Can I hire 8x10 gear anywhere?
I'm interested in trying 8x10 gear with the view to maybe invest in a nice kit if it works for me.
I am looking at 8x10 (maybe 5x7) as I want to make contacts/alt prints/etc rather than enlarging and 4x5 just seems too small (if i wanted to enlarge, Blano Negro have a 8x10 enlarger in there darkrooms for hire) I know I could go down the hybrid path but I would rather do things the proper analog way.
Anybody know of any local places that hire out large format gear?
I don't know of any rental houses with 8x10 equipment in Australia (nor would I), but I would guess that if there is one, it will be in your city. Try going into a pro photo shop in your town and asking an employee for a rental house.
However, consider the following. Here are some sample rental rates (U.S.D.) from Calumet:
- Sinar P2 (or Cambo Legend, or Zone VI Ultralight 8x10) camera body: $150/week
- 12 in. rail extension (a must if you want to focus on things much closer than infinity): $15/week
- Extra long 30 inch bellows (same reason as above): $30/week
- Normal lens (360mm f/6.8): $90/week (some places charge for lens boards as well)
- Film holders: $15/week/holder
Say you want this very basic kit with two film holders for two weeks in order to do some experimenting. You would be looking at ($150 + $15 + $30 + $90 + $15 + $15) x 2 = $630. You would also need a tripod and head that could take a Sinar P2 8x10; both weight wise and quick release wise. A standard hex plate won't attach very securely, due to the design of the rail clamp. Sinar wants you to buy their stupidly expensive tripod head instead, which retails at over $1,000. This means you need a large square QR plate for your tripod. Hopefully your tripod already has one. If not, they are $40 for Bogen; not sure for other brands. Got a LARGE changing bag? With only two film holders you probably need one. $90 + shipping for a large tent from Freestyle, though you might be able to rent one. Let's say you can rent one for $10 a week. So you are up to $690 U.S.D. to have a basic camera kit for two weeks. Plus you have an approx. $20,000 charge on your credit card until you return the gear in good condition. ($20,000?!?!?! HA! DENIED is what they would say if I tried that!)
If you were to really pinch pennies on the rental by passing on the extension rail and bellows, only getting one film holder, and only renting for one week, you'd be looking at $305 with the tripod plate and changing tent. Not bad, but not good either, and you'd still have to have a credit card with a silly limit for the deposit. You'd also have to be ready to roll when you got the kit, so that you did not waste your week.
At this price for a two-week trial, and with the current market for film equipment, I think you might just want to go ahead and look at purchasing a low-end starter 8x10 (or 5x7) kit for a reasonable enough price that if you don't like it, you can just resell it without much loss. I would look at Burke and James, Ansco, Kodak, and similar cameras. I just sold a B&J Grover 8x10 monorail in extremely good condition for only $300. For maybe two or three times as much, and quite possibly less, you could get a nice 8x10 kit together that would probably be ready to shoot. I got my Kodak No. 2 5x7 in sweet-as-can-be condition (minus the bellows) for $175, put another $325 into getting a nice kit together (new bellows, 13 film holders, a box of film), and I use two lenses that I already had...I think I spent $350 between the two of them. That is not even a SCORE by any means, but I consider $850 pretty outstanding for the amount of quality that comes out of this camera...and I OWN it for as long as I decide to keep it...plus the lenses are usable on multiple cameras, so the $350 investment in them gets split four ways for me, reducing the cost of the 5x7 to around $600.
This is assuming that you even find a local rental house that carries what you want. The fact that you might not be able to find anything local just adds to the logic of the "purchase, try, and possibly resell" option. Just be careful, do your research first, and be patient. The plan doesn't work if you overpay a lot for the kit.
Last edited by 2F/2F; 04-04-2009 at 07:51 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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Thank you very much for that, definitely some stuff there I didn't fully think about