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Thread: Am I boring? (deciding 8x10 or larger)

  1. #1
    not an junior member Janko Belaj's Avatar
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    Am I boring? (deciding 8x10 or larger)



    After I have found that I won't be able to buy Deardorff, and after some search over the used equipment market, I have decided to ask again. Once again to start the thread about what to buy and later to use.
    I was wondering what might be the appropriate topic (headline:-)) of this thread|; "Is Kodak 2- the right one for me?", or "Is 8-by-10 large enough?", or "to wait for some lottery jack-pot and to order 12x20?"... Yes, there are so many questions I would like to ask, or better to say - I would like to be answered. And no, I'm not looking for your recommendations, just wondering what are your opinions. I believe that most of us here have asked themself such questions, I did at least every time I switched (jumped) to a different format - from cheap Prakticas to Nikons, from 35mm to medium format. From cheap Mamiya Universal set to Bronica set, latter to Hass. You probably might remember or can recall my bunch of questions when I decided to enter LF.
    And now, I'm aware that I'm the only one to answer on most of questions about my future (larger) format, but I just have to ask for "the second opinion".



    What I would really like to have is 12x20. In inches, 30x50 in centimeters. I do like that wider, more panoramic format (but not true panoramic), but at this very moment I'm aware that it will be tooooo costly. Either buying used or building one by my two clumsy hands. And will be "too late". I want it now! But I don't need it now.
    One friend of one friend of mine who have neighbor who knows the man who have some old Deardorff... yea, something like that, give me a call and asked if I would like to buy that camera with 2 holders for 900 German Marks (yes, there are still some people counting their old valuables in DMs). That isn't expensive. But in time I have contacted the owner the price rise to 900 USD. And today I have heard from him that if I would like to have Deardorff with holders the price is 900 Euros...
    O.K... I'm not that surprised with the final price, I'm just irritated because he have wake my hunger for larger than 4x5 (I'm not counting that hardly useful full-plate Shen-Hao). Because I had serious fight with myself, my wife, our car, our older household equipment... and finally I have found the way to "steal" some 500 USD. And now, when I "have" that money, the price is doubled but I still have that picture of myself making 8x10 contact prints... (pt/pd? :-))



    Lurking on the internet market, I have found that Kodak 2-D camera with Goerz 300mm f4.5 Dogmar lens (ebay item # 7530003037)... I placed a bid but haven't reach the reserve price and have no idea what is the real value of such camera.
    And, question more, will my spoiled way of working be satisfied with limited movements of that camera? On the other hand - when in the field (in the land, taking landscapes) I rarely use more than some front raise/fall, and front or back tilt, the other movements are much more used in the studio and for now, I'm planing to use any 8x10 (or larger) camera only on my trips with efke 25.
    Working this days with efke on my Tachihara, I'm on exposure times between 1/8 of second up to 2 seconds. On my Shen-Hao is pneumatic shutter (is any such shutter "Packard" or "Packard type" shutter?) and I haven't find yet a way to get relatively sure exposure time faster than 2 seconds. So, I'm afraid that my type of work will require a shutter with at least speeds from 1/8 of second to 1 second.



    O.K. (allow me to end this waves of thoughts), I would like to shoot landscapes end eventually some "small" close-ups, I will do it in black & white with hope that I will one day print some platinum prints. I'm spoiled. I'm not rich. I do like Tachihara 8x10 but $ 1300 is way to much for me right now for the camera without lens and without holders. (oh... where is in this story part about lenses? maybe later...) I want 12x20... this will be left in the dream area for next 5 years, I'm afraid.



    Wonderful Mediterranean (east Adriatic coast) cheese, wine and olives... I have lost myself a little bit. Now I'm ready to write a book about what I would like to have but have no money for it yet, but I'm curious did anyone had enough patience to fight with my english to this point...



    sorry for bothering you so much,
    Janko.



    P.S. How about Agfa Ansco 8x10 (...although the camera can be utilized with present bellows, a replacement would be better...) for $ 200, or Burke & James 8x10 with Triple Convertible Velostigmat Series 1 lens (have no idea what kind of lens that is) for $350..?

  2. #2
    Doug Dolde
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    Am I boring? (deciding 8x10 or larger)

    What about the Deardorff V8 with 8x20" back that's on Ebay now? Item number: 7530690359

  3. #3

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    Am I boring? (deciding 8x10 or larger)

    I'm not sure what your question is -) I bought a late model Ansco [Post war after the US government took it over] With 3 8x10 holders an adapter board to take Linhof lensboards a darkcloth and a real Linhof lensboard the whole thing cost around $250. I don't think the deal I got was too unusual. Plenty of Agfa-Ansco and Anscos were selling for around that price when I got mine. Unless prices have soared I'd expect to pay less then $300 for a good condition camera.

    I wouldn't buy an 8x10 with bad bellows unless the price was REAL cheap. Replacement bellows will add a fair bit to the cost.

  4. #4
    not an junior member Janko Belaj's Avatar
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    Am I boring? (deciding 8x10 or larger)

    Well Nick, to be honest, there where "hidden" 3 questions and one "call" - experienced users opinions about those 3 mentioned cameras (Kodak, Ansco, B&J) and everyones thoughts about my dilemmas...
    Tnx for the link Doug, but this type of camera is right now out of question - it is too wide and what might the lens cost? I'm afraid too much.
    btw, when I'm considering to by something on ebay I have to ad 22% of taxes and some amount for shipment, so $350 camera can end as $600-$700 investment :-((

  5. #5

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    Am I boring? (deciding 8x10 or larger)

    Kind of hard to go wrong with the Ansco's. The only movement missing is front swing. Somebody over the last 50 years added it to the camera I bought. Plenty of bellows length. Not overly heavy. Not light either. Stable.

  6. #6

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    Am I boring? (deciding 8x10 or larger)

    The Agfa Ansco "Universal" is a very nice camera indeed. I've got a 5x7 version. FWIW, Ansel Adams had an 8x10 and in his writings preferred it to the 'dorff. The 2D is certainly a usable camera as well. As long as the bellows are good and the movements lock down nice and tight I think either camera will serve you well. While I've never had one, I think a 300mm Dogmar won't give you much coverage. There are plenty of other european lenses that offer great performance on an 8x10. Look for a 240 G Claron enlarger lens and use it in the barrel until an affordable copal or prontor shows up. A 14" APO Artar can really be a nice lens on a 8x10 too. You might also find an old convertible symmar within your budget as well. Some american lenses are too undervalued to ignore. The Wollensak triple convertibles might not be common in europe (I don't know) but they go for such ridiculously low prices it might be economically feasible for you to import one. The same goes for the 375 mm Ilex. Both are IMHO really nice pieces of glass. Good Luck!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.

  7. #7

    Am I boring? (deciding 8x10 or larger)

    There are plenty of 8x10 cameras that should satisfy your needs and be within your budget. Older Agfa/Ansco and Korona cameras should be availble with serviceable bellows for around half of your US$500. Another possibility is a Calumet C1, especially if you can find a magnesium model (to save a few pounds/kilograms).

    I have both a Korona Pictorial View and a Calumet C1; the first I got for very little because it needed new bellows and the second I got for very little because the eBay seller was a lousy photographer. With patience you should be able to put together a system that includes a usable 8x10 camera, a few film holders, and a serviceable lens (though probably without a shutter) within your budget. (I was very fortunate in that I found a set of "new old stock" bellows that I could adapt to my Korona for a very reasonable price, but unless you already know where you can find a good set of bellows cheap then I'd recommend avoiding cameras that require bellows repair. New bellows are usually very expensive.)

    The key is patience. If you need it now, you'll pay for that need. If, on the other hand, you can wait for the right camera to come along, you'll be able to get what you want at the right price. I put together the C1, four film holders, and two process lenses for under US$400 while I was restoring the Korona.

    As to larger cameras: You'd be hard pressed to find a couple of film holders and a box of film for a 12x20 camera with the money you have. ULF is expensive. Even if you can find a camera cheap, film holders, lenses, and film will all set you back significant amounts of money. I've been considering building myself either an 8x20 or a 7x17 camera, but the cost of film holders, lenses, and film is holding me back at this time. If I do decide to go this route, I'll probably end up making the bellows myself as having someone else make the bellows would cost too much for me to justify. (Since I enjoy building things, I'd probably enjoy the learning experience.) I've also collected a number of wooden 8x10 film holders that require repair; I'm looking into combining two of these into one 8x20 holder...it might be a fun experience.

    I was sorry to read of your negative experience with the Deardorff camera. It sounds like the seller found out what he had, and the price went up accordingly. Sometimes that happens...it sucks, but it does happen.

    Be well.

  8. #8
    Format Omnivore Brian C. Miller's Avatar
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    Am I boring? (deciding 8x10 or larger)

    How are you with building something from a kit?

    The Bender Photographic offers a kit for an 8x10 wooden monorail camera. Can you afford $430 for a new 8x10?
    "It's the way to educate your eyes. Stare. Pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long." - Walker Evans

  9. #9
    Doug Dolde
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    Am I boring? (deciding 8x10 or larger)

    The lens would likely be less than for a 12x20 !!

  10. #10

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    Am I boring? (deciding 8x10 or larger)

    Doug's right about the lens costing more, and a 12x20 filmholder will probably cost more than the 2D body, maybe with several holders. Film, about three times as much. Try just finding film or film holders for 12x20. Not impossible, but not as easy as 8x10 (which ain't that easy either anymore...)

    The 2D is a nice camera, and there are many around at good prices. Be sure you get one with the rear rail and sliding tripod block. (And a good bellows.)
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

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