8x10 field camera recommendations?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by David H. Bebbington, May 20, 2006.

  1. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    I plan to start a field project with an 8x10" camera later this year. I did buy an Ansco (gray paint) camera for this purpose with the all-singing all-dancing rise/fall swing/tilt front, but this is a bit long in the tooth and I can't see this being rigid enough, particularly as I would like to use some lenses that I have been collecting such as a 12" f4.5 Serrac in a #5 Compound which almost fills up a Sinar panel.

    I am therefore wondering if there is a worthwhile not too expensive relatively lightweight 8x10" field camera which is worth considering - anyone have recommendations from first-hand experience? My alternative is to start going to the gym and then use my 8x10" Sinar Norma. I do not plan to walk all that far with this equipment, I have a large LowePro bag which would take the Sinar, I might even buy a small wheeled trolley. I have a Manfrotto 058 tripod which manages the 8x10" Sinar well in the studio, also have a De Vere all-metal tripod, don't really want to have to buy another tripod. From what I have seen, my ideal would be something like the 8x10" box camera with tilt front shown on the Gandolfi website, I could imagine this was a custom build and shatteringly expensive!

    All suggestions welcome!

    Best regards,

    David
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I was going to suggest an Agfa-Ansco 10"x8" camera, mine is very rigig reasonable weight, excellent movements. Extremely verstile for long lenses as it extends to 36.5"

    http://lostlabours.co.uk/agfa-ansco/

    From what I can make out some of the grey models differed from the Agfa-Ansco's. Certainly the metal fittings differ.

    Ian
     
  3. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    Thanks for this suggestion - I have this camera in 5x7" and it is great. Haven't seen an 8x10" on e-bay, though.

    Regards,

    David
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    You'd need to try ebay.com rather than our UK .co.uk version, or search world-wide. These Agfa/Ansco's are very rare in the UK.

    It is worth importing second-hand from the US, despite high import duty & VAT this end adding 21.5% to cost of item and shipping.

    Ian
     
  5. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    David - what about the second-hand 8x10" Variant that Gandolfi has for sale on their website? You could even take your lens along and go have a look at it!

    Buying a second hand camera from Gandolfi is safe. They (he) know exactly what they are (he is) selling!
     
  6. Troy Ammons

    Troy Ammons Member

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    There is not really much out there that is stiff, lightish and reasonable.

    A few are

    Kodak masterview
    Wehman

    These would be my top picks follwed by

    Phillips (if you can find one)
    Toho

    tacharia (sp)
    Shen hao
    Canham (Someone did mention that canhams 8x10 was a bit flimsey)

    I am building a lightweight 8x10 myself, but its going to be very unconventional

    You cold go for a rail camera like a Cambo sc. i had ne and they are heavy.
    I did not feel like it was stiff enough. They are cheap though and heavy.
     
  7. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    I'm looking at something like the Wista 8x10 for possible purchase next year. Anyone have any experience with this camera?
     
  8. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Hi David

    I love Ole's suggestion. The alternative is to build a modifcation to your Ansco.

    Of course, I don't know what you'll NEED for the pictures. I have a camera used by an automobile photographer here in Detroit backin the '50s~'60s; the front and rear standards of the Deardorff had been boxed in, leaving front rise to be the only movement, besides focus. It is excellent for big old lenses.

    Some thin marine plywood and bar stock would tone up the Ansco. You could also replace the balance board with a plywood bed that wouldn't add much to the weight, but by reducing the design's potential for movement, limit your camera to the job at hand.

    And, it wouldn't be difficult to make a serviceable box camera that accepted Sinar boards, and the Ansco back.

    Sounds like good fun. Oh, and the implied answer is there is NO lightweight, inexpensive, and study field camera. Well, yes there is, the Gandolfi or used Deardorff, or C1 Calumet.

    df
     
  9. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Well, yes.

    Why think about a crummy Wista when you can get a Gandofi ?

    Buy British !
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Has no-one noticed when the Gandolfi Secondhand page was last up dated - 28th August 2005 - nearly nine months ago.th Aug 2005

    Ian
     
  11. Markus Albertz

    Markus Albertz Member

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    I strongly recommend you take a peek at the Wehman 8x10 field camera. I have one and am very happy with it. It is light, sturdy, and very compact. A unique feature of this camera is that the bed extension is also used to cover the ground glass when folded. Weight < 9 lb, bellows ~ 30", and they run for $US 1850.

    The 2006 version seems to be even more rigid than the previous models:

    http://www.wehmancamera.com/camera.html

    Please feel free to pm me if you have specific questions.

    Best,

    Markus
     
  12. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have noticed; but last I heard the camera was still available. Lack of updates can also mean slow sales...
     
  13. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    Thanks for replies - from a web survey (including British and American e-bay), the camera I liked best was indeed the secondhand Gandolfi Variant on the maker's site. I looked at this and found that it comes in 2 versions, made for Linhof Technika and Sinar lens boards respectively. The one on offer is for Linhof, whereas my big lenses are on (and need) Sinar panels. I am trying to avoid working with an f9 standard lens. Must keep looking - the Ansco Ian suggested looks good, too, but is obviously not easy to find.

    Regards,

    David
     
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  15. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Consider yourself lucky, I can tell you from personal experience that you need the Sinar front standard even with smaller lenses. I have the Gandolfi Variant II with the tecnika standard and it is a PITA. If you use more than an inch of movement you get bellows vigneting. Do yourself a favor and actually use a Variant before buying it. I bought mine new and there are many things I dont like, but then at the time it was the only one I could afford new......



     
  16. herb

    herb Subscriber

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    8x10 for field use

    I have an ARCA and a Canam 8x10. The canham is my favorite, as I find the
    folder easier to use and, to tell the truth, I grew up with folders.

    If you are going to do arcitectural or landscapes that require a bit of rear swing, I would go with the ARCA, since you can really have movements with it,
    front shift, rear shift , swing and shift, etc.

    There is a recent thread about asymmetrical focusing I put up that should be informative.

    bottom line: it ain't the camera that produces good work. Edward Weston worked with equipment we would turn our nose up at.
     
  17. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear David,

    Ask Eddie what he'd charge to change the front standard...

    Nice to be in contact again.

    Personally I'd back a Precision (sorry, now Traditional, I think) over a Variant, and as you may remember, I've used both.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  18. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    I had a Nikon 150 SW, obviously it did no fit through the front standard, so I asked the guy who runs Gandolfi how much to send me the Sinar front standard, not change it for me! He wanted a ridiculous amount of money and getting the info was like pulling teeth. The traditional is a nice camera but too expensive IMO compared to a Canham or Wisner (if he is still in bussiness).

     
  19. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Another vote for the Wehman. I like mine a lot, and Bruce Wehman is a great guy to deal with!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2006
  20. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    David - have you thought about actually giving your Sinar a whirl, to see how much of an inconvenience it would really be? With almost all of the 8x10 "field" models with larger boards, you'll face different sets of trade-offs.
     
  21. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Jorge,

    That's odd. I've always found Eddie very easy to deal with. I obviously can't deny your experience. But much as I like both Keith Canham and Ron Wisner I still think a Gandolfi is far from overpriced. That's not to denigrate the opposition: just to say that I like Gandolfis better. My dream LF camera is a whole-plate Gandolfi Precision/Traditional chassis with a 5x7 inch/13x18cm/half plate back.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  22. donbga

    donbga Member

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    I would be very interested in this camera if he made a 5x7 back for it. I've e-mailed him and he suggests getting a 5x7 back that he will adapt to the camera. I don't unserstand this mentality. Nice camera otherwise.
     
  23. donbga

    donbga Member

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    How come?
     
  24. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    My Wehman has a 5x7 back and a 4x5 back. I bought a 5x7 spring back and a 4x5 graflok back on eBay and bruce made adapters for them and mounted them on my camera. His reasoning is that it is much less expensive to do it that way
     
  25. donbga

    donbga Member

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    How bulky are they? How much did it cost you for the mod?
     
  26. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Don, as I recall, I paid Bruce $50 apiece for the adapters. They are bulky enough that I don't want to carry all three backs in my camera backpack at the same time. I'm ok with carrying the 8x10 on the camera and the 5x7 back OR the 4x5 back in my camera backpack (but not both of them). I find that I use the 4x5 back mostly for test shots with rollfilm backs.