Short lenses on Zone VI 8x10 - Advice Reqd

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Tom Stanworth, Aug 9, 2004.

  1. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Anyone know how to get really short lenses focused on Zone VI 8x10 (ultralight)?

    I have an used ultralight and cannot seem to get it to compress too far (dont want to force it). Can anyone help and does anyone know how short you can go (150XL would be very nice). As an aside, for a camera that some say is not that rigid, it is not at all bad as far as I can tell (I have an ebony, so I know what rigid is). The only movement is when the horizontal rod running the the base of the front standard assembly bends when you stress it. As it is aluminuium, it is not as stiff as steel or brass, but if the wind is strong enough to bend this rod, you'd better get tent pegs to tether the tripod and be happy with fuzzy pics anyway! I am very impressed with the fit and finish (sharp, accurate, tight (almost too tight) and blemish free. No it does not have that stroke, cuddle and kiss it finish of an ebony as the wood is very matt and the metal black anodised, but it is immaculate and soooo light. Anyone know where I can get hold of a 5x7 back for one????
     
  2. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Member

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    Tom,

    I can't help you with your question, but I have one for you.

    I've been thinking about getting a Zone VI 8x10 (I love my Zone VI 4x5). Have you ever used a Deardorff and if so how would you compar it the the Zone VI?

    Thanks!

    Jim
     
  3. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Tom, I don't know about the Zone VI 8x10 (ultralight). But my Wehman 8x10 focuses my 110mm XL (mounted on a flat lens board) with no problem.
     
  4. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Sorry, I've never used a Deardorff! The Zone VI Ultralight is the only 8x10 I have owned (not used to expose film yet, tho I have tinkered a lot). I cannot comment on them in general, but I bought mine in as new condition and it is very rigid up to the point where the metal gently bends before there is any play. It is no less rigid when extended. Fit and finish is excellent. My only comment is that the perception of quality is lower (than perhaps a wisner) because of the materials used. Synthetic bellows, matt finish honhuran mahogony and matt finish black aluminium. All in all it is understated, but very practical. It is also very simple to use and if anything gets broken, get parts machined for if unavailable in 20 years time! Because the wood is so light, but very hard, it actually feels (and sounds) hollow. The camera has the feel of something made with hight tech machines, rather than by hand, which takes away some of the emotional attachment I suppose, but then again none of the gripes (some) people have had about Wisner finish apply to my ultralight. No gaps, no rough edges, no patchy finish. However, it has no soul (neither does a BMW M3, but what a machine....). Personally I dont care that sweaty gnomes didnt make it as long as it performs well. If I develop any problems when out shooting, I'll let you all know. So far, I am very pleased and am glad I opted for a light camera of only 4kg. I just cannot be doing with the hassle of a vintage with slack here and there. I am sure that there are great Dorfs out there, but considering the ages and heavy use of some, I bet there are some to be very wary of too. The prices often seem way too high to me.
     
  5. Deckled Edge

    Deckled Edge Member

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    All of us Deardorff guys will be quick to jump in, though none of us have ever used a Z-VI, I imagine.
    A Dorff is the gold standard. There are lighter cameras, and there are more rigid cameras. There are no cameras which are consistently a joy to use, give great results, hold their value, have spare parts and have such a loyal following as the Deardorff 8x10. I strongly suggest you get one and join the happy crowd.
     
  6. bmac

    bmac Member

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    Get one, he just sold one :smile:
     
  7. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    According to the Calumet site, the Zone VI will compress down to 3 inches. I don't know of any readily available 80 mm lenses that will cover 8X10.

    I own a Zone VI 4X5 and three Deardorff V8 (8X10) cameras. These range in age from about 50 years to almost 75 years. As someone else has already indicated, the Deardorff is heavier, has less bellows extension (38 inches on the Zone VI vs 28 inches for the Deardorff), and is subject to being used more. However, there is a certain feel, for me, in using the Deardorff that is not present when I use the other more recent cameras. What that amounts to is a certain character steeped in the knowledge that this instrument has made many images before my time. This is almost a mandate, if you will, of the need to carry the tradition forward.

    The things to watch for in a used Deardorff are bed separation, worn tracks, and separated wood joints. The metal may have lost plating over the years but that usually is cosmetic and nothing more. I have rebuilt three cameras (two Deardorffs, and my 12X20 Korona). This is not an insurmountable task.

    This is an individual decision. Some enjoy driving a modern automobile and some enjoy driving a classic. Cameras sort of fit into that realm.

    Good luck.
     
  8. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Yeah, they say it will compress right down by 'manipulating the front standard'. Unfortunately they dont elaborate nor do the instructions that came with the camera! What do they mean?

    Tom
     
  9. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Tom,

    I assume that what they are saying is that the front standard uprights should be tilted backward and then the lensboard returned to the vertical position...this would allow the bellows to be compressed beyond what the camera would allow because of bed dimensional restraint.
     
  10. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    Probably means you need to center the bellows folds on themselves to get maximum compression. If you have any rise or shift it will bind on you when you draw it in.
     
  11. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Member

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    Yep, Brian is correct. I just sold one :tongue: But it was one that I purchased to refinish to sell on eBay.

    I still have one that I purchased for my own personal use. Don't get me wrong, I am not unhappy with it. I was asking about the Zone VI because it is a lighter camera.

    Jim
     
  12. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Hey I was not saying that they are not good cameras, only that considering the age and use that many (but not all of course) have had, one would need to be very careful in buying, especially over e-bay where you do not have a chance to wiggle bits for slack etc! I very much enjoy my 1950s rolleicord VA, but personally like to keep the vintage kit for occassional optional use rather than as the mainstay. Its a personal thing and it is what gives us confidence that matters. I am certainly inclined towards older lenses, one of my favourites being a razor sharp 203 ektar in prontor SVS shutter, but then again another favourite is my 90mm f8 nikkor.....

    On the subject of manipulating the front standard, I have tilted the standard back and then returned the lens panel to vertical and I am still not close to 8cm.....