FS: Century Universal 8x10 camera
Century Universal 8x10 camera
$1450 or best reasonable offer
Before anything else, this is a working camera, not a museum piece. It has dents and scrapes consistent with its age and long use, but it's functioning well and is ready to be used to make photographs.
I bought this with the intention to dismantle it and refurbish it, then put it in the back room. Recently I took it out and had a good look at it and realized that there really isn't anything wrong with it that a little cleanup and varnish wouldn't cure.
I decided against dismantling it because the base, where it had been in contact with a tripod, has some pretty deep gouges and I didn't want to sand away that much wood. I decided to put a few coats of tung oil varnish on it to protect the wood and the remaining finish, and got the result I wanted.
I checked the bellows and found no light leaks. Additionally, it's still supple and shows no sign of dryness. The front at the top shows some delamination at the front three strips, but this isn't serious. It's a leather pattern-embossed vinyl and overall could last for years with proper cautious care.
I cleaned the remainder of the camera with mineral spirits and then gave it all a coat of diluted tung oil which brought back the deep color to the cherry wood, and offers protection from the elements. One coat is all it took.
One good reason to keep the bellows that it has is that it extends to almost 29 inches and compresses to about two inches.
The camera has full movements front and rear: Front rise and fall, swing and shift; rear swing and tilt. It even has some rear rise if you need it. All controls work as they should and lock down tight.
It's not as rigid as various other cameras, but it won't wobble if you don't bump it; it's weight causes it to "settle in" really well. If you're going to shoot in a high wind you're going to get wobble no matter what camera you use. The cure for this is either a golf umbrella, or shooting from inside a vehicle.
The leather handle is deteriorating but still works to support the camera's weight. Split rivets hold the handle holders on; I didn't want to mess with these.
The knob that tightens the front extension was missing. I replaced this with a brand new one. It has a bright chrome-like finish so it doesn't match, but it's small.
The little hook that holds the camera closed is also missing. I haven't found a replacement. One could be improvised. Tightening the side knobs helps keep it closed.
This camera is fairly light at 9 lbs 10.5 oz. (according to my digital scale), much lighter than other 8x10s I've used, and is easier to carry too.
Dimensions are about 12" x 12" x 4-3/4. So the package size and weight would be 16 x 16 x 9 and about 11lbs 3oz, from Zip Code 90027.
Please Note: I wait for Paypal to clear to my bank account before shipping; this takes about 3-4 days.
A full set of 16 pictures can be seen at:
But here are some pictures to get things rolling: