Holy Smokes I Accidently Bought an 8x10 Camera!

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by bmac, May 14, 2003.

  1. bmac

    bmac Member

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    Well, I never thought I would win this auction, but am glad I did. I Got an old cherry wood 8x10 view camera for $200 today [​IMG] It needs a lens and lensboard, and a little tlc, but I am looking forward to playing with it. What are some inexpensive lens options to go with this low end camera? I am thinking of a lens without a shutter possibly in order to save some dough. Any leads? I'll only be shooting B/W with it, but want something that will make nice negs.

    Brian
     
  2. Chuck (CA)

    Chuck (CA) Member

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    Congrats!
     
  3. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member

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    COOL!
     
  4. Thilo Schmid

    Thilo Schmid Member

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    Brian,
    there are lots of barrel process lenses around. Look for Apo-Ronars, Apo-Nikkors, Apo-Geregons, etc. The 6-element G-Claron is the best one (but usually the most expensive, too).
     
  5. Robert

    Robert Member

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    Do you want long or wide? You can get either but you'll need different designs if you want cheap. The normal process lenses I think you'll need to get the 360mm to cover the 8x10 well. OTOH the wide process lenses can cover 8x10 with a 210mm.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...&category=30076

    These supposedly cover 8x10 and if you're lucky will actually screw into a shutter. OTOH the sellers never seem to ship to Canada so I haven't been able to check.

    Do some search on googles newsgroup archives for info.
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    A decent lens to start with is a Turner Reich triple convertable. It's not too expensive and gives you three usable focal lengths and typically comes in a shutter. Not the sharpest lens out there, but Ansel didn't do too poorly with it.
     
  7. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member

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    A 300mm Xenar or similar used to be "standard" for 8x10. You do occasionally see f:4.5/300mm Xenar's up for sale, both barrel and shuttered. You won't see mine for sale, it is far too useful (in a #5 shutter) to sell [​IMG]
     
  8. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Brian,
    Congratulations, this should be a lot of fun for you. One of the first considerations you must address is what is your bellows extension? That will determine the maximum focal length lens that you can use. Some of the double extension field cameras are limited in the amount of bellows draw that they have.
    All of the thoughts that others have shared with you are valid. I would consider the focal length that you normally use on the camera that you now use. (I don't remember the format you have been using). If you commonly use a normal focal length on your present format, you will be most comfortable in the 300 mm range on the 8X10. If you use a mild telephoto now, use something in the 450 mm range on the 8X10 if you have the bellows draw ( 24 inches minimum) to accomodate. If you use wide angle now, then use something in the 210 mm range on your 8X10.
    Not all focal length lenses have equivalent covering power (ability to project the image circle and allow for movements). For instance I have a 210 Dagor that covers my 8X10 and a 210 Symmar S that will barely cover 5X7.
    If you want inexpensive, then a process lens will work...since you will probably not enlarge the negatives you can stop the lens down and use a lens cap to control the length of exposure. Or you can use a Packard (pneumatic) shutter on those lenses as well. Since you will probably consistantly be working at F45 and smaller, if you use a 125 or 200 speed film such as FP4 or Bergger BPF 200 and rate them at their true speed (64-80) shutter speeds become more lengthy and easier to control without a modern shutter. Good luck and have fun.
     
  9. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    Welcome to 8x10! The best thing going on right now in barrel lenses is 240 G-Clarons: modern, razor sharp APOs recently discontinued by Schneider. Igor has them listed under 'dark room' on the web for $90. A little high for a barrel lens, but if you eventually can obtain a Copal #1 from somewhere(NOT the Press model!) It should screw right in. Get a scale for the f/stops and you'll have a great moderate wide angle lens that you could have bought elsewhere for $500+. Other good used lens(s) in shutters would be the Commercial Ektars, either the 12" or(my favorite) 14" and Dagors. The best deal I know on 8x10 sheet film would be from Photo Warehouse & Freestyle sales for incarnations of Ilford film. For ultra cheap they have Ortho (ISO 3?) and develop in old paper developer. Enjoy!
     
  10. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    Commercial Ektars are good performers and are often on EBAY.
    They produce sharp negs with good contrast. You will proably need to have the Ilex shutter CLA, but the one I bought a couple years ago had a very good shutter that needed no work at the time.

    Another option is the older Schneider Convertible lenses such as the 300/500. it is heavy and comes in a Copal #3 but usually sells for under $500.
     
  11. bmac

    bmac Member

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    Hey guys thanks for the info. I am currently using mainly RB67s and an old 4X5 B&J Orbit. My most used focal length is usually the normal lens on each, and about 40% mild telephoto. I'll check out the lenses everyone suggested. I am especially interested in the tripple convertables.

    Brian
     
  12. chrisl

    chrisl Member

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    Good deal Brian...now you're a REAL LF user lol

    Good lead on that Igor's Camera Exchange John. Alot of good used gear but still no luck on a 150 Componon S. But 'only' $750 for a 8x10 Deardorff...humm....
    Thanks for the lead.
     
  13. PhotoPhred

    PhotoPhred Subscriber

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    Congratulations ... on the 8x10

    One thought on the older Turner Reich Triple Convertible lenses. The cement used in gluing elements often starts to deteriorate around the edges. Commonly called separation. Depending on how much there is, it can influence lens performance.

    I bought a 12/19/25 TR Triple Convertible on EB** and decided I was unhappy with its performance and esthetically - it looked ugly. I sent it in to SKGrimes to be disassembled and recemented with modern materials. For contact printing it works great and it looks great. But, of course, having it repaired wasn't cheap, and put me over budget. But, its really not about $$ is it?

    Another issue on these older lenses is the shutter. Mine came in a Betax which also required some TLC to get going. Again, worth it to get it to do the basics.

    Moral of the story, don't jump on the first lens you see, ask about the specific condition and separation. One person's 'a little separation' may be more than you thought 'a little' should be.
     
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  15. MikeK

    MikeK Member

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    Congrats on the 8x10, but a word of warning, wait until addiction sets in.

    My 8x10 is a restored Seneca City View made sometime in the early 1900's. I found her in a junk (er antique0 store in Burlington VT and paid the grand sum of $60.00. Like yours it came without a lens or lensboard.

    I have a neighbour who helped drill a couple of plywood panels and they worked fine. My first lens was a process 14" process lens I picked up on Ebay for a song. Stopped down to f45 and used a black hat as a shutter. used Arista (Ilford) 125. and the results were awesome.

    I have acquired a 12" Kodak Commercial Ektar and that is a great lens and using an adaptor plate I can used it on my 4x5 Wista and 5x7 Agfa. I also picked up a 10" Ilex Paragon at a local camera fair for $70 and I am waiting for the SK Grimes people to return the CLA'ed Betax No. 5 shutter.

    So the moral is if you are patient and shop around you can get going for a reasonable price. The only concession I made was to get a couple of decent film holders and they cost me $60 a piece.

    So have fun....


    Mike
     
  16. chrisl

    chrisl Member

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    How come all you guys are suggesting older lenses?
    Cost or desired effect? Surely the newer styled but dated
    modern lenses are either sharper or have more contrast I'd think. Anyway, just curious.
     
  17. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (chrisl @ May 14 2003, 09:45 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> How come all you guys are suggesting older lenses?
    Cost or desired effect? Surely the newer styled but dated
    modern lenses are either sharper or have more contrast I'd think. Anyway, just curious. </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
    It's because we're all old, and still broke from buying the lenses when they were new [​IMG]

    Honestly, when the negative is 8x10" the difference in resolution betwen an old triple convertible and a brand new aspheric supermulticoated lens is - barely noticeable. Something in between - like my 300mm Xenar, 1960's, single coated - will be all but indistinguishable from a new lens.

    Many of us seem to leave the new lenses to those who can write them off against taxes or something, and then we buy the old lenses off them when something new comes out. Keeps everybody happy!
     
  18. bmac

    bmac Member

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    LOL! It's probably because they figure a guy like me with a growning family, and a 100 year old camera probably can't afford one of the newer lenses... and its true!
     
  19. Robert

    Robert Member

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (chrisl @ May 15 2003, 01:45 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> How come all you guys are suggesting older lenses?
    Cost or desired effect? Surely the newer styled but dated
    modern lenses are either sharper or have more contrast I'd think. Anyway, just curious. </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
    1) If they were good enough for Adams who am I to disagree?-))

    cruise this website.

    http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/results.html

    At a small enough aperture you'll be hard pressed to tell the difference between a coke bottle and the latest most modern item.

    I think the new lenses have better coating. But the designs need that coating more then older designs.

    2) He asked for an inexpensive barell lens and for once we answered the question asked and not the one we hoped he'd asked?-))
     
  20. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Robert's answers speak for me as well. Mainly, Brian asked about less costly lenses, and he's planning to contact print, so the older lenses will do fine.

    Now that I have a few 1960-70s era lenses for my 4x5", which I enlarge, I'm finding that in general I do prefer the more modern lenses for that format, because the older lenses weren't really designed to bear much enlargement and standards were just different then, but I do prefer the look of an 8x10" or 11x14" contact print made with one of my old Dagors or Heliars to an enlargement from a 4x5" neg made with a more modern lens.
     
  21. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member

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    On the subject of older lenses, I'm off to the darkroom (oh joy!) to see how a 1934 Voigtländer Heliar fares when enlarging a 9x12cm to 8x10"...

    I already know what 1960s Xenars, APO-Lanthars, Symmars and Angulons can do, as well as my newest lens: 1972 121mm Super-Angulon.

    So far, I see no need to "upgrade" my lenses.
     
  22. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  23. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member

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    The "standard" lenses would be 105mm for 6x7, and 150mm for 4x5". Then it all depends on your enlarger; what is the maximum enlargement possible with those lenses?
    The extreme case here is the 11x linear to enlarge 6x7 to 20x24", which is just barely within the capabilities of a Durst 138S - without turning it horizontal. The same elevation gives 6.5x with a 150mm lens, which could give a 26x31" print.

    Once things are turned on the side, the size is only limited by the length of your darkroom.

    A shorter lens (with wide coverage) could be substituted for either, but unless your enlarger is short it is rarely necessary.
     
  24. chrisl

    chrisl Member

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    I see. Interesting on image quality on 8x10 contacts are nearly the same despite the lens' age. That's great to know as I figure one of these days, I'll go the Brian route and get a cheap but funtional view camera and one of these lenses to go along my Nikon 300M.

    Also, that newsgroup articles a good read, Thanks Robert.
     
  25. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    "Image quality" comprises a lot of things other than resolution and such. I would imagine that modern lenses will give you better contrast and will be sharper wide open than some of the lenses I like, even on an 8x10" contact print, but some of the older lenses are capable of smoother tonal gradation and rendering of out of focus areas than some of the more modern lenses, which may be overcorrected for my taste.

    In response to Aggie's question--you should get good results with most lenses made by the major manufacturers since the era of multicoating (1970s), and even with many single coated lenses of modern design. If you're using relatively contemporary lenses for 4x5", you could set aside concerns about resolution and make your choices more on the basis of other factors that are usually at odds with each other: coverage, maximum aperture, weight and bulk, and cost.
     
  26. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    Aggie, FWIW, For an enlarger lens, I split the difference between 105mm and 150mm and got myself a 135mm. Chrisl: As far as using vintage glass on the 8x10 goes, I have a problem using lenses that cost more than my car. see?