8x10 on a Budget

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Raffay, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. Raffay

    Raffay Member

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    Hello All,

    I am trying to get into 8x10 but have only 300 dollars saved till now. I want to know if there is a cheaper option to enter rather than waiting to save a lot of money for the likes of Deardorff etc. I thought film cameras would be cheaper to get, but unfortunately doesn't seem to be the case.

    Cheers

    Raffay


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  2. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    Just keep scoping fleabay. Something will open up.
     
  3. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Subscriber

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    By and large film cameras are less expensive than they used to be. However, you are talking about 8x10. 4x5 would be tough at 300.
     
  4. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

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    Like Tom says, keep watching Ebay. I have seen 8x10 cameras sell that low here in the U.S. but of course they were the less desirable models. I don't know what shipping would cost you though.

    Just beware that lenses for 8x10 can be higher in price over 4x5, especially long lenses and wide angles. Film holders and film are more expensive. You may need a stronger tripod.

    Good luck to you. Shooting 8x10 is a lot of fun!
     
  5. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Raffay, you need: Lens, camera, at least one filmholder, camera support, film and a place to process it.

    $300 will get you (with luck) a camera or a lens.
    But here's what you could do - get a lens, and then get an 8x10 GG back. Make two boxes of 1/4" plywood so one slides into the other - mount the GG back on the bigger box, the lens on the box which slides inside, use some velvet to keep the light outside and/or make some baffles. You now have a focuseable boxcamera, put four rubber pads on it (like an old Deardorff V8) and a table can be the support.
     
  6. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    As others have said, 8x10 at that price is going to be challenging. I have *no* idea what is and isn't available in Pakistan, though---in the States the cheapest options are the many early-20th-century wood cameras by American manufacturers (Eastman, Seneca, and so on), and I suppose you could buy internationally, but they're bulky and heavy and shipping will be a nasty additional expense.

    I find that lenses actually aren't too bad. My go-to lenses are a 215/4.8 Ilex Acuton, for which I think I paid about $100 in shutter on eBay, and a 270mm G-Claron. Older and theoretically-inferior lenses work just fine in larger formats---I suppose you're familiar with this from 4x5, and it only gets more so as the size goes up.

    Film holders sometimes go cheaply on here or from used equipment dealers, but they're still a whole lot more expensive than 4x5 holders.

    X-ray film is a cheap option for experimental shooting; most people wouldn't want to use it as their primary medium for serious work.

    Tripod stability becomes a big deal. Again, I don't know what's available in Pakistan, but here it's not too hard to find BIG heavy (inconvenient) tripods for cheap from private sellers; my Majestic cost me US$50 (thanks to a fellow member here who found it for me), and it will hold anything, but you need a team of mules to move the tripod itself from place to place!

    These costs add up, so it doesn't take much to exceed US$300. You may end up needing to buy piece by piece over time.

    -NT
     
  7. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    oops, didn't notice the guy is in Pakistan. I don't suppose they're exactly flooded with 8x10 gear over there. GL
     
  8. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Are you good building things? Many have started with pin hole cameras, either wood kits or cardboard. You don't pay for a lens or a camera. The field of view or angle of the view depends on the size of the hole and how far back the film or printing paper is.

    When I took a Photo 1 course in college I made a pin hole camera of a 12 quart oil carton. We laughed because it had a zoom feature. The lens or pin hole was fixed, but the printing paper was held in place by a sliding mechanism. The further I slid it back from the pin hole, the wider the angle. You can also make one using an 8x10 film holder and a fixed pinhole.

    A good place to start learning, if you are interested, is http://www.f295.org/main/forum.php.

    Good luck.

    John Powers
     
  9. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

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    Most people who use x-ray film use it for serious work. I do. Double and single-sided. It has a different look and makes a great film for carbon transfer work. Some people have made beautiful portraits with it (not me!). But you are right as far as it being a cheap option!!
     
  10. Wayne

    Wayne Member

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    You can also buy the camera, and just make a pinhole "lens" for it until you can afford one with glass in it.
     
  11. BradS

    BradS Member

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    Enjoy what you have. Keep saving you money and using 4x5.
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    If you had a few more dollars and lived half-way around the world, this looks to be a decent deal: http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/van/pho/4230551275.html

    [h=2]8x10 camera with two lenses - $900 (Commercial Dr.)[/h] [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    I am letting go of my 8x10 camera system. When I first got it, I planned to do a lot more work with it than I actually ever did and now it's pretty much just collecting dust. I would like it to go to a better home, where it will get used!

    Included in the price is the following:

    - Tachihara 8x10 Wooden field camera
    - 360mm Calumet Caltar f/5.6, w/ 110mm UV filter
    - 14" Kodak Commercial Ektar f/6.3
    - Majestic tripod with 6"x7" plate
    - 4 "MetalMaster" film holders
    - 4 plastic film holders
    - Red, Green, Yellow and Orange 72mm filters for the Kodak lens
    - POWERFIST bullet level
    - Loupe
    - Bi-Post to PC Sync cable for the Kodak lens
    - Shutter Release cable (only works with the Calumet lens)
    - Retractable measuring tape
    - Open package of 8x10 negative holders

    Not shown in the pictures, but included is a rotary development film base, along with three film tanks - two which will hold two 8x10 negatives each, and one which holds just one 8x10 negative.

    The camera works great - I even used it last month, but that was the first time in a year or so.

    The price for this package is more than fair. Price is Firm.
     
  13. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    Wow that looks like a great setup!
     
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  15. Wayne

    Wayne Member

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    Wow $900 plus intercontinental shipping is a great deal for someone with only $300. ??????

     
  16. Peter de Groot

    Peter de Groot Member

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    You could be lucky though. I got my 8x10 set through an bankruptcy auctionsite. I paid $235,00 (€187,00) for a 8x10 Cambo with three backs, 300 mm lens, polaroid 8x10 holder, wide angle bags and then some all in a sturdy flightcase. It is possible but you need luck. You can also buy on e-bay a pinhole for roughly $200,00 if you don't feel like making your own.
     
  17. Karl A

    Karl A Member

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  18. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    The OP hasn't weighed back in, but to me it seems like a very good reason for moving up from 4x5 is contact printing. I wouldn't categorize that as "magic bullet chasing" but as a rational choice of the right format for the job. I'm just speculating about their motivations, though.

    -NT
     
  19. Karl A

    Karl A Member

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    Fair enough, I will only add that it is difficult to do contact prints on variable contrast paper without an enlarger. I have tried. You will benefit from using contact paper to do it without an enlarger. And if you have an enlarger, it opens up other avenues of getting a high quality 8x10 print, e.g. medium format. I'm just sharing my own experience here, ymmv
     
  20. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    The reason I'm playing around with 8x10 right now is exactly this... I want to make contact prints from a larger negative, and my enlarger cannot use film larger than 6x9. But I'd like to mention that while I agree with you that having an enlarger is very convenient for making contact prints on VC paper, I had perfectly happy success doing it before I had an enlarger. I put a flashlight bulb in a soup can, with a pushbutton switch on a 6 foot cord and a filter holder below the can. Cobbled together in about ten minutes from junk lying around in my garage. I originally built it for pre-flashing paper negatives, but it worked great for making VC contact prints too.
     
  21. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Looks like I confused a few people by linking to that Craigslist listing.

    I was just trying to add some context to the discussion - give a sense about how geographically diverse the market might be.

    I had two people actually pm me about "my" camera - I should have been way clearer that I was just linking to someone else's listing, and that that camera had nothing to do with me.

    Sorry about the quite natural confusion.
     
  22. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    Gosh, I do it all the time. I built a little light box to restrict the light levels and provide someplace to put a filter; but when I say "I built", I actually mean "I cut two holes in a cardboard box and duct-taped a light fixture to the bigger one".

    Low technology is still the best technology! :smile:

    -NT
     
  23. Raffay

    Raffay Member

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    I understand that you were just linking, but sometimes what seems undo able can be achieved. I have a friend in Vancouver who I could ask too I it up for 900 and I could pay him slowly. Not saying for this listing but just giving you guys a sense of what sometimes looks to be impossible is quite doable because of certain things.

    Cheers

    Raffay


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  24. Raffay

    Raffay Member

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    I was actually hoping someone would say this. I was thinking of buying a Deardorff back and then go from there. I have one question, is it possible to collect one part at a time and as you mentioned get a lens then the back and so on. Is it possible to complete a camera like that with original parts as and when they come along. In the mean time just continue with whatever we have.

    Cheers

    Raffay


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  25. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Subscriber

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    Well, it would almost have to be possible, huh? Just purchase what you can, put it in that box in the dark corner of the closet and then add to it as you go until you have all you need.
     
  26. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    Start with pinhole until you can put together a full setup. Believe me, you can make real art with pinhole photography as well as learn the basics of LF processing.

    Good deals come up on Ebay but they are more limited these days. And the restrictions on foreign shipping often kill a great deal. Find an American photo friend and get yourself some deals.

    tim in san jose