My new Zone VI 8x10

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by George Papantoniou, May 24, 2006.

  1. George Papantoniou

    George Papantoniou Member

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    Just yesterday I got the package from Germany, a brand new (used :smile: Zone VI 8x10...

    I was really suprised bu its bulk and weight (something like 7.5 kg with the Fuji 420mm lens) and the capabilities (swing, tilt, bellows extension)... I guess that I will have to exercise more to build my muscles and to be able to carry it around...

    Anyway, here are my questions to you LFers (and Satinsnow in particular, for the first one):

    There is a mark (see photo) on the ground glass, in resembles to a grease mark (like if someone touched the inside part of it with dirty fingers). Can it be cleaned with some detergent ? Is it dangerous to use chemicals on the inside surface of it ?

    The camera uses Sinar lensboards (this is good, for I can use all the Horseman lensboards I have). Has anyone tried to mount a Zone VI lensboard on a Sinar (or a Horseman) ? The size and thickness are the same, but the Sinar ones have a strange pattern on the inside surface that might be there for light-fastness reasons and the wooden ones I got for the Zone VI don't.

    There is some (only cosmetically disturbing) oxidation on the brass parts. Can it be removed, using something like Brasso ?

    I got a 4x5 reducing back with it, which I doubt I will ever use, for the camera is too heavy to carry around and my Linhof is much smaller and lighter. Would anyone be interested in buying it ? How much would it be worth ? Do you think it would be a good idea to sell it, or will I regret it some day ?
     

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  2. John Jarosz

    John Jarosz Member

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    You may at some point in time want to use 4x5 Polaroid for exposure verification. As film gets more expensive or if you start experimenting with older uncalibrated lenses, the ability to do a test shot may get more important for you.

    John
     
  3. Rob Skeoch

    Rob Skeoch Advertiser Advertiser

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    On the other hand I have had a 4x5 back for my 8x10 for years and never ever use it.
    Thats whats so great about photography.... everyone has their own way of doing things.
    -Rob Skeoch
    www.bigcameraworkshops.com
     
  4. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    George, the 4x5 reducing back for my 8x10 is a great addition to the camera. Do you have a 420mm lens for your 4x5? Also, you will have plenty of coverage with this lens and the image quality in the center of the image circle will be very good. I would keep it if I were you.

    If it is a standard ground glass, a small amount of soap on a soft cotton cloth should remove a finger mark if it is just oil or grease. Don't use a paper like tissue paper, it may leave behind some fibers on the glass. A small dab of glass cleaner applied to the cloth first should work as well. I assume this is actually glass and not some type of plastic.

    Clean a small portion of the brass in an area which doesn't show at first, but a standard metal polish like Brasso or Flitz should work. Nice camera, want to see some images when you are set up to shoot with it. Best of luck, tim
     
  5. George Losse

    George Losse Member

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    George,

    I have both a 4x5 and 5x7 reducing back for my Wisner 8x10. I admit, I've only shot outdoors with them a few times but I use them all the time when I shoot indoors in the studio.

    A 4x5 reducing back is a very nice thing to have even if you can't think of how you would use it right now.
     
  6. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    George - congratulations on the new "baby".

    For conventional ground glass, I like warm water and mild detergent for cleaning, applied with a soft paint brush, like one would use for painting window trim. That assumes removing the GG from the wooden frame, so as to avoid getting the wood wet. The smudge on your GG looks like oil to me, so that should work OK. If the smudge is resistant to detergent, window cleaner is OK, too, as mentioned - as long as the GG is really glass. Same caution when cleaning metal parts - keep the cleaner from touching the wood by using a plastic shield of some sort. (The same common sense sort of thing.)

    I, too, would suggest keeping the 4x5 reducing back. Not only are they good for shooting Polaroid tests, but also for shooting 4x5 film with lenses longer than would be possible on a typical 4x5 field camera.
     
  7. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    George I hope that you really enjoy your new camera.

    I am just thinking about how it would look if you placed a view finder on top of it and held it up to your face having the camera peek out at the would under the brim of a Borsolino. Yeah, I think that would be just the right look and a good reason for you to dump your German postage stamp sized camera.
     
  8. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    George,

    I wouldn't use metal polish to clean the brass as it can migrate into the screw holes and rot the wood underneath.

    As for cleaning the ground glass, the only issue I see is if the lines have been drawn on with a pencil or not. Washing will remove the pencil lines, but the grid can be redrawn if need be.

    Enjoy that beautiful big camera!
     
  9. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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  10. User Removed

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    I usually just take out the ground glass and wash it off in my kitchen sink with Dawn dish soap (whichs cuts grease) and a sponge. If you need lines, you can draw them on with a ruler and fine point pencil.

    I've seen one of those Zone VI 8x10 cameras and they are a beast!

    Keep the 4x5 back, because you will find it useful. Can you use 450mm, or 600mm lenses on your 4x5 camera? Probably not...however, you can if your using the reducing back on your 8x10!
     
  11. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    No, no, no.... you have to get it right, the trick to is get the 8x10 camera and then also get a 5x7/4x5 camera and because sometimes 8x10 is too small you might try looking for that 14x17 or 12x20...

    oh does it never end :smile:

    --To be serious, I have an 8x10 camera and a 5x7/4x5/3x4 and I plan on making a reducing back for the 8x10 which will just accept the backs from the smaller camera. As someone above said, I don't plan on using the reducing backs much in the field, but in the studio I would much rather have the 8x10 to work for the added stability and bellows, even when shoot 5x7 and smaller.
     
  12. p krentz

    p krentz Member

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    Rather than use the Brasso or other chemicals, use a jewelers cloth, takes a little more effort, but you don't have to worry about damaging your Zone VI.(always wanted one of those, enjoy!) Pat :D
     
  13. Keith Pitman

    Keith Pitman Subscriber

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    As I understand it, Zone VI began gold plating the brass hardware on their cameras after they got complaints that the lacquer finish they applied didn't hold up. People have found that the gold plating didn't hold up either. The best solution, but most complicated, would be to disassemble the camera and have the brass stripped, and then properly lacquered. I doubt if it'll be worth it to you to go to all that trouble. The suggestion to polish with a jeweler's cloth is probably the best one. Just be prepared to do it from time to time.
     
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  15. George Papantoniou

    George Papantoniou Member

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    Hi guys, thanks for all the advice and the wishes... :smile:

    I think that I won't have a problem shooting with the 420 lens on the Horseman LX-C monorail (that's why I asked if I can use the wooden lensboard on it, if I can't I'll keep the lens on a metal lensboard that will also fit the Zone VI and the Horseman). So, keeping the reducing back will not help me with shooting 4x5 with a long lens... The Linhof won't accept long lenses, of course...

    I'll try the mild solutions you gave me for cleaning the grease and the rust. I'll go easy at first, then if it doesn't work, immerse the camera in a bucket of hydrocloric acid (I'm joking).

    I'll tell you as soon as I get the first results, the only problem is that I still haven't found any film holders that I can buy from a European seller on Ebay (things coming from non EU countries get taxed by 30% :-(

    Claire, you'll finally talk me into trashing the Leica. I got a big hammer in the garage, I might use it one of these days... :smile: I'll post an image of myself with the Zone VI and a Borsalino, soon.
     
  16. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    With a GG with no plastic printed grid lines, the fastest cleaning agent by far is methylated spirit (industrial alcohol) applied with a soft duster and removed with a second dry duster. Takes about 45 seconds to clean a screen, instantly dry, no dismantling required! For plastic screens, I'd use a silicon spray, great for getting stickinesses off all kinds of plastic and guaranteed not to attack the material (unlike alcohol or lighter fuel!).

    Enjoy your "new" camera!

    Regards,

    David
     
  17. George Papantoniou

    George Papantoniou Member

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    The ground glass is glass (real one), and I think it's good quality (thick and well made, the grids made out of an unknown insoluble compound, maybe epoxy).

    I tried window cleaner, dish cleaner, alcohol and nothing worked. It seems that the marks are made by a varnish or something else that is not greasy and not water- or alcohol- soluble. My last resource will be Acetone, but it may dissolve the grid and the only Acetone I have in hand is the one that my spouse uses to erase her fingernails (well, the paint from her fingernails) every 12 hours and it contains an oil for lubrication (of the fingernails, I guess ? Why would anyone want to lubricate her fingernails ?).

    What I also don't understand is why this ground glass has no cut corners (to check the lens coverage). How can I ever be sure if I my lens covers the surface of the film when I make a swing or tilt or something ? (or a twist - and - shout, for the same reason) ?
     
  18. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    If it's varnish, how about the one solvent you've apparently not tried - turpentine? If not, the only solution may be an angle grinder or a large hammer and chisel!

    Regards,

    David
     
  19. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    George- first, congrats again on the Zone VI - I have one of the latest versions with the lightweight black anodized aluminum hardware. Otherwise I think they're quite analogous.

    For the 8x10 film holders, don't be afraid of buying wood film holders from the states. Used wood film holders for 8x10 can be picked up in decent condition for as little as $10-15 USD each. Even with a 30% tax, that's still $13-19 each. Not bad. Even if you double that for the shipping, that's less than half the price of a new film holder.
     
  20. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    George, I have had no problems finding film holders in EU. For 8x10", ebay.co.uk, for 18x24cm ebay.de. EVen if I've bought some "the opposite way".

    So I have 8x10" film holders, and a 8x102 camera still in little pieces - and the holders don't fit my 18x24cm plate camera. But I have 18x24cm film adapters for plate cameras, and plate holders enough... I know - I have to get that 8x10" assembled!

    BTW, one of my old plate cameras has a nice variation of the "shiny brass" problem: It's all black! You can get the same if you clean the brass thoroughly, then soak the bits in Viradon :smile:
     
  21. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    Nice camera. I have the 4x5 version. If the 810 is anything like the 4x5, take great care with the rear standard when tilting, opening, closing, and inserting a film holder. Also make sure not to over-tighten the rear swing locks.

    My camera has a wood cross-peice that the rear standard is mounted to. This appears to be a weak spot in the design of the camera. It cracked in about 3 places and I had to dissasemble the camera and epoxy it together. I'm still worried about this peice though cause the grain goes from left to right and their is alot of pressure front to rear.
     
  22. michael9793

    michael9793 Member

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    I had a Zone VI 8x10 and it is a very sturdy camera. I use a 120mm lens and it was not easy to use on that camera so I sold it and bought a ebony 8x10. But what I wanted to say was the fitting I believe are gold plated and if you use anything on them you will rub off the finish. Mine started to pit alitlle so I used a polish on them but that was all. Have fun with the camera. Fred Picker made the cameras for the photographer big knobs. I like big knobs, solid wood, I like wood.
     
  23. George Papantoniou

    George Papantoniou Member

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    Hi Darin. The 4x5 Zone VI's weren't all made by Richard Ritter, but the 8x10's were. That's what Bruce Barlow told me, at least. You have to check out who made your camera. Furthermore, if you have a problem with the wood, Richard Ritter might be able to help. Check out his site:

    http://www.lg4mat.net/
     
  24. George Papantoniou

    George Papantoniou Member

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    I like the knobs. They're HUGE !!! I guess the designer had really big hands... I like wood, too. You should see my place. Lots of it everywhere...
     
  25. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    thanks for the info about richard ritter. Maybee if I get a replacement part it will be more sturdy.

    BTW.. i saw on his website that he sells large knobs, for those of you who favor them.
     
  26. Richard T Ritter

    Richard T Ritter Member

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    The knobs were the size they are because we here in Vermont use our 8 x 10 in winter and made shure the knobs were big enought to work with gloves on.

    Just a note of an up coming show in Brattleboror Vermont in Aug. It is on Fred Picker and Zone VI many unseem photos by Fred. Some are with a 35mm camera.

    Richard Ritter
    www.lg4mat.net