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  1. #11
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntenny View Post
    ...or a Green Monster!

    -NT
    They are indeed butt-ugly.

    But on second thought... a fully restored aluminum Beast, gleaming black in the sunshine, with that polished Calumet red dot prominently displayed on the front standard, sort of reminds one of an overgrown Lei...





    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick View Post
    There's always the old stand-by. It meets every one of your criteria, except maybe easy portability. There's a reason they call it a Beast. I have one with all three backs (8x10, 5x7, 4x5). It has reasonably inexpensive, relatively available accessories. It's so ugly the thing is endearing. And in case a nuclear weapon detonates in the same parking lot you can always crawl inside and be perfectly safe. (Yeah, it's robust...)

    Calumet C1 8x10

    As far as cost, I originally got mine along with two mounted G-Claron lenses (210 & 305), four working 8x10 film holders, Lee Filters foundation/compendium/filters, a brand new oversized Calumet blue/white dark cloth, and a large, very high quality cable release. Nothing was missing. Nothing was broken. Everything worked perfectly, but everything also needed cleaning. Total was $1,100 a few years back.

    Ken
    Yousef Karsh used a Calumet C1 with a Kodak 14" Commercial Ektar for his portrait work. He seemed to do alright with it.

  3. #13
    Barry S's Avatar
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    There's also the Burke and James Commercial View. Very solid and full movements--and usually <$500 for an 8x10. A 2D is a bit over 10 pounds without the extension rail--it may be bulky folded, but it's not heavy. Even with the rail, it probably weighs less than a Deardorff.

  4. #14
    xya
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    a 5x7 rittreck view might be an option. would be within your limits, folds nicely, comes often with a 4x5 back as well and there is an 8x10 extension (limited moves then of course) which is a bit hard to find but on sale from time to time.

  5. #15

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    just get an 8x10 camera and find a 5x7 back for it
    you don't need more than one camera ..
    the camera is usually the least expensive part of LF photography.

  6. #16
    Doc W's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Gales View Post
    Yousef Karsh used a Calumet C1 with a Kodak 14" Commercial Ektar for his portrait work. He seemed to do alright with it.
    He sure did, but ... only in the studio! That camera probably weighed more than poor Yosuf. BTW, there was a fabulous Karsh exhibit a few years ago at the Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa. It included a lot of his camera and darkroom equipment, including his enlarger and the (in)famous Calumet. I noticed he had the same lens as I do (the one you mentioned, Alan, the Commercial Ektar) and I thought, hey, why do his portraits look so much better than mine? Maybe it ISN'T just the lens....

    In any case, I would caution any beginner to avoid this camera. Yes, they are pretty cheap, but unless you like carrying a ton of metal around, this is NOT the camera for you. Maybe the OP is young and spry and loves a good workout, but lugging that beast around on even a modest summer day? No thanks. Go with a more modest and beat-up Kodak or Ansco.

  7. #17

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    Seneca Improved is another brand of sturdy inexpensive wooden field cameras. Do not think wood=fragile.

  8. #18
    mjs
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    Old view cameras aren't, for the most part, directly comparable to old 35mm or medium format cameras. View cameras are much simpler in construction, for one thing, and the parts are carpentry-precise, not machinist-precise. Just about the only part that decays over time is the bellows; you ideally want one without holes in it. New bellows can be bought and installed by anyone with rudimentary household skills. Think of it as buying old furniture instead of an old mechanical camera.

    Lenses are another story; glass can be chipped or scratched, mechanical shutters can be broken. Even a working shutter can be wildly inaccurate in time. Fortunately there are a lot of experienced repair folks who can fix that stuff for you at reasonable prices.

    Take the time to get informed about cameras and equipment and be a smart buyer; you'll find that large format is not as expensive or as intimidating as some may fear.

    Mike
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming– “Wow! What a Ride!”

    — Hunter S. Thompson

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc W View Post
    He sure did, but ... only in the studio! That camera probably weighed more than poor Yosuf. BTW, there was a fabulous Karsh exhibit a few years ago at the Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa. It included a lot of his camera and darkroom equipment, including his enlarger and the (in)famous Calumet. I noticed he had the same lens as I do (the one you mentioned, Alan, the Commercial Ektar) and I thought, hey, why do his portraits look so much better than mine? Maybe it ISN'T just the lens....

    In any case, I would caution any beginner to avoid this camera. Yes, they are pretty cheap, but unless you like carrying a ton of metal around, this is NOT the camera for you. Maybe the OP is young and spry and loves a good workout, but lugging that beast around on even a modest summer day? No thanks. Go with a more modest and beat-up Kodak or Ansco.
    I envy you, Doc! I love Karsh and would have really enjoyed seeing that exhibit. I also own a 14" Commercial Ektar. I'll admit that my portraits are not as good as Karsh's either.

    In another thread the OP said that he was interested in doing portraits with an 8x10 camera. The C1 is great for that but as you said is very heavy out in the field. I imagine Karsh used an assistant to carry it when he used it on location.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark View Post
    Kodak 2D, I have both 8x10 and 5x7. Pretty much a couple of wooden tanks.
    amen... I have a full plate 2d (slightly larger than 5x7) with a 5x7 back and a 4x5 back and a couple lenses. It has been backpacking with me, hiking in the rain, taken all over Texas, in the back seat, in the trunk, banged on doorways, had pinholes taped, and it just keeps on going. Possibly one of the most indestructible well built cameras ever. And just as an aside--- it was cheap enough that if I DO manage to drop it off a cliff or something, I can just go find another one.
    * Just because your eyes are closed, doesn't mean the lights in the darkroom are off. *
    * When the film you put in the camera is worth more than the camera you put the film in... *
    * When I started using 8x10, it amazed me how many shots were close to the car. *

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