What makes for a well-equipped 8x10 set up?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by PhotOptik, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. PhotOptik

    PhotOptik Member

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    Please indulge me for a few moments.

    I have come across a Zone VI 8x10 camera and several pieces of equipment along with it (another camera and equipment, too, but forget that for the time being).

    What accessories do you really need for an 8 x 10 Camera to feel "complete"? What wouldn't you include?

    There are filters, a tripod, film, an auxiliary lens, a light meter, developing tanks, an enlarger, and other things, but I'm trying to focus in on just the photography aspect for now--maybe not so much the developing.

    I appreciate any responses.

    PhotOptik
     
  2. noacronym

    noacronym Member

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    Let me be the first and the best to answer that. You need 3 trays, a bottle of D-76, some white vinegar, and A package of Kodak Fixer. A Kodak Color Thermometer, later named Kodak Darkroom Thermometer, about 10 inches long with a blue fluid in it. A package of 8x10 Ilford paper, A package of Kodak Dektol, and a piece of 11 x 14 picture fame glass from the Family Dollar. An old grey Gossen Luna-Pro would be handy. Keep fresh batteries in it and dial down your film speeds about 25%. And a Leitz Tiltall. No enlargers, no tanks. Keep that money in your pocket. Use it for the film and gas you'll burn up hunting pictures. Oh, I forgot--A Kodak Utility Safelight with OC filter off ebay. Not another thing.
     
  3. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    --I have a Zone VI 8x10, also.
    Something to haul it all around in
    Film holders -- brush and canned air for cleaning them -- and for brushing off film holders before putting them in the camera.
    Darkcloth
    Sturdy tripod
    I prefer a spot meter
    Notebook for keeping notes, pencil
    Small screwdriver for loose screws (such as the ones on the sliders that hold the back on). Pocket knife will do.
    Lens and lensboard, cable release
    Cleaning supplies for lens
    Something to keep time with for those long exposures..."one anseladams, twoanseladams..." gets old after a few minutes.
     
  4. noacronym

    noacronym Member

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    Forget about the slow film and the long exposures, believing you'll get to stop down and get all that "sharpness". That's baloney Use whatever 100 or faster film and shoot about f/16. Remember, it's not sharp if the leaves and the grass are moving, which they ALWAYS are. Q-tips for the lens. Make sure they're genuine Q-tip brand COTTON. Distilled water with a few drops of Windex in it.
     
  5. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    PhotOptik,

    There you have it. If you still feel like the list is incomplete, maybe a yellow filter.
     
  6. noacronym

    noacronym Member

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    Regards.
     
  7. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Some items from my personal camera-side checklist:

    (01) 8x10 camera
    (02) Heavy duty tripod with proper head
    (03) Film holders (with spare boxes for on-site storage after reloading)
    (04) Lenses on lensboards (with lens caps!)
    (05) Homemade viewfinder to be used before unpacking camera
    (06) Meter(s)
    (07) Compendium lens shade
    (08) Filters/holder
    (09) Cable release(s)
    (10) 4x5 and/or 5x7 reduction backs (optional)
    (11) Roll film back (optional)
    (12) Dark cloth
    (13) Ground glass magnifier, loupe, or hi-mag glasses
    (14) Ground glass cover/protector
    (15) Toolkit/micro screwdrivers
    (16) Small torpedo bubble level (to confirm verticals/horizontals)
    (17) Vacuum/dust brush for loading film holders
    (18) Opaque black photo tape (for bellows leaks, etc.)
    (19) Small flashlight (to check for those leaks)
    (20) Dust-Off canned air
    (21) Lens cleaner/brush
    (22) Changing bag (for emergencies)
    (23) Notebook or digital voice recorder for notes
    (24) On-site lodging with windowless bathroom for film loading
    (25) Harrison dark tent for bathrooms with windows
    (26) Cases for all of the above equipment
    (27) Robust dolly for all of the equipment cases

    And mostly...

    (28) The patience to slow down and enjoy a different approach to photography that most photographers will do anything in their power to avoid.

    :smile:

    Ken
     
  8. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    Does not match my experience, but then I have been using LF for only 35 years...:smile:
    And everyone's mileage differs!
     
  9. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    Or, as the saying goes, we are not young enough to know it all!
     
  10. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Ummm.
    If you're in the deep woods, when it's overcast, and perhaps using a filter, you'll have all the opportunity for timing long exposures you want. In fact, you may even find yourself wishing for some 1000 speed film...

    I find the sweep seconds hand on my wristwatch a very handy thing.
     
  11. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    After only a few years more than 60 of LF and ULF photography I have learned all statements in this quote are incorrect except "...the leaves and grass are always moving."
     
  12. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

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    I have a zone 6 8x10 and I am a bare essentials guy (who started shooting 8x10 in the 1970s)

    Tripod. In the studio I use a very large Bogen with geared column but going out doors I use a much smaller Gitzo but still a heavy duty Bogen head.
    Lens. Start with one and get used to it. Get another when you get frustrated with the first one.
    Shutter release cable.
    Loupe. I like 4x the best.
    Dark cloth. Large.
    Film in holders..... in package that keeps them clean.
    Meter.
    Lens shade maybe but you can always use the dark slide to shade the lens.
    Hat... like a baseball cap with a brim. The dark cloth messes up your hair anyway.
    If you find yourself stretching out the bellow you will need some thing to sit on the camera bed under the bellows to prop them up. I use an empty duct tape roll.

    Dennis
     
  13. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

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    .
    A copy of " Using The View Camera " by Steve Simmons.
    And a jogging stroller !

    Ron
    .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2013
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  15. noacronym

    noacronym Member

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    That's OK, I've only got 45 years in this racket. The guy just wanted to go take some pictures with his new 8x10. This is not the time to hammer him over the head with the whole 5-book Ansel Adams series. A camera is a camera. They're all the same.
     
  16. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    The most important equipment is a good back and good knees. Stay in shape. But routinely carrying 8x10 gear will accomplish that!
     
  17. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

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    Amen, Drew! I have a bad back (it's actually fused together) but my knees are good.

    I own a lightweight Wehman but with my tripod and lenses, film holders, etc. it all gets too heavy for me so I carry the Ries J100 and pull the camera kit behind me in a wheeled cordura tool bag. I just bought a Gordy's strap for the Ries so I'll soon see how that works.

    Some people use a baby stroller to wheel around their 8x10 cameras.

    Yeah, I would probably be better off always carrying around my Tachihara 4x5 which I use for color film but I love the big 8x10 and it keeps me going so I'll use it as long as I can. :smile:
     
  18. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    focusing cloth, holders, loupe, cable release(s), changing bag(to load holders in field) That's basic. Everything else in your list was related to darkroom.
    You're going to add to the kit as you find the need. And everyone will have their own preferences.
     
  19. mike-o

    mike-o Member

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    No kit is ever complete. Start with the bare essentials and add to it as the need arises.

    You need a camera and a lens, something to keep the camera from moving (usually a tripod), something to trigger the lens (usually cable release), and focussing aids (dark cloth and loupe -- any cloth, sweathshirt, towel, etc. will work, and you can use any prime 50mm lens reversed as a loupe). Something to measure the light, film holder, you've got to get the film into the holder in the dark (changing bag, tent, or just a perfectly dark room) and someplace to put the film after you've exposed it (empty film boxes work well).

    That will get you started, and your own experience will point you in the next direction.
     
  20. mrsmiggins

    mrsmiggins Member

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    Which brings up another important point: Your own ability to use the camera, especially mastering tilts and swings in the one shot. I'm still a long way from getting this down-pat.
     
  21. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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    When You have gathered the obvious (camera, lens, film, tripod, meter, bag etc) remember to bring notebook and pencil. Whenever you're missing something be sure to make a note of it for when You get home. Over the years Your kit will be complete and Your back will be strong.
     
  22. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    One photographer's gear list:

    1 8x10 view camera with 20 holders and 4 lenses: Cooke convertable,
    10" Wide Field Ektar, 9" Dagor, 6.75 wide angle Wollansak

    Three exposure meters

    Filters: K1, K2, Minus Blue, G, X1, A, C5, B, F, 85B, 85C and light
    balancing series 81 & series 82

    Heavy tripod

    lens brush, Stop watch, level, thermometer, focusing magnifier, &
    focusing cloth

    special storage box for film

    Extensive 35mm, medium format, and 4x5 outfits

    Big flash equipment

    Cadillac Eight passenger limousine with 5x9 platform on top

    The photographer was Ansel Adams. and the list was compiled
    from a 1957 movie.
     
  23. mark

    mark Member

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    Tripod-BIG.
    Lens
    film holders
    Film.
    Meter- 8x10 film is too expensive to guess with
    Dark cloth-big towel works in a pinch and if you are a bit on the hefty side a sweat shirt will too. Skinny people don't have this option
    Filters-I think they are necessary

    The most important thing to do with 8x10 or any LF camera for that matter is to actually have loaded film holders when you want to take a picture. I have saved lots of film by going out on a trip with empty film holders. It happens to more people than you would think.
     
  24. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    Has someone listed the "patience of Job" yet? You will make every imaginable mistake with this camera, and possibly even invent new ones. (Just this last week, I removed a film holder from my camera before replacing the darkslide. That's a new one for me. :confused:smile: Don't let the mistakes wear you down; learn from them. Eventually, you will chip away at enough of the things that don't make a good picture and start to get photos that actually look like what you imagined when you plopped your tripod down in virgin soil.

    Cheers, and welcome to the dark side (darkslide?).
    Tom
     
  25. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

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    One mistake that really irritates me, and that I still do, is after making an exposure, putting the dark slide back in silver side out and not noticing until I have forgotten which side I just used. DAMN! No way I can make another exposure with that holder. Probably should come up with a numbering system written on the holders and always use them in order. I would forget that too though.
    Dennis
     
  26. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    Pretty much what I do. I write in my notebook each film holder and what film I've loaded it with. As I use them, I cross them out in the book and on a seperate page record any exposure info I want. I do flip the dark slides but don't rely on them, I go by what my book says.