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  1. #21
    dphphoto's Avatar
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    B&J made some monorails that weren't very good, skinny rails and top heavy standards. Sort of like the old 4X5 Calumets. The wood cameras are heavy, but usually solid. I've seen pictures of some refinished ones that look great.
    Dean
    dphphoto

  2. #22
    JG Motamedi's Avatar
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    Seems to me this is thread is basically a troll.

    I currently have an 11x14 B&J, and have owned both 5x7 and 8x10. The B&Js are compentent cameras, and are in my mind (NB: I am not a backpacker) a significant improvement on the earlier folding tailboard cameras like the Korona. I love the huge lensboard size , the massive amount of front and rear rise, and of course the price.

    Would I trade it for an 11x14 Deardorff, Canham, Gandolfi, or similar self-encasing camera? Of course. These are simply more stable, compact, and easier to use cameras.

    With very few exceptions, you get what you pay for.

  3. #23
    DBP
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    The old camera repair guy I used to go to, who had worked on B&Js when they were still being made, called them "Bunk and Junk". I think the reputation stems not from the cameras discussed above, but from the Press cameras, which simply do not feel as sturdy and well made as the Graphics they were competing against. Mine works fine, but does not have the same fit as my Anny Speed Graphic. I suspect the B&Js did not stand up as well to abuse by press photographers back in the 40s and 50s. On the other hand, my B&J Press has more shift and can take shorter lenses, so it gets plenty of use. You see the same comparisons made about the (Cosina) Voigtlanders in relation to Leicas. People complain that a $500 camera does not feel as sturdy as a $2000 camera. But other than press photographers, do we really abuse our equipment that much?

  4. #24

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    [QUOTE=DBP] People complain that a $500 camera does not feel as sturdy as a $2000 camera. QUOTE]

    How very true. You'd think it would occur to them that this was an unremarkable coincidence.

    Cheers

    R.

  5. #25
    blansky's Avatar
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    I went to a car show the other day. There was guy there with a restored 53 Chevy. He was pretty proud of the thing.

    I didn't have the heart to tell him, that a 53 Chevy was an ugly piece of crap the day it was dragged out of the Detroit plant.

    Down the line was a 57 Chevy.

    Ah, a work of art.

    Life is strange that way. He missed it by 4 years.


    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  6. #26
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    I went to a car show the other day. There was guy there with a restored 53 Chevy. He was pretty proud of the thing.

    I didn't have the heart to tell him, that a 53 Chevy was an ugly piece of crap the day it was dragged out of the Detroit plant.

    Down the line was a 57 Chevy.

    Ah, a work of art.

    Life is strange that way. He missed it by 4 years.


    Michael
    As always......Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.....

    Function is in the hands of the user..

    That is the reason we have so many choices..

    Dave

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    I went to a car show the other day. There was guy there with a restored 53 Chevy. He was pretty proud of the thing.

    I didn't have the heart to tell him, that a 53 Chevy was an ugly piece of crap the day it was dragged out of the Detroit plant.

    Down the line was a 57 Chevy.

    Ah, a work of art.

    Life is strange that way. He missed it by 4 years.


    Michael
    I think if one uses cars as a metaphor, an American Motors Rambler might fit a B&J more aptly. Awkward, ugly and underpowered, but still got you were you needed to go.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  8. #28
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Chinn
    I think if one uses cars as a metaphor, an American Motors Rambler might fit a B&J more aptly. Awkward, ugly and underpowered, but still got you were you needed to go.
    Nah, Jim. It's a taxi cab.

    With the Orbit, you got a newer design than the 2D,
    ( and a far better camera than the Korona and Seneca,
    which were intended as cheap alternatives to Kodak or Ansco, nothing more ! )

    The Orbit was easier to manufacture, so it was cheaper.

    It could be ASSEMBLED, not crafted,
    and it fit the demands of the WW2 / post-WW2 world.

    Making a camera from 1945 - 50 technology made a lot of sense,
    and when it was the basic camera in a photographer's toolbox
    it was a great design which could be paid for with the income a small town shooter could expect to make.

    At it's best, B&J was a one-stop supplier of all things photographic, from Cooke and Schneider to a variety 'house brand' stuff ( some good, some quite dodgy ). It allowed a small town camera shop access to all manner of goods, and it served little studios quite well.

    The Orbit gave a local shooter a 5x7 portrait camera,
    and inexpensive sliding back and roll holder
    ( which did a very good job, thanks ).

    You could put a 150 Symar on your Orbit
    and shoot 5x7 groups in the studio,
    ( with the sliding back, of course )
    switch to the roll back to do head and shoulders,
    and later, color portraits.

    For tighter shots, remove the front cell of the Symar and have a nice, tight portrait look.

    You could furnish your studio easily, all from B&J.

    Remember, the post WW2 years saw LOTS of guys who had learned photography in the service set themselves up as 'pros' when the war was over.

    There was a new middle class,
    consumers had money ( which had never been the case before ! )
    and there was a good market for small studios !

    THAT is the world B&J served.

    ( The Deardorff was simply made for a different market -
    not snobby amateurs, but pros making different pictures )

    .
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    I went to a car show the other day. There was guy there with a restored 53 Chevy. He was pretty proud of the thing.

    I didn't have the heart to tell him, that a 53 Chevy was an ugly piece of crap the day it was dragged out of the Detroit plant.

    Down the line was a 57 Chevy.

    Ah, a work of art.

    Life is strange that way. He missed it by 4 years.


    Michael
    57 chevys are BORING. they are a dime a dozen and a bit over done! i have not seena 53 for some time, but as with all the cars from the 50s i am sure i is a beauty all by it self. chrome anyone?

    eddie

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by JHannon
    I own the ugly of all uglys.. The Calumet C-1 Green Magnesium Monster. Not a very fashionable camera but it has everything I need. Add a Majestic tripod and you have a combination that can double as a car jack or scaffold. I lug everything in a large Stanley rolling plastic toolbox. My photos are not very good and I know it but how else do you learn? I am too busy having fun..
    what john said. my kodak 2d has seen many better days.....she needs a good cleaning too.....but i am too busy shooting and processing!

    eddie

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