View Full Version : Wide Angle 8x10, options?

28-Dec-2008, 11:57
I am considering a Wide Angle 8x10, for 110mm - 300mm fl. The Ebony is the obvious camera built from the ground up, with WA as its claim to fame. Any experience with this camera? Any good contenders?


Tom Perkins
28-Dec-2008, 12:18
You could not go wrong with one of these from Mike Walker:

28-Dec-2008, 12:31
Tom, thanks for the lead.... I did not realize Walker graduated up to 810, sweet!! last I looked 5x7 was the biggest...

Walter Calahan
28-Dec-2008, 12:31
An extremely fine camera for what it does.

neil poulsen
28-Dec-2008, 13:01
With a maximum bellows length of 300mm, it doesn't make sense to me.

Why not get an 8x10 that can use a bag bellows? Here are two examples.


This is especially the case, considering what the Ebony must cost.

Or, get the Ebony 8x10 with a bag bellows.


I suppose a wide-angle 8x10 might make sense, if one never wanted to shoot anything but short lenses with it. But, it would be awfully limiting.

Ole Tjugen
28-Dec-2008, 13:28
The 10x8" Gandolfi Traditional can use a 90mm with the standard bellows, and still allow full front rise/shift and tilts. It can also use a 600mm with all the same movements. When closed, it is not significantly larger than a dedicated WA 8x10" camera.

28-Dec-2008, 13:32
The Shen Hao FCL-810 with the stock bellows can handle 90mm. With the bag bellows it goes even wider. OTOH who makes a lens that wide that covers 8x10? Or even a 110 with movements?

It even takes a Sinar type recessed board. Nice and big.

Eric Leppanen
28-Dec-2008, 13:59
I have no experience with the Ebony SLW810, but have owned an SV810U and several Ebony 4x5 cameras (including a 45SU and RSW45, which I have used for architecture). If you are absolutely certain that you require a wide-to-normal camera only, then I'm sure the Ebony will be a fine choice. Its non-folding design is very convenient, it is relatively light (7 lbs according to spec, although my experience has been that Ebony cameras are heavier than their specs suggest) and the bellows should allow full movements with all your WA lenses.

There are other alternatives that are more flexible and likely to have better resale value than this niche Ebony model. After owning Ebonies for a number of years I switched over to a monorail architecture, and purchased a new 141mm Arca F-Line Classic with Orbix. When used in its 8x10 configuration, the Arca can support focal lengths ranging from 150mm to a 600mm telephoto with full movements without resorting to a bag bellows. Setup time is comparable to an Ebony non-folder. The Arca is a bit heavier (about 9 pounds in its base configuration), takes up a bit more space in my camera pack, and costs a bit more, but it is a fully featured, general purpose camera system.

However, if a wide-to-normal camera is definitely all you need/want, then the Ebony is certainly a fine camera. You might also want to consider a similar Ebony model, the SW810, which has a smidge less extension, weighs a bit more, but adds rear movements. Midwest Photo Exchange appears to have a used one in stock right now, for about $900 less than a new SLW810.

28-Dec-2008, 14:12
Nick, no lenses I am aware of in the 90-150mm range that can afford movements on 810, at least not the useful part of the image circle. But after 150mm, movements are useful to me...mainly rise.

Can't find good info on the Gandolfi, other than Bromwell marketing page... where they all appear to be clamshell designs. Not ideal for WA. I currently own a Toyo 810MII and IMO, its not WA friendly, even though it will use lenses from 90 - 1200mm, but with 3 different bellows. The annoying issue is, the bed is always in the view, so you must angle the bed way down, then pull up on front rise till you can center the lens. At this point, you have surrendered any potential for front rise, as it was wasted to get the lens centered over the film. The wider the lens, the more difficult this becomes and often you must alter your shot a bit. For WA, I prefer non clamshell design, like the Ebony and Walker.

Neil, the 360mm (not 300mm) bellows extension limitation on the ebony is the price one pays for "ease of use" for WA.....but the Walker Titan XL 810 at 400mm max. lens fl use, is a nice addition.... and it has slightly smaller closed 3d footprint. The Ebony you provided the link for, sure is sweet, but for heavy WA use, its not ideal due to the long bed.... but one has to respect the 90 - 1200mm range of fl's it can take, quite an accomplishment in a gorgeous package.

Anyone have experience with the Walker Titan XL 810? Or even the 5x7? The specs look appealing, specially the 90mm rise, or 100mm rise on the architectural version. A nice match for the 210mm Grandagon or 210mm SSXL, and the massive image circles avail on the 300 - 360mm lenses offerings. In addition, adding 5x7 reducing back enables use of my Canham 6x17 back.

Eric, thanks for the tip on the Ebony at Mid West.... I overlooked the fact, this Ebony models offers rear rise.... I nice feature, as front rise changes the perspective vs. rear fall.... I always prefer rear fall... arggggg...

Ole Tjugen
28-Dec-2008, 14:21
Can't find good info on the Gandolfi, other than Bromwell marketing page... where they all appear to be clamshell designs. ...

Try Gandolfi Cameras. (http://www.gandolficameras.com/)

The bed doesn't get in the picture, since you move the back forwards to focus wide angle lenses. Fromt movements with very wide lenses are form shifting the lens panel, so the bellows places no limitations on that - the bellows stays in place, the lens moves.

28-Dec-2008, 14:28
Ole, thanks for the Gandolfi link, Google failed to find it...

> The bed doesn't get in the picture, since you move the back forwards to focus wide angle lenses.

Is this a general statement, or are you referring to a specific camera? Most folding camera designs I am familiar with, the rear can not move forward on the bed.... but this is a very appealing concept...?

Ole Tjugen
28-Dec-2008, 14:31
I'm referring to the Gandolfi Traditional only - and most older European folding cameras too!

Armin Seeholzer
28-Dec-2008, 14:50
Even my old Burke & James can this!!!!

Cheers Armin

Michael Jones
28-Dec-2008, 15:05
Tachihara made a WA 8x10. It was nearly identical to the Ebony you show, but the bellows only went to 240mm or so. It also had an extension back (IIRC, about 3") so you could go to 300 mm and all the pieces fit into fiberbilt type of case. The only one I saw (and should have purchased) was at MidWest Photo. Good luck.


David Karp
28-Dec-2008, 15:28
I have not tried any of the Walker XL models. I have a Titan SF. The fit and finish is outstanding.

Mike Walker is a great guy. If you have any questions, drop him an Email. He is very helpful. You can get the Email address at www.walkercameras.com.

28-Dec-2008, 16:33
The camera in bglick's picture looks just the right thing for heavy w/a lenses. Rigid back, non folding, straight out of the bag with the lens on.
I use the Ebony non-folding 4x5 and it's my favorite. If I didn't have an 8x10 Gandolfi I would go straight for that camera.

John Kasaian
28-Dec-2008, 16:36
Deardorff! :)

John Brady
28-Dec-2008, 17:02
I have the Ebony slw 810 and thoroughly love it. I use it for extreme wide angle. It will easily focus my 90 xl. I wanted a simple to use non folding, light weight camera and for me this is it. I just purchased an extension back in case I find myself needing the use of a telephoto but for me that is a rare occasion.

I am sure there are a lot of fine cameras for your task as mentioned above but I believe the slw should be on anybody's short list for the purpose you described.


28-Dec-2008, 22:21
Is there a lens board adapter that goes from Sinar 139 x 139mm to Toyo Field lens boards?

Eric Leppanen
28-Dec-2008, 23:48
Is there a lens board adapter that goes from Sinar 139 x 139mm to Toyo Field lens boards?