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What on earth is a 7x17 Ultra Large Format View Camera?

Wikipedia says this of View cameras: "A large-format camera in which the lens forms an inverted image on a ground glass screen directly at the plane of the film. The image viewed is exactly the same as the image on the film, which replaces the viewing screen during exposure."

A functional description but not terribly visual. It's basically a set of bellows (to enable focusing) with a lens at one end, a piece of ground glass at the other where you can see an inverted image so you can compose and focus. To take an image you need to insert a film holder with film in front of the ground glass and fire the lens shutter. (plus other steps not included).

So like the old school cameras you used to see in Westerns but without the need for the Magnesium flash because film is faster these days. 😁

An Ultra Large Format View Camera is just that on steroids...

The 7x17 refers to the size of the piece of film used to capture the image measured in inches. Yep, that's right, old school inches. In metric the film is 178mm x 432mm. If you remember the old days and used 35mm film cameras, the size of each negative was 24mm x 36mm. So rather a lot larger and you only get to shoot one image per sheet and not 36 on a roll.

7x17 gives a panoramic ratio of 2.42:1 which is wider than you phone in landscape or Widescreen TV which are probably around 1.78:1. It's also slightly wider than most Cinema movie formats. This results in final images that are in a slightly unusual but interesting, engaging and pleasing format.

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