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Thread: Choosing between ULF formats

  1. #1
    ProtarV
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    Nov 2023
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    Choosing between ULF formats

    Hell, I'm trying to reduce my chances of buying the wrong large camera. I don't know many sources to find them. Once I have the cash it almost looks like find something in decent shape and "like" it. A 8x20 appears like composing an image may be easier? to 7x17? I don't know if I'm clear on asking this. Renting seems like a big expense. cheers Dan

  2. #2

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    Re: Choosing between ULF formats

    As a NON-ULF user, my first thought would be the availability of film -- and coincidentally, how much cutting and wasting of film needs to be done. You can always crop the print to the format you want which seems cheaper & more flexible than doing the same to film.

  3. #3

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    Re: Choosing between ULF formats

    What is it that attracts you to ULF?

  4. #4
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Choosing between ULF formats

    A smaller possibility is an 11x14 and use a modified darkslide to make 5.5x14 images, yet still have the option to go full 11x14. And vertical images are easily made.

    Examples: Pine, El Capitan Meadow, taken from the bed of the Merced River.
    And a horizontal of the Merced River below Yosemite Valley...Both using a 360mm lens.

    Platinum/palladium prints.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Tree_ElCap.jpg   MercedRiverCanyon.jpg  
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  5. #5

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    Re: Choosing between ULF formats

    I used 7x17 for many happy years. 8x20 was just too large and clumsy for me to handle comfortably even in my 50's. At 90 i decided it was time for me to go smaller and finally located a 5x12.
    As I rapidly approach 95, I'm about ready to sell the 5x12 just because I'm getting tired.

  6. #6
    ProtarV
    Join Date
    Nov 2023
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    Re: Choosing between ULF formats

    maybe the images I see printed by others. I like to coat paper. Maybe just nostalgia? A wooden camera? I have a 5x7 Deardorf...maybe a 8x10 would satisfy the itch.

  7. #7
    ProtarV
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    Re: Choosing between ULF formats

    I understand you Jim, by the time I could retire from an extremely intrusive career, I'm feeling old.

  8. #8

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    Re: Choosing between ULF formats

    Lately I'm finding two formats to be especially intriguing - one, although not ULF - being whole plate (6.5x8.5), the other being 12X20. But as a more than satisfied user of 5x7 and 11x14 formats, I probably won't embrace these other formats any time soon!

  9. #9

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    Re: Choosing between ULF formats

    I recently jumped into ULF and I went with an 8x20. Mainly because I really enjoy shooting 6x17 and have gotten a lot of good pictures with that format. 8x20 is the closest aspect ratio to 6x17 by my calculation. I have the camera now and a film holder but I'm nowhere near ready to shoot, there is still lots I need to work out before I go in the field with it.

  10. #10

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    Mar 2002
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    Re: Choosing between ULF formats

    You might start with 8x10. Film, cameras, lenses, film holders, all are readily available and if you are thrifty, not too expensive. The cost, weight, and effort climb exponentially as you go beyond that. And the banquet formats, while appealing, place their own restrictions on your picture-making.
    i'm not arguing against ULF; I'd love to work large like that (but every time I've thought about it over the last 40 years I've never made the leap).
    That said, there is nothing more beautiful than a b/w contact print of the proper size.
    Best of luck!

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