Bender Kit for a newbie

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by naeroscatu, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. naeroscatu

    naeroscatu Subscriber

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    It is a long time now since I'm contemplating to move into the LF teritory.
    Presently I'm set up to handle 35mm and MF up to 6x9 meaning I have cameras, developing my own films and I have a darkroom with an enlarger going up to 6x9 in neg size.
    There are few factors I have to take into consideration in moving up most importanly the cost. If I go to 4x5 which would be normal (I actually have a Graflex Crown Graphic) I would need a bigger enlarger. On the other hand going to 8x10 I would need a view camera but can skip the enlarger by doing contact prints. Due to the quality of the results I would rather upgrade to 8x10. The cheapest alternative that I've seen for 8x10 is to buy a kit from Bender and build one myself (I'm not that good to build one from scratch). What advice would yo give to my situation, are the Bender kits reliable enough, do they provide good results. What are the cons with this kit?
    Thank you in advance
     
  2. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    The "benefit" of the Bender camera is that you get to build it yourself, and that it is very light (6 lbs.) I think it would be good for people who like to build things and tinker with them. I think it is somewhat difficult to insert the film holder in the spring back of this camera without causing the camera to move. You could design and add a bail for the spring back. For the amount of money for the kit, $430, you can get a used Calumet C1 camera and film holders, or a Kodak 2D camera and film holders and possibly an old lens.

    Jon
     
  3. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Used older 8x10 woodies tend to be reasonable. Just don't rush.
     
  4. naeroscatu

    naeroscatu Subscriber

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    got the idea, thank you very much for the wise advice. I will keep my eyes open.
     
  5. Barry S

    Barry S Member

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    I faced the same question before I got an 8x10 camera. I very seriously considered the Bender, but found a good deal on a Kodak 2D kit and decided I was better off shooting than glueing and clamping. The Bender is a nice little camera, but the 2D can be had for less money and it's a fine camera. There are also many Koronas, Empires, and other wood 8x10 folders that don't cost a fortune. I've got a Deardorff now and it's a great camera, but I'm still keeping the 2D--I like it too much.
     
  6. rwyoung

    rwyoung Member

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    The Bender 4x5 kit (not the one you asked about) is a decent camera. Take your time and it turns out quite well and with a few minor alterations it locks down quite well.

    The 8x10, from what I've seen of it seems to be mostly a scaled up version of the 4x5. The back springs looks a little different but overall quite similar. From the way my 4x5 acts, I could see how the 8x10 might be a bit tough to lock down.

    That said, it is a lot of NEW camera for the money. No need to worry about bellows pinholes for several years, etc. But you can find good deals on eBay and CraigsList if you are patient. Then again, the same patience can be applied to building the kit and tweaking it for your needs...