re: Urge of ULF Panorama

    Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
    You should also begin thinking about tripods (plural.) Camera that big outdoors will be a a bedsheet in the breeze.


    Kent in SD
    Got a ries and some other cf heavy duty tripod. I will get one more ries if I have too. However I think keeping back half of the camera in the suv is probably better way to go

  5. #5

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    Re: Urge of ULF Panorama

    I have a 8x20 and 14x17. I understand the desire for something larger (occasionally it hits me) but the problem is that the bigger you go the bigger the problems. These problems are exponential the larger you go. First, there is the cost factor not only for the camera but holders and film. Unless you are making your own film I don't think I have ever seen film come in 12"x30". ULF really have only 2 film makers for B&W, Ilford and Adox. You can get Kodak but it will have to be a special order and we are talking big bucks for that. I believe ULF color would also have to be a special order, too. Kodak is probably the only one who can do that. You certainly won't get it from Fuji. Then there is the transport and set up of the camera. Not only is it more cumbersome but there is good chance you are going to need help to transport and set up the camera. Focusing and making adjustments is also really challenging with an ULF camera. Then there is the case that you will need for transporting this beast and how you are going to get that to where you want to photography.

    As for processing I have built my own tubes out of PVC pipe. Not a problem for 8x20 it's just a longer 8x10 with twice the volume of fluid, but when I went to 14x17 going wider was more difficult in finding the tubing, the cost, and handling the tubing not to mention the volume of fluid it required. Trays are cheaper and easier to use for the ULF. As for printing contact printing is the best way to go. There is nothing more pure or beautiful than a contact print.

    As for cameras those are all good camera builders you mentioned. I had Richard Ritter build my 8x20/14x17 and I have 45" of bellow and I wish I had another 4-6" for when I do portraits.

    I would recommend you start off with 8x20. It will be a lot easier and cheaper. It would be a great introduction to ULF and if you like it you can move up later. Let us know what you do. Good luck

  6. #6

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    Re: Urge of ULF Panorama

    I assume the end result will be prints, so what size are you imagining? Let's assume eight feet. That's my max. I use a 4x5 with low ISO film and have no trouble with eight foot panoramas. What do you think you would gain from a larger negative -- and how would you print it?
    If you are talking about a contact print, I doubt that you would notice the difference compared to a slightly enlarged (4-8X) print from a 4x5 negative.

  7. #7
    (Shrek)
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    Re: Urge of ULF Panorama

    You only live once. If this is your dream, go for it. I for one would love to see the results.

  8. #8

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    Re: Urge of ULF Panorama

    Quote Originally Posted by wsit View Post
    2. how should I develop the film? I can always get big enough tray but is it possible to do drum based processing? JOBO can only go as big as 20x24. Anyone have experience DYI a drum solution?
    3. How do you print anything of this size? I shoot both BW and colour neg.
    .
    The biggest negative I've ever worked with is 4x5, but for HUGE negatives and MEDIUM prints, there are drums up to 40" prints (long side).

    Some people made huge trays -- ridiculous!!!

    But for BIG prints, I made troughs from 12" PVC plastic pipe. I just cut it down the middle into two "HALF-PIPES" and closed up the ends with flat PVC panels -- that also act as stabilizers. The troughs are 5 feet long (you can't get paper wider than that) and each take one gallon of chemical.
    After exposing the paper, it is simply rolled in and out of each chemical.

    As to how you would possible make a large print from a large negative? A DIY, enormous enlarger in a garage -- ridiculous.

  9. #9

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    Re: Urge of ULF Panorama

    Quote Originally Posted by xkaes View Post
    As to how you would possible make a large print from a large negative? A DIY, enormous enlarger in a garage -- ridiculous.
    Easy enough to take digital pictures of an enormous negative and stitch them. That would be if you would want to enlarge them or maybe in this case shrink them (seems more likely). Otherwise why would you enlarge a 12x30 when you can contact print??

  10. #10
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Urge of ULF Panorama

    Quote Originally Posted by xkaes View Post
    As to how you would possible make a large print from a large negative? A DIY, enormous enlarger in a garage -- ridiculous.
    I guess you haven't heard of Clyde Butcher?
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram | Portfolio
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

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