Friday, April 14, 2017

35x35 HF Camera Buy?

Am looking into possibly buying a 35x35 inch wet plate camera. It would be handmade from a camera maker in the Czech republic and cost $5555 USD + shipping to Canada. A reducing back from 35x35 to 20x24 could also be made and shipped separately at extra cost.

Imagine that, a 35x35 camera. It would be massive. The camera maker is doing up drawings for another buyer, I would be the second buyer of a second made camera. It might take 2 months to build, then shipping time. A 24x24 or a 24x32 camera might be alternatives for me to buy as well. $5555 USD for a such a large beautiful machine seems a fair price.

The camera maker Filip is going to get back to me with the estimated camera weight and drawings in the next 2 weeks. 35x35 might be a great idea but just too heavy. The 20x24 version weighs in at 23 kilos that is over 50lbs. How much would a 35x35 be? 60lbs? 70? 80? If I was working alone just getting the camera up onto the tripods to make make a wet plate picture might be a major back breaking event. Imagine what you could create thou!! A tintype or glass ambrotype that big of a beautiful Northern Canadian subject, would be amazingly beautiful and historic in its uniqueness. I could create work possibly never made before in Canada. Work that would value past my limited lifespan.

I have plenty of large tripods (2 Russian and 1 Linhof),
 I have the Chinese made Luland head (rated to 100 lbs),
 I have a 42 inch Red Dot Aatar lens that might cover that format or partially cover depending on how close my subject is,

Well enough camera dreaming for now, I need to get back into the darkroom and feed my cat she is antsy and making noises.

Update* I was thinking of only doing landscapes with this machine, wonder if portraits would also be possible? Maybe with neck braces or a flash set up it could be done. Maybe just doing large group subjects at a distance would work. Small Northern communities posing for 1 picture? Entire extended families? It might work, there would be movement but that might add to the charm of the picture.

I always dream big, not sure how much of this is possible. Sometimes dreams do come true. When I built my darkroom many years ago (20?), I dreamed of making 20x24 prints so I made my darkroom sinks that big. Today after I write this  blog I will go into the darkroom to continue printing 20x24 inch prints for 2 separate exhibitions at 2 relatively important Edmonton area galleries. Dreams can sometimes come true, you just have to reach hard enough for them. Who is to say I cannot do 35x35 inch wet plate Ambrotypes in Northern Canada. The only one that is stopping me is me. How bad do I want it? If I want it bad enough I can get this done, some how some way.

Will have to take things step by step.