Want To Buy 8x10 Camera
I've decided that I want to make the jump. I am looking for a 8x10 field camera with lens if possible. The most important issue is price. I'm a student and on a very tight budget. I understand that clearly one does get what they pay for. Unfortunately funds are limited and I want very much to start getting accustomed to the format as I meant to start an 8x10 portrait project very soon. Thanks, Jared
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I think the biggest bang for your buck may be a Kodak 2D or maybe a Burke and James or AGFA. Some of these may be rather ugly but still work. Some may even have a lens. The biggest draw back will be less than perfect bellows, but you can get around that by draping your dark cloth over them when you make the exposere as long as they're not super ratty.
I was lucky and found a 5x7 with a shutter/lens that was ambiguesly listed on the auction site and paid $40. The bellows have pinholes but the above solution works just fine. I sent the shutter/lens out for a CLA (Flutot's Camera Repair) and bought a SatinSnow ground glass.
Don't forget to factor in the film and film holders, tripod, dark cloth, cable release, light meter, etc. If you shoot other formats you may already have some of these.
Check the auction place regularly and search odd variations of your primary search. You may luck out.
Good luck and let us know how things work out.
I'd go for a Kodak 2D or an Agfa. Be sure whatever you get has the extension rail since you want to do portraits and the rails are frequently missing. The Agfa had a built-in rail on many models, but the Kodak's did not.
You should be able to get a usable 2D for $200 - $250. Be sure the bellows is at least usable; pinholes are usually fixable, but a bellows replacement is usually about $250 up and would "break the bank" on a $250 camera. Obviously, a $300 camera with a nice bellows is a better deal than a $150 camera that needs a bellows.
Depending on how close your portraits are, consider a coated Kodak 12" or 14" Commecial Ektar. You should be able to pick up a user for $250 - $350 respectively and nice examples for $50-100 more. The 14" Commercial Ektar is a classic 8x10 portrait lens. Ilex-Calumet made pretty much the same lens after Kodak stopped, and you can probably get those for a little less.
give us an idea of your budget...
Budget is between 500-800
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To give you an idea of a lower budget camera and lens combo, I picked up a Korona 8x10 with a triple convertible lens for around $450. I had to shop around a bit, but I was able to find one in good condition for that price. It has full front movements, and most rear movements where many 8x10s I've seen have limited front movements. Also, any 8x10 camera is not exactly going to be light, so be sure to budget for a sturdy tripod. There are some threads on heavy tripods on this site that might help you out.
Here is the team-cheapskate version
Century #1, 8x10 with a 5x7 back. Bellows had already been replaced. 5x7 back needed glass. No lens. $140.
5x7 satin-snow glass, something cheap.
5x7 holders. Some wood (really cheap) some plastic (kinda cheap).
Very old 27cm Dagor with packard shutter--something like $100 (I have to check). I think I spent too much on it.
8x10 film holders--had some given to me by my brother. Purchased some more at a terribly high price, only to find that they were, in-fact, rare. Could have sold at a profit, instead traded them for a few usable 8x10 holders.
8x10 film--purchased JandC classic 400 for something like $60/box when he was having a big sale.
"You should be able to get a usable 2D for $200 - $250"
I don't think you're likely to get a 2D with the extension in that price range, unless perhaps it's really in horrible condition otherwise in which case you probably don't want it even with the extension. And a 2D without the extension is very limiting. In good condition and with the extension (and hopefully the sliding tripod block as well, that's almost a necessity with the 2D when using the extension) I think you're more likely to pay in the $400 range. Still, $400 is not bad for an 8x10 camera that extends to about 28 inches with the extension, has mostly geared movements, and is very well made. The only drawback to the 2D is the lack of front tilt but that shouldn't matter for portraits. Now having said all this someone will point to five or six 2Ds on sale with the extension in great shape for $200. : - )
Originally Posted by MattCarey
My glass ain't cheap, its inexpensive!