View Full Version : Deardorff 8x10 shortest lens / shortest bellows

30-Aug-2014, 15:22
Hello to All:
I am new to LF photography and your forum.
I have acquired a Deardorff 8x10 camera with a 350mm lens.
I am looking for a short lens ( wide angle of view ) and I am hearing and reading that the shortest usable lens will be a function of the matching bellows extension ....... So, ...
Am I correct that the shortest bellows extension on the camera determines the shortest lens usable and focusable at infinity ??? ( eg if the shortest bellows position is 150mm then a 150mm lens would be the shortest lens able to be focused at infinity ).

******* Were Deardorff 8x10 cameras made with different bellows capable of using different lenses ??

Thank you !!!

Mark Sawyer
30-Aug-2014, 15:27
Welcome to the forum! You're starting with a fine camera!

You can use a recessed lens board to use shorter lenses. Keep in mind that the bellows will be very compressed, so you may have little to nothing for movements.

Jim Noel
30-Aug-2014, 16:39
If your Deardorff has an original bellows, or an accurately made replacement, you will not need a recessed board. Good thing because I have never seen nor heard of one in over 70 years of owning a Deardorff. The shortest I used on the 8x10 was 159mm.

Tracy Storer
30-Aug-2014, 17:01
I don't do much very wide angle work, but if you compress your camera as shown, (my camera has a cloth covered bellows from Custom Bellows, their synthetic ones may compress more) the measurement from ground glass to front of lens board is 90mm. Of course, the only movement will be via the sliding front panel.
So, how short you can go is going to depend on how many movements you need. No 100% answer.
Have fun with it. I have seen (and made) recessed lensboards for Deardorff, not sure whether there were ever any factory originals.

31-Aug-2014, 09:44
Deardorff bellows were made with at least 3 different bellows materials, although the bellows compression on all should be similar. The shortest lens I've ever used on a V8 is the 6.5" WA Dagor which is incredibly short for the format. An 8 1/4" Dagor is probably more realistic for general field work. L


Richard Rau
1-Sep-2014, 15:55
I use both a 150mm Nikkor SW and a 120mm Nikkor SW on my V8 on normal lensboards. The 120 fully covers 8x10 with no movement.

4-Sep-2014, 14:42
Thanks to all for your responses.
All is well with my 165mm schneider!! and no problem with the limited movements ( at least for now!! ).

neil poulsen
4-Sep-2014, 22:18
I think that it's probably best not to use a recessed lensboard for any lens that covers 8x10. Otherwise, you may not get the advantage of the rising front. If that's still not enough rise, consider offsetting the lens by an inch for the lens in question.