Great ideas in LF that didn't quite work out : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Looking over this forum the other night I noticed that there several equipment ideas in Large Format that didn't quite survive. Maybe they gave rise to a better product, maybe they failed for some reason unrelated to the quality of the product, maybe the idea was good, but the real world production had problems, maybe the company wasn't well capitalized and it sank, and maybe the timing was just wrong. And maybe the basic idea was good and somebody is going to give it another shot in the future.

I think this could be an interesting and educational thread to help map out how we got here by looking at the skeletons left along the way. I also want to say I have the utmost respect for the men and women who had a dream and devoted at least a part of their lives to bringing these ideas to some kind of fruition.

I can think of six or seven products:

1.) The universal bayonet lensmount; 2.) The Mido film holder system; 3.) The 50 sheet motor drive film back for 4x5; 4.) The V-Pan 6x17cm camera; 5.) The Carbon Fiber Infinity camera; 6.) Dye Transfer prints;

What else?

-- Ellis Vener (, February 23, 1999


7.)The 4x5 TLR

-- Tim Brown (, February 23, 1999.

I think Peter Gowland still makes those, also maybe an 8x10 TLR. But it brings to mind another camera:

8.) The 4x5 SLR, made by Arca swiss in either the 1960s or early 70s.

-- Ellis Vener (, February 23, 1999.

I haven't been around long enough to contribute much to this but::: Dye Transfer Prints? Ouch!!! What was the problem here, other than difficult to make and Kodak pulling the materials? My impression is that loosing this process leaves a real gap in color print technique today. It is (was) the preferred fine art color print, was it not? And newer process like Evercolor or Iris is not quite come of age or readily available. Please fill me in on this one.....

-- Gary Frost (, February 23, 1999.

Gary, I included dye transfer prints in my list precisely because Eastman Kodak killed the process by discontinuing the necessary materials.

-- Ellis Vener (, February 23, 1999.

I nominate Kodak Readyload sheet film. It's still around, but its botched execution has driven away many customers. I sure wish Kodak (and Ilford!) would learn from Fuji Quickload how to properly design this type of product.

-- Sean Donnelly (, March 01, 1999.

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