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  1. #21
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Wood will work fine, as it has for the last 150 years.

  2. #22
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    I have gotten much good information from all of your posts. Im in the same position but I would like to upgrade from my Eastman 2D (great starter) to a new 8x10 field camera. I already have lens and film holders, and looking to spend no more then about 5k. Im open to any material. I will be doing some portrait work, but mostly work in the field during travel, so would prefer something sturdy. Size and weight is not much of an issue since I have a 5th wheel with a darkroom set up to carry it. My eye is drawn towards the Deardorff, and Ebony, but im open for suggestion. Please don't bash me, but I prefer that my camera is not made in some communist country such as China. I like the Chamonix, but its out. Something with the option for film, and glass plate would be great since I shoot a lot of calotype images. It’s great to have that glass holding the paper down. I would love any of your thoughts.
    Rick Lanning
    Retired Crime Scene Photog.

  3. #23

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    I bought a used Wehman for $1,500.00. It's both light weight and sturdy. I paid $600.00 for my 14" Kodak Commercial Ektar which puts the total at $2,100.00 to give you an idea on cost.

    For the price range you are looking at I would recommend a used Wehman, Kodak Master or a wooden Deardorff.

    Like someone said earlier, Karsh used a 14" Commercial Ektar for his portraits but if you look at his work he always included some of the subject's environment. A 14" is really a normal focal length on 8x10.

    Long lenses in shutter for 8x10 get quite expensive.

  4. #24

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    I use a Ries J100 with double tilt head with my Wehman. I bought it used for a fair price on Ebay. I can't remember what I paid now. Buy used and save yourself some cash for film.

    Ries, Berlebach and Gitzo all make fine tripods for 8x10 cameras. Feisol and Majestic also have great reputations but I have no experience with them.

  5. #25
    Mike Bates's Avatar
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    Shooting portraits with an 8x10 is a mixed bag. I use a 14" Commercial Ektar lens (360mm) and it's great for families, groups or full length portraits. It's just OK for 3/4 length portraits and not so great for head and shoulder shots.

    The problems are the lens speed and the amount of bellows draw required for close focusing. At f6.3, the Ektar begins dark enough on a big groundglass, but move it 18-20 inches from the groundglass and it gets quite dark when indoors. A head shot would require more than 25" of bellows draw and placement less than 3 feet from the subject's head. With such a big camera, that's a pretty intimidating setup for anyone but an experienced model. You also face a vanishingly small depth of field at apertures wider than about f22 or so. Think huge camera in your face, bellows racked out, strobes blasting f22 light, and you get the picture.

    So, you can go to a longer lens with even greater depth of field limitations along with a darker image on the groundglass, but then it begins to really bust your budget.

  6. #26

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    Rick,

    I am a great believer in the right tool forr the right job, but I also do appreciate versatility.

    If you are looking for more capability in your field camera, would it make sense to minimize the constraint imposed by the portrait requirement? Not certain what the 8x10 Ritter goes for , but having seen one, it seems like a nice camera. The one I saw was set up to take standard Sinar / Horseman boards.

    If you are doing portraits in a studio, then a dedicated portrait camera with really big lensboards (versus your Kodak 6x6, or the smaller Sinar ones), able to take a massive Packard shutter and big lenses, and with lots of bellows draw might be a good and economical solution. They do tend to go cheap.

    If however, your portrait requirements are more location based, then please ignore the above suggestion...

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