View Full Version : 8x10 camera

3-Nov-2013, 02:42
I can to a decision that I wanna get an 8x10. I'm have been a happy user of a field toyo and after sometime got myself Chamonix 4x5 and very happy with this camera - just effect for me .
But now I don't know what 8x10 camera I should get , I would like to ask for some help from you

Thank you

3-Nov-2013, 03:04
I shoot with a Toyo field camera and also with an 8x10 field camera. I have a Tachihara which is brilliant. It's light enough to carry around with me and not think about it too much.

3-Nov-2013, 03:08
i'm loving the 8x10 format. i was shooting 4x5 and 5x7 before but since i want to make bigger contact prints i decided to get a 8x10. i just tested my KMV once but hopefully when i get back in iran i could use it more often than my 4x5. if you have funds i think you should get the newer camera.. but if you like the old designs. KMV or Deardorff would be a good choice. goodluck!

Regular Rod
3-Nov-2013, 04:27
I can to a decision that I wanna get an 8x10. I'm have been a happy user of a field toyo and after sometime got myself Chamonix 4x5 and very happy with this camera - just effect for me .
But now I don't know what 8x10 camera I should get , I would like to ask for some help from you

Thank you

Well we can really only give opinions on what we have experience of, so here goes.


This is a very easy camera to set up and use, is not ludicrously heavy and without extensions can reach out for close ups or long focus lenses. Even with the standard bellows it can cope with wide angle lenses. It is not expensive either. It's the Shen Hao FCL810-A.


3-Nov-2013, 05:11
I love the Toyo 810M; heavy, yes, but very stable and precise.
Probably the last 8x10 I will ever buy.

3-Nov-2013, 08:05
I own a Burke & James; nothing compact or light about it, but it's inexpensive and works without complaint.

I've used other people's Deardorff, Canham, Kodak Master View, all nice cameras suited to a variety of tastes. If you can get to an event where you can try/inspect such cameras (some sort of LF workshop), it would be an efficient way to determine what's best for you.

John Kasaian
3-Nov-2013, 19:52
It depends on how light (ha-ha!) And compact you want to get. And if you want to go "old school" or modern. And how much moo-lah you want to spend.
I really like my beater Deardorff V-8. I just connect with it better.
The Tachihara triple extension is very similar.
A Century Universal is also pretty slick---and very light weight!
Ansco built a very nice camera (Ansel Approved!) But it is bulkier and heavy---not necessarily a bad thing unless you're back packing.
Kodak Master Views are rugged but finding metal lens boards is, I found, problematic.
The B&J I had was too wobbly but that might well have been my particular example.
A lot of folks are doing splendid work with the Kodak 2D
IMHO, any Deardorff V-8 for $1200 or under is worth looking at, .but YMMV of course

Jim Graves
4-Nov-2013, 00:07
The first, and most important question ... how much do you want to spend? ... and remember ... before you answer ... you also have to buy lenses, film holders, and film.

4-Nov-2013, 02:27
The thing is I wanna spend the lowest amount of money I can and I wanna get the lightest thing possible , since the cameras I saw it doesn't go lower then 3.5-4 kg so that fine by me. $3500 for a camera it's a big to much thought because I need to get assesories , lens I yar the Schneider 24mm XL for now

Regular Rod
4-Nov-2013, 04:50

$2580 new and with aluminium carrying case...


4-Nov-2013, 06:11
If y like the 4x5 chamonix, get the 8x10 version. All the controls are similar and it's well built.

Fred L
4-Nov-2013, 06:16
Lightest possible would be a Ritter I'd think at roughly 3 kg. That's half the weight of my Zone VI and what I would get if I could find the extra $$.

John Kasaian
4-Nov-2013, 07:21
IIRC, the lightest & most compact would be a Gowland. Compared to other monorails they shouldn't be too expensive if you can find one. I don't know if Peter's shop is still functioning---they might have the parts to put one together for you.
The downside to ultra light cameras is wind---it doesn't take much of a wind to make things funky.

4-Nov-2013, 08:06
I would say Deardorf - it's not the lightest..but come on..with all the other crap you're gonna need to cart around too - what's an extra 2 pounds??

Len Middleton
4-Nov-2013, 08:37
The Deardorff V8 is used by a number on this forum, and I am pleased with mine.

Having seen the Ritter 8x10 live, it is an impressive camera and would be high on my list for a new 8x10. Likely the lightest, but not likely the cheapest. Given that Richard can build it to your specifications (e.g. standard Sinar style lensboard, but could likely do other styles) I believe, that may be a significant advantage. He does very good work and you would have someone who could service it very well

However given it is your first 8x10 (no 4x5 does not scale linearly with regards to level of effort and cost), you might want to try something cheaper and used to determine if it suits your tastes.

The suggestion of attending a gathering makes a great deal of sense if you can find one conveniently.

Alan Gales
4-Nov-2013, 08:43
The thing is I wanna spend the lowest amount of money I can and I wanna get the lightest thing possible

I felt the same way when I was looking at 8x10's. I also wanted it to be sturdy with plenty of movements. I ended up paying $1,500.00 for a used Wehman with a few extras. The camera weighs 8.7 lbs and folds up into a protective clamshell. There is also a lightweight 7.2 lb version that was made. For the amount of money I spent, I am very happy with my Wehman.

The Wehman is no longer being made but you can still check out the Wehman 8x10 website for information on the camera if you are interested.

4-Nov-2013, 09:20
I strongly recommend the Wehman 8x10. It's well-made, very lightweight, and just an overall joy to use. Probably my favorite 8x10 and a bargain if you can find one for $2000 or less. However, I did end up selling mine and getting a Chamonix 8x10, which is also a nice camera, because it was hard for me to switch back and forth between my Chamonix 4x5 and the Wehman.

Drew Wiley
4-Nov-2013, 09:26
In the real world you're going to have trouble combining the priorities of light and cheap. And that's because well-built lightweight cameras are what is still strongly
in demand. Big and clunky can be had cheap, or maybe light and flimsy. Light and quality-functional is a different story. It might take some patience to find a bargain.

4-Nov-2013, 12:41
I've picked up three 8x10's over the years. I still have all 3, and use them all from time to time. The best of the three in terms of rigidity and ability to lock down a setup is a Calumet C1. I have 8x10, 5x7, and 4x5 backs for it. If I take it on a trip and run out of 8x10 film holders I can always switch formats. It's clearly my most robust and versatile camera. I also have a Century Universal. I have both 8x10 and 5x7 backs for it, as well as a working Graflex focal plane shutter. It's self-casing, which I like. The swings and tilts are quite versatile. It's lighter than the Calumet, so easier to backpack. It's not as easy to lock down a swing or tilt as the Calumet. My first 8x10 was a Seneca Competitor. It has the shortest bellows of the three cameras, and has no from swings or tilts, and quite limited back swings and tilts. The positive side is that this is the lightest weight of all three. As a result I'm more likely to take this out and use it. I like to do landscape photography, and this camera gets more use than the others combined, even though it's the simplest. I use it with an ancient Schneider Xenar 270mm, which scales exactly with the 135mm Graflex Optar that I use on my 4x5 Graflex Super Graphic (my most used camera). I find this angular view is generally the way I view a photo when I compose it in my mind, so I like the carry-over between the two. Because the Competitor is so light I can get away with a lighter tripod than I would want for the Calumet C1. For the competitor I often use a Graflex Crown #3 or #4, for the Calumet I usually want a Majestic, which is a lot more to struggle with.

Bruce Osgood
4-Nov-2013, 14:53
If you'd like to do some online comparisons, Badger Graphic sells new.


You should be able to compare high end hardware to help eliminate the "Out Of Sight".