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  1. #11

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    Just get the 'dorff! You want it. You said you want it. It'll do anything you ask of it. You won't rest until you have one---right??? Ten years from now it'll probably be worth double what you paid for it.

    IMHO, get the 'dorff;-)

  2. #12
    Charles Webb's Avatar
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    Many many thanks to all who responded, I do appreciate your input.

    I have been considering eliminating some of the dead weight for some time now but just haven't decided what to part with. I am no longer able to
    handle (meaning pack around and set up) my 8x10's, I have two B&J's in mint condition, and one Kodak.... they are simply two heavy for me! However I simply enjoy messing with them. I have two working 5x7s that do a fine job as long as extreme movements are not necessary. A Kodak #2 and a Korona that I recently purchased from Jeremy Moore. They make fine negatives, but cannot deliver the additional movement that I need at times. Perhaps I really don't need all that much more movement, but it would be nice.

    I am not looking for any new or different optics, what I have is what I have collected over the past 50 years and have proven to do exactly what I want or expect from them. They range from 65mm to 400mm, Red Dots, Schneider, Rodenstock, Fuji and several Wollensak Veritars and soft Velostigmats.

    Over the years, I have scratch built many muzzle loading rifles and pistols, in making an effort to photograph my guns, I choose to photograph them with as much perspective and focus control as possible, the monorails do this very well, but my wooden 4x5s simply fall short. Simply stopping down
    does not give me what I am looking for. I can get the exact "look" using 8x10, but can only get close with the smaller formats.

    I think I will look for a "Dorff" Special and give it a try, it still may not allow me to do what I have been able to do in the past with the 8x10s.

    Again I thank all of you for your kind thoughts and input.

    Charlie

  3. #13
    Ole
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    Just to confuse the issue, I'll suggest a Gandolfi Variant. I have never seen one except for gandolfi's website, but I am very happy with my Gandolfi Traditional 5x7". Since you want more movements, the Variant is it for you. If it is anything near as well-built as the Traditional, it will be the best possible for your use without going for a monorail.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  4. #14

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    Is it the camera that is lacking movments? Or the bellows? My Ansco 8x10 has very stiff bellows. The camera would tilt much easier with different bellows. The current bellows handle all swing and shift the camera has [except at extreme extensions] but the things are stiff. OTOH they look pretty close to new condition.

  5. #15

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    Just to add to your confusion, I have a new 4x5/5x7 'Dorff. I sold a Fred Picker Zone VI to get it. Why? For the last two years I have also been using a 8x10 'Dorff. The Deardorff is just the most instinctive camera I have ever used. The design is damn near perfect, with all you need and no extraneous doo-dads to get in the way.

    It is only 9 oz. more than a Zoner and I have the option of 5x7 as well. I will admit that the Zone VI is a tighter camera. That's about the only advantage that I can think of. Oh, unless you like real wide lenses. My 'Dorff will handle 90mm. Maybe an 80mm. I would never go that wide so it's a mute point. The Zone with a bag is happy with 65mm. or less. I also found that the 'Dorff was faster to set up and break down than any other woody I have used.

  6. #16
    jimgalli's Avatar
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    Charles, I of course share your adoration for the venerable Deardorffs. I paid WAY too much for mine. It was on feebay one evening with a buy it now and I simply couldn't resist. A one owner (2 now) original that was bought by a serious hobbyist and properly cared for, it didn't need any restoration, just continued care. I told myself I'd amortize it at $50 a year for the next 28 years I'd enjoy it, and bought it.

    On Pinhole day last April I had a shot in mind that required an extreme wide angle. I set up the Wisner 4X5 and there was no way to take the picture without the rack rails in the way. Had to go get the Deardorff to get the job done. It will quite literally do things the modern prettier cameras won't.

    Yes they command a fair price but that is because they remain one of the most elegant solutions ever devised. I'd spend the extra $$ for a pampered original.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

    http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com

  7. #17

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    Oct 2003
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    Someone just came into the shop the other day with a 1940's 8x10 Deardorff. The camera was only used in the studio and had front swing put on as well as a new bellows. Everything else all original but in perfect shape except for a few scratches and tarnish on the nickle plated brass. On a lark I bought it for a 500- and for the first time I'm experiencing the true quality of the Dorff. I always wanted one. I have to say if you get a good one except for the weight it's real, real good. The controls are all where they should be and has a nice 6 inch lensboard. I just finished testing some WA protars and a 130mm Perigon and now it has a 340mm f3 Dallmeyer on it. The lens is huge but just fits on the board. I'm going to do some wide open shots tonight outside at f3 to see what this lens looks like. Never done that before.
    BTW...the 5x7 at MWP is great if you want a new Dorff. But if you can get something good for 500- why not pocket the rest! Good luck, Emile/www.deleon-ulf.com/

  8. #18

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    I have a couple of 8X10 Deardorffs one with a 4X5 reducing back. I also have a 4X5 Zone VI. The Zone VI is a good camera, solid and by far lighter then the Deardorff. I don't know what the Shen Hao will cost. Perhaps a Zone VI will suit your needs if you can find one used. There have been a number on Ebay recently and the prices seem pretty reasonable.

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