I used 4x5 and 8x10 large format view cameras for many years before I decided to get a 11x14 camera. In my mind, I knew it was a lot bigger, but when I started using the camera and making my contact prints, it made the 8x10 feel small.
I have a passion for contact printing and I find 11x14 prints to feel and appear substantially larger than 8x10. I also have a custom dark slide for one of my film holders that allow me to create two 5x14 panoramic exposures on one sheet of film. The 5x14 Platinum prints are something very special when they are mounted.
I understood mathmatically that 8x10 was 80 square inches (516 square centimeters) and 11x14 was nearly twice as big at 154 square inches (992 square centimeters), but I didn't count on the emotional impact that I was able to achieve with this format. If you are an 8x10 photographer that loves to make contact prints, then 11x14 may be something you want to consider at some point.
I had considered going to 14x17 over the 11x14, but for me, with 11x14 still having black and white film available off the shelf was the thing that sealed the deal for me.
I am learning when to use this format to support my creative vision and I look forward to continuing the journey.
Since you are probably a large format photographer, you may be interested in my Large Format Quick Reference Cards, Split-Grade Darkroom Printing eBook, Color Film Quick Reference Cards, B&W Floral Still Life Fine Art Photography with Large Format Video Workshop, and the Darkroom Underground Magazine.
MY 11X14 LARGE FORMAT VIEW CAMERA EQUIPMENT
I use the Chamonix 11x14 view camera exclusively for this format. It is an engineering marvel in my mind and for 11x14, it only weighs 14 lbs/6630g. My old Burke & James weighs over twice this amount. The camera is a joy to use in the field and fits nicely into a case for transport. I transport it out in the field in a baby buggy!
I use the following lenses:
I use a Gitzo 5541-LS carbon fiber tripod with a Really Right Stuff BH-55 ball head and I can also use my Manfrotto 400 geared head if I am working on still life.
For metering, I use a Sekonic 758-DR and I have an older Sekonic 508 that I keep as my backup. I have been using the 758 since 2010 and really rely on it with a high degree of accuracy.
MISCELLANEOUS GEAR & EQUIPMENT
For a loupe, I use a Wista 5x (the black one) the most. I also keep a pair of +3 reader glasses in my kit to set up the composition and get the focus fairly close, before moving to the loupe.
Because of the size and weight of this camera, I don't personally backpack with it. I acquired a baby jogging stroller that parents use to tote their children in while they jog and it makes life a lot easier on my old and tired back. Although, I do push the limits of where I take this gear and I always have fun doing it.
For miscellaneous items, I use a manual stopwatch for exposures, a lens brush and microfiber clothes, an extra battery for my Sekonic 758 meter, extra rubber bands (needed many times in the field), a spanner wrench in case I need to work on lenses in the field, a flexible measuring tape to calculate bellows factor for exposure comp in case I do any close-up work in the field, and a couple cable releases, with one serving as a backup. I use a dark cloth that has an elastic band around the front side and velcro along the seam. It also stays in my case to help protect the ground glass too. I also have an old black sweatshirt with a white t-shirt inside it that I use for a dark cloth too.
I have a variety of older 11x14 film holders, but after I purchased the new holders from Chamonix, I use these exclusively, unless I need more film holders loaded. I have a customized case that holds 6 holders.
If you have any questions, send me an email or post a comment below for others to see too.
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