My tripod is something I don't mind carrying by hand.
Greg, isn't CF stronger than Aluminium? Mine is actually an 055, just a CF version.
That said, if I were to get another tripod, it would almost definitely be a wooden one.
I have had an 8x10 B&J Grover (with 8x10, 5x7 and 4x5 backs... I call it "the beast with thee backs") for just about a month now. The case (a huge Calumet soft-shell) is large enough to be considered furniture in our house. I can't imagine lugging it anywhere, but it goes fine in the trunk of my car. Check the front standard, mine is a little buggy, but other than that, I am having a blast with 8x10.
Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada
Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points
system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...
So I just heard back from them about the B&J's. Apparently, they are both folding field camera types, not monorail. This means that it should fit into a good sized backpack. I'll check them out in person tomorrow and see what happens.
I feel like the Crown makes more sense from a logical standpoint, but logic can be boring sometimes
It's not that CF tripods aren't strong, but they are too light for a heavy camera since it raises all the weight to the top and creates an unbalanced combination. I find the camera wobbles too much using one, but heavier tripods keep them still, particularly in strong wind.
I happen to own, and photograph with, a wooden B&J 11"x14" camera. It is a monster of a camera, but I have no problems with it at all, as long as the photograph which I intend to shoot is nearby (if I have to hike out any distance, I opt for my Toyo 4"x5" CF, which is much smaller and lighter than the B&J). However, if the rising cost of 8"x10" film is an issue, I would suggest photographing with the Graphic 4"x5" and then enlarging the negative in the darkroom. If alternative printing processes appeal to you, you should check our Bob Herbst's web site wherein he describes an excellent method of negative enlargement utilizing APHS film (available from Freestyle Photo sales in Los Angeles, which is much cheaper than standard film) and pryo developement for Alt processes. I have been using this process for years now and I find it to be far better than resorting to the infernal gizmo-ator (aka the computer) for enlarging negatives. I will state, however, that nothing quite matches the joy that I get from working with the big camera.
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If you are planning on purchasing a wood tripod for the 8X10, look into the Zone VI surveyor's type tripod. They are heavy and very sturdy. Most Zone VI tripods sell for a lot of $$$, but you can find surveyor wood tripods for much less. You would just need to get the camera adaptor, if it doesn't already have it. If you really want to spend some money, find a professional video/movie tripod. They are very sturdy, and you will get a good workout just lugging it around. Some field photographers prefer the wood tripods over aluminum or CF, as the claim is that the wood cancels out high frequency vibrations and is thus a better tripod for those long exposure, pin-sharp photos. This could be a myth or an old photogs tale.
Well wood tripods also look really nice with a wood camera
Hey, You've got to have something nice to look at while you're waiting for a 10+ minute exposure.
I use a B&J monorail 8x10 camera. I've had two of them over the years; the first one had a shorter rail and weighed only about 8 1/2 lbs; this one has a longer rail, looks like it's brand new, and weighs 12 lbs, or about what an average wooden 8x10 camera weighs. Both of mine were gray; I've never seen or heard of a black one. Make sure the camera you have been offered isn't a Calumet C1; they're good cameras but heavy, heavy!!! It has plenty of movements for most people, I would think, and isn't difficult to carry in the field. I screw it to the tripod and carry it over a shoulder with lenses, filmholders, etc. in a bag over the other arm. It isn't my favorite 8x10 camera, to be sure (Wehman!!!) , but it's definitely the least expensive I could find and that's important to a po' boy like me.
I use two lenses: a Red Dot Artar of 16 1/2" focal length in an Ilex #4 shutter, and a Fujinon 210mm (the older one with 352mm coverage.) For several years, until I got the older Fuji lens this spring, I used a newer 210mm Fuji lens which just barely covered the format. I like the perspective of this focal length on 8x10!
It makes a very nice first 8x10 camera if you can get it for the right price. I paid $150 for my first one and a few years ago bought this one on Ebay with a bunch of other stuff; after selling what I didn't want I think the camera came out about free. Just the luck of the draw but I think that $300 is a fair price for one of these in good shape. Make sure it has the tripod block/clamp! That's the widget which clamps to the monorail and has a tripod screw socket in the other end, so you can attach it to the tripod!
I'll be selling mine, if I ever manage to save enough to buy another Wehman 8x10 camera. Should never have sold the first one: stupid, stupid, stupid!!!
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming– “Wow! What a Ride!”
— Hunter S. Thompson
I have a wooden B&J field camera 8x10. It does fold up, but not as compactly as a deardorf or other clamshell style field cameras. The short bed stays on the bottom of the front and rear standards when stowed and is probably 6-8". While very functional, it probably wasn't made for backpack use.
see http://www.camerapedia.org/wiki/Burke_%26_James You can see the hinges between the two bed pieces.
The built-in extension bed folds up over the back to protect the groundglass from impact. There is yet another 12"ish extension bed for use with real long lenses but that is often missing. If it is missing, you might be able to get the sale discounted slightly, and that's OK as long as you are not using mega-mm lenses.
The lensboard is about 6" square which is plenty for most shuttered lenses. If you go for monster barrel lenses, you may need a packard shutter that is bigger than 6". In such a case, there is the B&J rembrandt 8x10 which has a fixed front standard and a bigger lensboard.