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  1. #1
    George Papantoniou's Avatar
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    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...

  2. #2

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    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?

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by George Papantoniou
    In the following months I hope to get the 8x10 folding I have always dreamed of. Can someone give me some advice about wich 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 protraits with a Linhof monorail and it was OK. A bit heavy when I took it out, 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...
    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.

    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.

  4. #4
    gandolfi's Avatar
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    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.

    who else?
    I've seen these beauties several times on Ebay - for next to nothing (go figure)

  5. #5
    Ole
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    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
    Norway

  6. #6

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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!

  7. #7
    Ole
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    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
    Norway

  8. #8
    Baxter Bradford's Avatar
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    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.

  9. #9

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    I would choose Gandolf over Ebony as he is a much more powerful wizard. sorry, just a bad joke.

  10. #10
    mikewhi's Avatar
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    Why not one of these? I have owned one for over 10 years - I have the 8x10 and 5x7 and they are great cameras.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Canham-8x10-Trad...QQcmdZViewItem

    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.

    -Mike

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