Ansco 8x10 - value?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Don Wallace, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. Don Wallace

    Don Wallace Member

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    I know this sounds like a "for sale" ad but it isn't. In fact, I won't sell it to anyone from this thread (I will probably put it in the classifieds later). I am looking for advice on value. I will be selling my old Ansco 8x10 but I have no idea what would be a reasonable price because I couldn't find any comparable models out there for sale. It is the famous battleship grey model. It has lots of movements (including geared front rise with front tilt separate from the rise), swing, rear swing and rear tilt. It has a good bellows with no leaks (19 inch max extension). I also have a 5x7 back for it. It is a definitely a user and not very pretty cosmetically.
     

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  2. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    The person looking at a camera like this wants to get in to 8x10 shooting and contact printing without spending a lot of money. The competition is a Bender 8x10 Kit for $429 USD. Probably around $200 to $300.
     
  3. Don Wallace

    Don Wallace Member

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    Thanks, ic. I am not just trying to squeeze more dough out of it, but for guys like me with no talent at assembling anything, the Bender is no-go.
     
  4. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    What's an 8x10 Ansco worth? In Ansel Adams' hands---it was priceless! :smile: For the rest of us, probably around $350-$450 depending on the condition.
     
  5. Shadow Images

    Shadow Images Member

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    It needs a little love but looks solid. Right know I would say $200-400 depending on the day and buyer.
     
  6. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    From the hardware that's a fairly late model. 19" bellows? are those replacements? They look new and memory tells me 19" is short for this model.
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    This is a late post 1942 model after production of camera's stopped at Bingham during WWII. It's not the same or similar to the model Brett Weston used, or St Ansel, and differs in a few ways from the better more desirable pre-War models.

    Build quality & finish has been simplified to make the camera's cheaper & easier to manufacture, they were being built to US Government contract. The Front standard is now simplified with no shaping, rounding etc and the bracing removed, the back has changed to, it's now base tilt instead of centre tilt, the little pendulum on either side for getting the back perpendicular has gone, and the balance block has been dropped.

    Put side by side with an earlier Agfa Ansco Commercial View it's quite a different camera, although just as capable in terms of image making. It's a Universal View, as it doesn't take the additional front rail for Triple extension. At some point these camera began being sold with B&J badges.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    All 10x8 Agfa Ansco's now seem to sell below the prices of their contemporary competitors despite the fact that they were once the best camera's of their type.

    Price wise you need to take into account usability, this is a field camera with a lot of movements, it's far better than a "Bender" so $400-$500 + isn't out of the question.

    A couple of questions though. Does the camera still fold up ? Also isn't there any rear extension, usually the bellows should go to 26" ? It looks like the rear part or the rail should be in two parts the inner part pulls back as shown here.

    [​IMG]

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2009
  8. Don Wallace

    Don Wallace Member

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    Ian

    Thanks for the great info. I had no idea my modest little Ansco had such a pedigree (the less intelligent but hard-working son of the Grand Patriach, lol). I am surprised it sold as a B&J. My first 8x10 was a B&J and this Ansco is much better, much tighter overall.

    The camera does indeed fold up although not into a handy little clamshell. However, it folds up enough to fit into my Lowepro backpack. I really like the camera but I wanted a longer bellows draw so I bought a Kodak Master 8x10 (sometimes I wonder if I just should have got a longer bellows for this beast, but the KM is a really nice camera).

    There is indeed a rear extension and the bellows will go to more than 19" but not without pulling the bellows too tight, in my opinion. I think that Nick is right about the bellows being a replacement.

    One thing I love about this camera is that the front tilt and front rise are completely separate. On my Wisner 4x5 and my new Kodak, the two are together and it is real pain in the ass. Also, the camera weighs about the same as the KM I bought to replace it - 12 lbs. Lighter than some, heavier than more expensive cameras. However, I really don't need two 8x10's and want this one to go to a good home.

    Should I bother cleaning it up, perhaps even painting it a little, or is an "as is" sale ok? It is just fine mechanically and ready to go.
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Don, it's a woolly area the later Agfa Ansco. The problem is they seem to have been subcontracted out & the workshop appears to have made cameras for other manufacturers as well. I had/have a large collection of photo's of these camera's back in the UK that various owners sent me, unfortunately the hard-disk crashed 2-3 years ago but I managed to revive it last time I was there so at some stage will write a detailed article about them. (Luckily I had a second drive with identical electronics).

    Comparing the image of yours to mine those bellows could be genuine they are very well made, and it has the right number of folds for about 26". I have two 10x8's, the one in the photo extends to 36½" it's not that stretched at full extension :D

    [​IMG]

    Yours, like the one I've posted photos of, is unusual because most Agfa Ansco's don't have front swing. I've seen no others. I tried to contact the original owner of mine, unfortunately I was 6 months too late and he'd died. But his son said it came that way from the New York dealer along with the fitted Dagor, and was the top US made 10x8 field camera of it's day. His father taught at the Clarence White School of Photography.

    I'd sell as is, if you paint it it needs a lot of work to do nicely and you'd probably end up wanting to keep it :D

    Ian
     
  10. Don Wallace

    Don Wallace Member

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    Perhaps I am just too nervous to strettttttttttttch it right out. I will look again tonight.

    Man, that's quite the stretch. Either you have arms like a chimpanzee or an assistant, stationed at the front standard, with whom you communicate by cellphone or, in keeping with the age of the camera, Aldis lamp.

    That's what I fear - I will want to keep the darned thing and sell the Kodak. It is a damn good camera but I need an Expert Drum and have a cash flow problem (cash trickle). Something has to go.
     
  11. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    I have both a KMV and a couple of Anscos in 8x10. The Kodak is a Cadillac of field cameras, the Ansco is a very good Chevrolet (by comparison). The Kodak folds up smaller, has better movements and all in all is an extremely well designed camera. If I had to choose, I would sell the Ansco and keep the KMV.
     
  12. Don Wallace

    Don Wallace Member

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    phototone, I wasn't really serious. I just had a surge of nostalgic affection for that old workhorse. It served me very very well but I agree with you about the KMV. It is a honey of a camera, despite the marriage of rise and tilt.
     
  13. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have paid around $350-400 for similar cameras. I think that would be a price that moves it, if the bellows are good. The bellows are the biggest factor in valuation, if the rest is sound and working.
     
  14. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    One thing about Agfa Ansco bellows is they don't suffer from "Droop" like some other newer cameras :D

    Ian
     
  15. larrywseale

    larrywseale Member

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    ANSCO 8 x 10

    Hello:

    I know nothing about large format photography!!!!!!

    I was also researching the value of an ANSCO 8 x 10 and came across this thread. Thanks - very informative.

    Now for my specific question about the lens and shutter that I picked up with the camera. The lens is a WOLLENSAK 12" f4.5 VELOSTIGMAT with a ALPHAX shutter, #167819. Is this a "desirable" combination?

    My other question has to do with the age of the camera & lens. The camera is very similar to the one shown and marked "ANSCO" with no mention of "AGFA" so I guess it's safe to say the camera was produced after the WWII split. The lens board isn't marked but is made of wood and painted the same gray as the camera. The lens is not marked "SERIES II" as would seem to be what WOLLENSAK produced in the 40's/50's.

    Any help is appreciated. Thanks -larry-