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Thread: Metal Field 8x10 Cameras?

  1. #1
    Beverly Hills, California
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    Metal Field 8x10 Cameras?

    I may save up and in a few year's time make a quixotic investment into 8x10 so I can look real sophisticated pondering a shot on a huge 8x10 with an equally hug e darkcloth draped around my shoulder (and because I think a 150mm lens and 8x10 film would produce some real authoritative photos as well).

    Anyway, I got all excited about the Canham 8x10 because I know they make an awes ome 4x5. But then browsing the archives on this site, I learned it's basically a wooden camera with some stylish aluminum parts. Unfortunately, this does not s uit my generation-X sensibilty at the cost of a few grand.

    So my question is this: What are the current production metal body field 8x10's out there? I am already aware of the 8x10 Toyo M.

    Thanks for the input. Andre
    Beverly Hills, CA (albeit a 99%er)

  2. #2

    Metal Field 8x10 Cameras?

    the toyo, the arca f and the hoffman are it

  3. #3

    Metal Field 8x10 Cameras?

    I came to the same consensus and opted for a metal 8x10 Kodak Master.

    Having said that and since the Kodak went out of production in the 60's, I would take a look at the Hoffman metal 8x10 and the Wehman camera that looks like a hybrid, but I think is listed in this web site.

  4. #4

    Metal Field 8x10 Cameras?

    In ultralight 8x10 monorails, there's also the Toho and Gowland. These are both much lighter than any of the others already mentioned here. I use the 4x5 Toho and love it for hiking and backpacking, but have no experience with the 8x10 To ho.

    According to the data sheet I have, the 8x10 Toho comes with a two piece rail. One piece is 340mm in length, the other is 460mm. If you only use wide to norma l lenses, you can just use a single rail. For longer lenses, it comes with a fi tting to connect the two pieces together for a maximum extension of 750mm. The weight with the 340mm rail is 3kg, with the 460mm rail, it's 3.1kg, with both ra ils and the connecting fitting, it's 3.4kg. The only lighter 8x10 I know of is the Phillips Explorer (a wooden horizontal only model). Toho has recently updat ed their web site to include descriptions of some of their cameras in English (i n addition to the Japanese language descriptions), as well as pictures and specs . The direct link for the 8x10 Toho is:

    http://www.toho-machine.co.jp/FC-810.htm

    Also, I bought my 4x5 Toho from Badger Graphic and I see they have the 8x10 Toho on sale for $2095.

    The Tohos are unique cameras - very light and compact for field use, but with fu ll monorail movements on both front and rear standards. They are not for everyb ody, but if you're looking for a metal camera that's light enough to use in the field, they're worth a look.

    Kerry

  5. #5
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    Metal Field 8x10 Cameras?

    If you don't mind purchasing used, and if funds are an issue, consider the Calumet C series. (C1 or C3. Did they make a C2? Not sure.) Anyway, I got one of these that's in great shape for $575. At 19 lbs, it weighs a lot. But, it's very well built. And, the weight is on a par with the Toyo M 8x10. I understand that the green models are a special alloy that weigh less. You can also find 5x7 and 4x5 reduction backs on EBay and in Shutterbug ads. Deardorff lens boards work on this camera. I got a Deardorff 6x6 to 4x4 reduction lens board so that the combination of lenses and boards don't take up so much room.

  6. #6
    Beverly Hills, California
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    Metal Field 8x10 Cameras?

    Michael, Neil, and Adam, thanks for your input. The Arca Swiss has potential. Kerry, I checked out the 8x10 Toho on the site you recommended. It's cute, and seemingly clever, light, not too unreasonably expensive. But I wonder if based on your honest experience with the 4x5 version, could you venture a guess as to the 8x10 Toho's mechanical stability? Andre
    Beverly Hills, CA (albeit a 99%er)

  7. #7

    Metal Field 8x10 Cameras?

    Andre,

    The 4x5 Toho I am using, the FC-45X uses a totally different design for the rail s and standards, so my experience may not directly translate to the 8x10 Toho. Please keep that in mind.

    Regarding my 4x5 Toho FC-45X, it is amazingly rigid for such a light camera. Mo re rigid than any wooden field cameras I've ever used - many that weigh more tha n twice as much as the Toho. It is more rigid than the heavier, all metal Canha m DLC, and in the same ballpark as my Linhof Techikardan TK45S that weighs nearl y 3x as much. There are probably cameras around that are more rigid, but I doub t many of them would be light enough to carry to the places I routinely take my Toho (well, maybe the Arca Swiss F Line, but again, it's going to be about 3x th e weight of the Toho). It is not the perfect camera for all users and all uses, but for what I use it for, I find the rigidity of the 4x5 Toho FC-45X more than adquate for my needs.

    Again, this may or may not be true of the 8x10 model due to the differences in t he design of the rail and standards. Just looking at the pictures in my Toho br ochure, until I have one in my hands to see for myself, I would be a little conc erned about the rigidity when using the two rails combined for maximum extension . The two rails are joined by a special fitting, and the rigidity of this joint is totally dependent on the design and construction of this fitting. It may be perfectly rigid, or it may not be. I really don't know. Other than that, I su spect the rigidity when using one of the two solid rail sections would be quite good. At least based on the pictures in the brochure, the rest of the design lo oks sound. I'm not saying the joint fitting is not rigid, just saying that for me it's an unknown and would be the first thing I would check if I was consideri ng buying one of these cameras and planned on using it with lenses long enough t o require using both rails together.

    Since Badger Graphic has the Toho on sale, I'm guessing they have one in stock. If you are seriously considering buying this camera, you might want to give Jef f at Badger a call and ask him to assemble the camera and check the rigidity wit h the two rails combined. Of course, "rigidity" is a subjective term in this co ntext, but Jeff has a lot of experience with other cameras and is pretty straigh t forward and honest about the products he sells.

    I have a strong affinity for lightweight large format gear (an apparent oxymoron to many), so if I was in the market for an 8x10, the two I'd be looking at are the Toho and the various Phillips models. These are way lighter than the other metal models mentioned here. There's no way I'd be willing to lug a 19 lb. came ra, the tripod and head necessary to adaquately support it, big heavy lenses, 8x 10 film holders, a pack big enough to carry it all, etc. For me personally, I f ind my Linhof TK45S with a Gitzo carbon fiber tripod and a box or two of Quick/R eadyloads about as heavy as I ever want to carry.

    Of course, others have different needs and goals, so YMMV.

    If you haven't seen it, I have a very extensive review of teh Toho FC-45X online at:

    http://www.thalmann.com/largeformat/toho.htm

    Again, it's specific to my 4x5 model, and the 8x10 is a different design, but it may give you some insight into what it's like to use one of these unique camera s.

    Kerry

  8. #8

    Metal Field 8x10 Cameras?

    I second the calumet option. I have a green one. It weighs approx. 14 or 15 lbs and is basically bullet proof. I can stuff it in the top of cheap I frame pack with film holders and etc and hike a good ways with it. Mine cost $400 from Midwest Camera Exchange.

    ech

  9. #9

    Join Date
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    Metal Field 8x10 Cameras?

    Andre, do yourself a favor and at least consider the Phillips Compact II. It's not all metal, but the unique design and sandwich construction result in a camera that's incredibly rigid and weighs only 7.8 lb. It'll handle any 150mm lens you put on it, and you'll have enough energy left to make pictures after carrying it to your shooting location. I'm completely satisfied with mine.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Mar 1999
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    Metal Field 8x10 Cameras?

    I would urge you to also look at the Wehman closely - it is a very interesting design and works great in the field. DJ

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