Which 8x10 to buy

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by vintagepics, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. vintagepics

    vintagepics Member

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    I have gotten much good information from all of you. Im in the position to upgrade from my Eastman 2D (great starter) to a new 8x10 field camera. I already have lens and film holders, and looking to spend no more then about 5k. Im open to any material. I will be doing some portrait work, but mostly work in the field during travel, so would prefer something sturdy. Size and weight is not much of an issue since I have a 5th wheel with a darkroom set up to carry it. My eye is drawn towards the Deardorff, and Ebony, but im open for suggestion. Please don't bash me, but I prefer that my camera is not made in some communist country such as China. I like the Chamonix, but its out. Something with the option for film and glass plate would be great since I shoot a lot of calotype images. It’s great to have that glass holding the paper down. I would love any of your thoughts.
     
  2. LJH

    LJH Member

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    What do you think a $5k camera will do that you 2-D can't?
     
  3. 250swb

    250swb Member

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    Those people in Communist China are working hard to throw off their chains. I think it is the duty of every capitalist to encourage them to see the way to economic freedom by buying from them. Only then will China sink into the same abyss everybody else is in. But if you have no scruples just buy the most expensive camera, it has to be better doesn't it?
     
  4. vintagepics

    vintagepics Member

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    Thank you for the political commentary that I did not ask for. Feel free to buy from them. I have my reasons for not. Do you have anything to add about cameras like I asked for?
     
  5. vintagepics

    vintagepics Member

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    My 2D has seen better days, and has little movement. Im looking for a bit more control. My budget is 5k, not that im looking to spend that much just for the sake of spending it. Im ready to learn more of what the 8x10 field camera has to offer. Im open for any suggestions that I may look into.
     
  6. karl

    karl Subscriber

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    You can find a very nice used 8x10 Deardorff for under 2K or a new one for $3750.
    8x10 KB Canham Traditional is another fine choice for $3750 new or around $2500 used.

    Ebony 8x10 cameras are overpriced in my mind.
     
  7. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Sinar comes to mind - I'll let the experts suggest particulars.
     
  8. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I'll put in another vote for a Canham. I have Canham 5x7/5x12 and 14x17 bodies if you'd like to handle one (or several) to get a feel for the idiosyncrasies of the brand, and I live in DC. Plus, Canham is American made, and he offers superlative customer support. I bought my 5x7 used. Part of the back developed a flaw in the wood - Keith drop-shipped me a replacement back at no charge, and just asked that I return the old one to him at my convenience. You can't ask for better than that - warranty service on a second-(third, fourth, fifth?)hand camera.
     
  9. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    In the next year or so, I'm going to take a long, hard look at what I want to be doing with photography and juggle equipment accordingly. I'm sticking to 6x6cm and large format. 5x7 is my favorite, but the issue is that it seems to be less popular than the 4x5. It's also harder to find an enlarger to work with it, and the contact prints are still pretty small. I'm thinking of going 8x10 with a 4x5 reducing back: I'll shoot 4x5 and enlarge in the leaner times and 8x10 when I want a really awesome contact print. I actually wanted your camera, a 2D. Heh. Weird, huh?

    If I was going to buy new and had virtually limitless funds, I'd likely get a Canham Traditional. I like the look better than the all-metal cameras. With my budget, though, I'll likely end up with the 2D I wanted in the first place. :D
     
  10. LJH

    LJH Member

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    To be fair, we also didn't ask for yours when you asked for our help.

    Anyway, have you considered one of Richard Ritter's cameras (http://www.lg4mat.net/LFcamera.html)?

    I'm considering the Shen Hao HZX810 for both its bellows draw (800mm), as well as accepting Sinar bellows. This is important as it allows me to use my Sinar Auto Shutter on it, making barrel lenses easy and accurate to use.

    Do you mean lenses (i.e. plural)? If not, I'd be spending money on second (and possibly third) lenses. If so, have you really got the best lenses that you can buy? The box is so much less important than the glass IMO. $5k gets some absolute cracker lenses, especially in the used market!
     
  11. sepiareverb

    sepiareverb Subscriber

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    Another vote for the Canham. I have been shooting with the Canham Traditional 810 for six years now since my hands couldn't work the round knobs on my Wisner Tech Field any longer. The Canham is a magnificent camera. Plenty of movements, easy to use and fold, and easy to maintain with a few hex wrenches. Less bellows draw, but then how often does one need to go 4x life size? I've just gotten a 5x7 with 45 only back as the combined camera/holders/tripod weight of 810 has gotten to be a bit much for me in the field, and I want to use the view camera outside more. I'll keep going with the 810 from time to time, and indoors/studio. I couldn't decide between the Wisner and the Canham when I replaced my rickety old B&J 810, wish I'd gone right for the Canham today.

    Keith is also part of the reason I recommend Canhams - he is a wonderful guy who really cares about what he does and goes the extra mile with us users. He's got my 810 in for a CLA right now. After a long life and a stupid mistake I'd messed up the front focus rod. Repair was no big deal, parts are there. But he saw something wrong with it that I hadn't noticed and fixed that also. Every time I've called we've had a nice chat about the camera and more.
     
  12. vintagepics

    vintagepics Member

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    I currently have one lens I have been working with for portraits which is a Darlot Paris. It is actually an old Magic Lamp lens, but I have removed the rear element, and flipped the lens over to get full 8x10 coverage. It is one of the best portrait lenses I have worked with for what I like to do. I also have some (no name) 12" lens that I have been using for landscape work. I’m in the process of researching the Nikkor-M 450 f/9 with Copal #3 for my landscape stuff. I would be very interested in any input you have on lenses as well. That was going to be another thread, but if you can help me here, that would be great.
     
  13. vintagepics

    vintagepics Member

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    The idea of that kind of personal service for repair work is actually very big for me. Thanks for the info on the Canham, I will have to look them up.
     
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  15. LJH

    LJH Member

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    Richard Ritter is an amazing guy for service. He is the go-to guy for having things fixed and/or modified.

    Canhams seem like good cameras. However, just make sure you understand that they are not a normal/traditional design. Their setup/breakdown is different to what you're used to.

    As for lenses, the Nikkor is amazing. I have one for ULF stuff. I'd also look at the Nikkor 120mm as an ultra wide for 8x10. There's a massive amount of info on lenses both here and on LFPF.
     
  16. Roger Thoms

    Roger Thoms Subscriber

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    Richard also manufactures new large and ultra large format cameras. If I was in the market for an 8x10 I would take a close look at Richards cameras.

    http://www.lg4mat.net/LFcamera.html

    Roger
     
  17. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    +1
    If I were to buy a new 8x10, it would be one of Richard's.
     
  18. sepiareverb

    sepiareverb Subscriber

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    I've dealt with Richard too, and just recommended him a few days ago to a friend who wants some modifications done to her Kodak 2D. Richard is another one who is top notch.

    I haven't handled his camera so can't comment directly on that.
     
  19. Roger Thoms

    Roger Thoms Subscriber

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    No I haven't handled his camera either but if I was in the market I would take a serious look at them. Canham would be right up there too. Right now Richard has my 5x7 Charten for major repairs, one one those Ebay impulse buys, it's getting new bellows, a missing knob, and new rack and pinion gears. Should be nice when when it's done.

    Roger
     
  20. mrsmiggins

    mrsmiggins Member

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    I might be going slightly off topic here but I've had my Ritter 8x10 for about a year now and for the wide landscapes I like to take, I haven't found another 8x10 folder that comes close to giving me the same degree of flexibility. With a 90mm lens covering 4x10 panoramas, this camera allows the lens to be centred in either the upper or lower half of the GG, with some serious base tilt to keep the rails out of the frame. It lives with it's wide angle bellows attached and its base rails configured for wide angle work, and can still be folded and put into a pack with no problems. If I wanted to use a longer lens I can go up to 300mm without having to rejig everything.

    It's not perfect - lacking some of the engineering refinement of other cameras and it does throw up some problems when using it to the extreme but I chose it for a specific purpose that other cameras would, I suspect struggle with.

    M2CW...
    /Frank...
     
  21. Len Middleton

    Len Middleton Member

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    And you did say field camera, so while I do not know how heavy a Canham is, I know that the 8x10 Ritter weighs a whole lot less than by 8x10 Deardorff V8.

    Not certain if that is important to you...
     
  22. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    If you find an Ebony within your budget, buy it. You won't regret it.
     
  23. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

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    Kodak Master View 8x10. Built like a tank. Very very quick set up and break down. Easy to carry.

    Becoming harder and harder to find used, and hence prices are increasing. However, not nearly as expensive as the Ebony or Canham ( another excellent choice ). Some find the single front knob that controls both shift and swing can cause an inconvenience. Geared front rise is helpful. The down side are the lens boards which are not "standard", and both somewhat hard to find and expensive. Michael Smith and Paula Chamlee are the acknowledged experts on the Master View, and might have one for sale. They also have lensboards.

    Suggest that you Google Kodak Master View, and read the information available.

    Best of luck.

    There is obviously no perfect single choice.



    Elliot
     
  24. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

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  25. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    The bellows people on Ebay have a picture of one up right now and my eye keeps going by it and my brain thinks "OMGMASTERVIEW" and then I look at the price and realize it's just advertising for the new bellows.

    I would agree with this. While you won't necessarily find one for a song, it'll be considerably cheaper than buying a brand new camera. The rest can be spent on amazing glass or some film. 8x10 is getting ridiculously expensive.
     
  26. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

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    And here is a very useful video showing the features of the Canham 8x10 metal camera. I had the 8x10 wooden camera which was quite beautiful and well made. However, I found the levers and controls to be somewhat awkward to use. No doubt other Canham owners will disagree.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1m3FL2TxqPM&feature=related

    Another suggestion is to go to that auction site. Be patient. Wait for one of the older 8x10 Kodak or Ansco wood cameras, many of which will come with a lens. Use the camera for a while, and see what you like and dislike about the camera you are using. You might find that the first camera you buy will be inexpensive, and will serve your needs. If you really need a better camera, then examine some of the other options persented here. OTOH, you might not like shooting 8x10. In that case, you will probably be able to sell the first "inexpensive" camera and lens that you have purchased without that much difficulty, and without much of a financial loss.