Not Your Average Point and Shoot

Ron Niebrugge Anza-Borrego, California, Equipment, Miscellaneous, Travel 22 Comments

Huge Camera

I stumbled upon this guy on my way to photograph sunset, look at the size of that camera!  It captures a 20 x 24 inch image.

 I was in a hurry, and I didn’t want to pester the guy as he set up, but I had to ask a few questions.

First I asked if I could take his picture, I guess the answer was obvious.  For film, he told me he was using print paper – I suppose they don’t make Velvia in this format.  The print must have incredible detail, although I don’t know how he would print it larger, that would be an expensive scan!

That was is a 1200mm lens; he estimated it was about the equivalent of 80mm for someone using 35mm film.  In other words, barely a little telephoto.  By comparison, I have been using 1200mm to photograph the tiny hummingbird nest on the last two posts.  It obviously isn’t intended for wildlife. 🙂

I wished I had asked the guy his name, but I probably would have forgot it.  Hopefully I will bump into him again while in Borrego, I’m sure he would be interesting to talk to, I would love to see a print from this camera and learn more about the guy. 

Here is the other side of the camera

large camera

Comments 22

  1. I won’t complain anymore about how heavy my gear is at times!

    One of the things I love so much about traveling is all the stumble-upons. We used to go out to the Black Rock Desert a lot. Each time we went out there, we stumbled upon the strangest things. Probably the strangest incident was the time we were coming back from a sunset shoot. We were driving down this dirt road after dark and stumbled upon a man lying in the middle of the road on his mattress, with his dog and a gun by his side. He had rolled his truck and told us if someone hadn’t come along soon, he was going to end everything.

    Naturally, we rescued him and took him into town. The next day when he was sober, we got to meet him at the scene. He was very grateful and glad to have a chance to thank us.

    I love the desert!

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  3. Funny, I also saw a guy with a similar camera in Central Park, New York on Sunday. Of course, his was not that impressive, I think it was about 1/10th of the size of the one you saw, but still, I was not aware that some people were actually still using these 🙂

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    That is funny Joe.

    Fullerton isn’t too many hours from here – had I planned ahead, it would have been fun to run over there and visited. You aren’t still there are you?


  6. Ron,

    Nah, I’m back in beautiful and balmy Iowa doing scholarly things. Coincidentally, a Cat Stevens song is playing on my computer right now. Hopefully, we will make to AK in the next couple of years and get together so you can tell my kids how awesome the Tastee Freez was.


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    That is a funny coincidence.

    I will get Cat to sign an autograph if I see him again. 🙂 I hope you are able to get up to Alaska one of these days – I’m sure your kids will be impressed with your TF background!

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  9. Wow! That is pretty cool.
    Hopefully someone will surface who this photographer is. It’d be great to see his images and especially his prints.
    I would imagine it would be tough to complain about carrying gear after seeing this guy out there.

  10. Pingback: Central Park, New York | Kris Taeleman´s Blog

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  12. His name is Chris Mccaw his website is He lives in San Francisco, you probably saw him working on his sunburn series. They are truly a one of a kind piece. He is also famous for his platinum printing.

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  14. I have tried this with an eight by ten camera using direct positive paper ( cibachrome) The detail is incredible as you are compressing all that image down to 8 by 10 inches . Must be seen to be believed ., so much for digital photography., eh?

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