Ebony or Gandolfi ?
In the following months I hope to get the 8x10 folding I have always dreamed of. Can someone give me some advice about which camera would be best for landscape and portrait use ?
I have once worked with a friend's Gandolfi (+ germinar 300) that I found great to use outside but haven't tried to do a portrait. I have only done 8x10 portraits with a Linhof monorail and it was OK. A bit heavy when I took it outside, though. The lens was as heavy as the whole Gandolfi outfit...
I like Ebony when I see it advertised on the net.
Both the Gandolfi and the Ebony are expensive. There are cheaper solutions, but are they any good ?
Should I use the (cheap) Nikon 300 or the Germinar ? I don't want a big and heavy lens...
Either I am sure would be wonderful and I only have experience with Ebonies, which are both beuatiful and exceptional in use. If you can afford the Ebony 10x8, I cannot imagine that you would be able to get a better camera. The Gandolfi traditional is arguably even more beautiful, but is it as practical - I could not say?
Which Gandolfi, the Ttraditional or the Variant? I have a variant and it is a love hate relationship. I like it that it is light weight and very well made. I hate it that it has a zillion knobs one has to screw and unscrew to set up/fold and the front standard in the case of the technika design is absolutely worhtless for swing movements. If you decide on a Gandolfi Variant, get it with the Sinar front standard (one more mistake I made, I did not know the tecnika standard would cause bellows vignetting) the assembly is better than the tecnika one and you do not get bellows vignetting.
Originally Posted by George Papantoniou
Since I bought my Gandolfi, the firm has changed hands, so maybe the design has improved, you better drop them and line and ask them to send you more info. www.gandolficameras.com.
I have never used an Ebony, but depending on the model they can cost as much as $8500, given the price ratio I doubt an Ebony is 2 times better than a Gandolfi.....
PS. If you get the Gandolfi, tell them you want big knobs on the camera, I hate them little suckers like mine has.
I have a GANDOLFI (big surprise..) Traditinonal 8x10.
I have it fir the sole reason, that it is the most beautiful camera ever made!
(don't argue - I know I am right..)
it is easy to use - fantastic for portraits.
it is a field camera, so the movements are limited - but who cares..
the results are good.
maybe we could make a GANDOLFI club?
jorge (I don't know if the Variant will qualify as a "real" gandolfi..)
I also know Ole has one.
I've seen these beauties several times on Ebay - for next to nothing (go figure)
I have two... Gandolfis, that is. A 5x7" Traditional which is just great, and an 8x10" Traditional that is still in parts. I have the wood and the bellows now, just waiting for the metal.
I can find no fault with the Traditional - except possibly the lack of front swing. But that is optional, I just don't have it on mine. It feels incredibly sturdy, even to me who learned LF on a Linhof Technika III 5x7"!
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
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You might want to look for a camera with a big lensboard just in case you want to use the older portrait lenses. Right now I have a 340mm f3 Dallmeyer on my Deardorff 8x10 and it lights up the GG like a TV screen. Make sure you have a strong front end too to support these. The Deardorff is clearly stressed by a 5 lb lens. Probably just do some good research on all the makes then make your decision. I like the Phillips for portability, the Deardorff for venerability, The Ebony for luxury, the Wisner for gearing, the Shen-Hao for savings, the KMV for toughness. There are others. If you are interested in the Wisner or Shen-Hao or Ebony or a new Deardorff, I can order these for you. I'm a dealer. Emile/www.deleon-ulf.com.
PS....Just a thought...if you are going to spend a bizillion bucks on an Ebony why not just go all the way and get an 11x14 Wisner or similar? Maybe a 12x20/11x14 w/11x14 or 8x10 reducing backs? These will provide the ultimate contact prints and 2 ulf cameras in one purchase. If you decide on ULF I can talk to you about Wisner/Deardorff and Shen-Hao which BTW...will release a 7x17 and 12x20 in the next 3 months if not sooner.:-) Good luck!
The Gandolfi Traditional 8x10" has a 14x16.5cm lensboard, which should be enough for all but a very few lenses. I haven't used one of these myself, but at least my 5x7" has no problems with any of my lenses. I haven't tried the 500mm f:6.6 Aerotar, but that is only because the lensboard is too small. At least the 360mm f:5.5 Tele-Xenar causes no difficulties; that is the heaviest lens I crrently use.
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
I am lucky enough to have a Gandolfi traditional 5x4 and an Ebony 45SU which I use outdoors for landscape, but have had a single go at portraiture. Both are beautiful cameras in their own right. However the Ebony is far easier to use and has a much brighter GG. Consequently this is the one which I use all of the time. There are problems getting the rear element of several of my lenses through the front standard aperture on the Gandolfi.
I have seen and had a quick familiarisation with a Shen Hao 8x10 with a 300mm lens. This was a nice camera at a fraction of the price of an Ebony; where the large bright GG was quite seductive. I have no need or much desire to change to the bigger format; although I can see why many do keep moving to ever bigger formats.
I would choose Gandolf over Ebony as he is a much more powerful wizard. sorry, just a bad joke.
Why not one of these? I have owned one for over 10 years - I have the 8x10 and 5x7 and they are great cameras.
The gentleman selling the item recently sold me his 7x17 back and accessories for his Canham 8x10 and his is great to do business with.