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Thread: VDS 8X10 camera first impressions

  1. #1

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    VDS 8X10 camera first impressions

    Just got the very first VDS 8X10 camera from Hungary. This is a precision made, finely hand crafted camera, with sharp looks and interesting features. The key point evident everywhere around this camera is the though put in to reduce weight. It is LIGHT - weighing at 3.35KG, this not even the "ultralight" model (which is made of all American Walnut and aluminum vs Stainless Steel hardware here).
    This is truely a mix of old and new worlds, with fince wood working and thoughful design, along with very neat and efficient hardware and fixtures of modern composite materials.

    The wood finish is a smooth matt oiled finish with no coating which makes the camera feel almost alive. Despite its feather weight, the camera feels solid, and rigid when closed, and especially when fully set up. Bellows is made of high tech fabric (dust/water/tear proof) and lined with fine leather. The bellows is interchangble, though we have not yet seen a bag bellows option for this camera - we cannot imagine there is something VDS cannot do, so do not rule that out as a future option. The hand strap is hand stiched and lazer engraved, and looks and works great.

    All hardware is polished stainless steel, with some aluminum lock nuts (though most are SS). All nuts sit on nylon washers which are coupled with SS washers to provide a very tight lock with out the need for a lot of force. The locking nut's cut is very coarse and offers excellent grip.

    The basic design offers an almost full range of movements:
    Front - Rise/Fall, Shift, Swing, Tilt (on and off axis), all in generous amounts.
    Rear - Tilt, swing. Swong and negative tilt are fairly limited, but that is most likely due to an attempt to keep the rear as rigid as can be with this type of setup. The camera takes standard Sinar/Horseman boards, or you can order custom VDS wooden boards to fit the camera.
    Folding/Unfolding the camera works much like most reverese closing field cameras (deardorff/tachihara) and latches closed with a small swinging clasp. The focus rack is similar to that found on Nagaoka/Ikeda cameras, with two axles racking the same frame. Both Must be unlocked to rack the focus. The camera offers 22+ inches of max draw and under 3 inches minimum (with bed frame racked all the way in).
    Ground glass is a basic glass unit, that could optionally be upgraded to a Polycryilic lazer etched unit. The basic GG offers good brightness and no markings.

    Pairing this with ultra light wooden 8X10 film holders seems only natural, and the wood on wood feel is smooth and nice.




    More photos and details here:
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...5824714&type=3

  2. #2
    I live in Connecticut now.
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    Re: VDS 8X10 camera first impressions

    How does the stiffness compare to a Chamonix or Gibilini or Canham? Interesting design. Have you tried the front standard with a heavy lens?

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    Re: VDS 8X10 camera first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by StoneNYC View Post
    How does the stiffness compare to a Chamonix or Gibilini or Canham? Interesting design. Have you tried the front standard with a heavy lens?
    It is as rigid and stable as both. The weak part of the Gibellini is the front standard assembly, which might have been redesigned in the new version, and yet fares very nicely with even super heavy lenses. This camera fares well with a 300mm F5.6 at infinity, and fares better then a Deardorff V8 at full extension (no bed/frame bow). I will need to compare side by side with a Chamonix to answer that with regards to full extension. If i ever get another Chamonix 8X10, ill try to do a coca cola test.

    But really it compares by costing less then 1/2 of a Gibellini and 1/2 (or less) of a Chamonix.

    When do you use full extension with super heavy lenses out of the studio? I guess thats a theoretical question.

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    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: VDS 8X10 camera first impressions

    Interesting, I'd never heard of the VDS prior to this, and interesting what you say about the Gibellini's front standard.
    I have a new "N" series 8x10 on order, I expect it here before Xmas, and I've been told quite the opposite by a few owners, as well as the owner of the company; they swore up and down that the Gibellini was as steady as a monorail. That's what convinced me to buy one. The new version (N) is expected to be even stronger and lighter.
    In any case, I'd be happy to post a detailed review once I get it; congratulations on your new purchase.

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    Re: VDS 8X10 camera first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Ari View Post
    Interesting, I'd never heard of the VDS prior to this, and interesting what you say about the Gibellini's front standard.
    I have a new "N" series 8x10 on order, I expect it here before Xmas, and I've been told quite the opposite by a few owners, as well as the owner of the company; they swore up and down that the Gibellini was as steady as a monorail. That's what convinced me to buy one. The new version (N) is expected to be even stronger and lighter.
    In any case, I'd be happy to post a detailed review once I get it; congratulations on your new purchase.
    There is nothing wrong with the Gibellini, as i noted, it is very stable. That said, the front standard rails (vertical posts) are not inter connected with an axle, allowing for lateral sway when loosened. I just looked at the new design proposal/rendering on the site for the N model. While the above has not changed, it looks like the struts are now fully matched and not set on washers (as with the original), and i believe that will eliminate most of this problem and sure up the front quite a bit.
    Still - its a premium thing, at a premium price, and you really pay for what you get. One cannot expect a modestly priced product to compete with one of the most expensive ones, its not meant to. Does it make it less capable? I dont think so.

  6. #6
    Jim Graves Jim Graves's Avatar
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    Re: VDS 8X10 camera first impressions

    Do you have a link to their website ... when I try searching VDS camera hungary ... I come up empty. Thanks

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    Re: VDS 8X10 camera first impressions

    From reading your facebook page I gather this is basically an advertisement for something you will be selling at Catlabs.

  8. #8
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    Re: VDS 8X10 camera first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by koh303 View Post
    It is as rigid and stable as both. The weak part of the Gibellini is the front standard assembly, which might have been redesigned in the new version, and yet fares very nicely with even super heavy lenses. This camera fares well with a 300mm F5.6 at infinity, and fares better then a Deardorff V8 at full extension (no bed/frame bow). I will need to compare side by side with a Chamonix to answer that with regards to full extension. If i ever get another Chamonix 8X10, ill try to do a coca cola test.

    But really it compares by costing less then 1/2 of a Gibellini and 1/2 (or less) of a Chamonix.

    When do you use full extension with super heavy lenses out of the studio? I guess thats a theoretical question.
    Thanks for that, interesting. Well the longest/heaviest lens I own is the 24" RD Artar in barrel with a Sinar Copal shutter, although I mostly use the 600 C which isn't that heavy, but I do regularly use it with movements on my Chamonix so proper balance and vibration are a concern for me, I'm always open to considering a better design if it gives less camera shake/vibration, etc. It's interesting because by looking at the camera the first thought I had in my mind was that the front standard looked very thin and possibly prone to vibration issues, so it's good to hear that actually the front standard is very strong and sturdy, like anything looks can be deceiving. I never used a Gibilini before so I can't say for sure about that, those new aluminum deigns are impressive, but does take away that "nostalgic" feel that the wooden designs give you. Although ultimately it's the image that counts.

    Quote Originally Posted by lecarp View Post
    From reading your facebook page I gather this is basically an advertisement for something you will be selling at Catlabs.
    Yea of course, I suppose this thread could be moved to the "announcements" area but either way it's useful to see a new design, the svedorsky (or however you spell it) was also recently posted so it's neat to compare these two lower priced models.

    It's nice to see affordable models in 8x10 coming out.

    I'm curious if intrepid will come out with an 8x10 design, that could be great for schools who want a low cost option. But this VDS design seems nice and a good price point.

  9. #9
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    Re: VDS 8X10 camera first impressions

    So are there now 2 "companies" manufacturing LF cameras in Hungary or is this VDS the same as Argentum ?

    Best,

    Cor

  10. #10
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: VDS 8X10 camera first impressions

    Did I miss a link to a mfg page?

    I only saw the pics showing it folded and at ~12" extension. Is there an extension rail?

    And the big question: How much?
    Drew Bedo
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    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

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