View Full Version : Testing the 8x10 Waters

Scott Rosenberg
30-Nov-2004, 03:42
hey fellas...

i've been shooting 4x5 for a while now and thought it would be fun to try a bit of 8x10... assuming all i'd need to suppliment my kit is a camera body and film holder. please don't flame me for using this forum as a substitue for searching the web - i know all this information is out there. i just figured i'd start here and continue my research on the www. a few quick questions...

- would any of my lenses be suitable for 8x10? schneider 110XL, rodenstock 150 sironar-s, fujinon 240-a, fujinon 300-a.

- what would be a relatively good, cheap body... a 'knock-around' body just to cut my teeth on? what should i expect to pay for said camera?


Scott Rosenberg
30-Nov-2004, 04:20
just to supplement my original query, i hike with my gear, so size and weight is a concern. a camera the folds up like my technika would be preferred. i don't imagine i'll be going on many long hikes with the 8x10, but i shoot mostly landscapes, so size is a consideration.

thanks again,

Steve Hamley
30-Nov-2004, 04:56

Schneider 110mm XL, covers with no movements (isn't supposed to), 67mm polarizer will vignette (badly), will need center filter on 8x10, YMMV;

Rodenstock 150 Sironar S, no;

Fuji 240 A and 300 A, yes, the 300 A by quite a bit.

Unlike 4x5, all these lenses are normal (300mm) or wide (everything else) on 8x10. If you want the same normal-long set that most of them are on 4x5, you will need longer lenses, like a 480mm/19" or a 600mm/24".

Cameras: Canham wood, 9=1/2 lbs; Ebony SV810, 10 Lbs; Deardorff, 12 lbs. These are the "usual suspects" others will have other suggestions.


Diane Maher
30-Nov-2004, 06:29
Good, cheap, lightweight 8x10's aren't really common. I have an Ansco 8x10 field camera that I got at Midwest Photo Exchange 'to cut my teeth on'. It cost $495, had a new bellows, but weighs 12 lbs body only. However, I have found that I enjoy using it and will be looking to upgrade to a body that has front focusing as opposed to rear focusing. This rear focusing (focusing by moving the rear standard) drives me crazy, but I have found that I really enjoy shooting the 8x10 format and I have also started contact printing my negs. This was my original reason for getting the 8x10 in the first place.

I have the following lenses: 159 mm Wollensak f/9.5; 240 mm G-Claron and 300 mm Fujinon-C lenses for use with this camera and they fit my needs at this time.

Scott Rosenberg
30-Nov-2004, 07:01
thanks diane and steve... the more i read, the more an older deardorff seems to make sense. i am a pretty capable woodworker, so restoring one would be a nice project to undertake this winter. glad to hear that i have at least two lenses i can use... all i'll need to do is to fashion an adaptor that will allow me to use the lenses on their technika boards on the 8x10.

thanks again,

Steve Hamley
30-Nov-2004, 07:04
As Diane says, there are no really good (wide lens range, lots of movements to learn on) cheap field cameras. Heck that doesn't even exist in 4x5 if you've watched the prices of wooden field cameras lately. But if you're willing to sacrifice movements, a Kodak 2D can be had for a couple to $400, and it is light. If you're willing to sacrifice weight, Calumet C-1, about $400 - 600. Some of the Agfa Anscos are a pretty good compromise, although hefty, and a "no front swing" Deardorff might be another candidate, $400 - 750. If you like it, the front swings could be added later.


John Kasaian
30-Nov-2004, 08:37

Don't forget to budget in for a heavier tripod and larger dark cloth as these items don't usually "translate" from 4x5---these 8x10 cameras are substantially heavier and the gg covers a lot more acerage to shield from the light. than 4x5s. Your Fuji lenses should work out just fine especially since you'd already have filters for them. A 'dorff is a heck of a camera if you can swing for the money. The Kodak 2D, calumet green monster, Agfa Ansco and B&J as others have stated will certainly do the job and if in good shape present very capable and affordable entrys into 8x10. Good Luck!

Gem Singer
30-Nov-2004, 08:39
Hi Scott,

I have a new Tachihara 8x10 double extension camera, that I obtained from Jim, at Midwest. It came with an adaptor lensboard which enables me to use my lenses that are mounted on Linhof Tech lensboards. If you give me a call, you can see how your 240A and 300A will look on the 8x10 format. I live in Valley Ranch. A fifteen minute drive from Richardson. By the way, how do you plan on processing those 8x10 negatives?

Randy Becker
30-Nov-2004, 10:10
I also had the same idea about a year ago but just went ahead and bought a Tachihara 8x10 and couldn't be happier. As far as I can tell, I have a version that doesn't have any extensions (at least it isn't a double) but I have used it with no problems on my landscape work. The Tachihara camera is well built, has somewhat limited movements, at least compared to my Sinar F2, and only weighs 9 lbs.

Btw, I use the same Hakuba cf tripod with a sinar mini super ball that I use with my 4x5 Wisner. No problems with movement in the field.

Good luck and get one soon. You won't regret it!


Scott Rosenberg
30-Nov-2004, 11:34
thanks, all for the informative responses. i never considered the tripod issue. i've got two legsets, a bogen 3031 and a bogen 3055. my newer ball head is also a bogen, pro ball or something, which is rated to 35 pounts... i hope that will suffice. i've gotten into the habit of using a flanel shirt as a darkcloth - also keeps me warm when not in use. i suppose i'll have to start buying bigger shirts!

i've been meaning to take you up on your last offer to get together for some time now, but haven't really been in town for longer than two weeks since early this summer! since i am not set up with any sort of dark room, i just figured i'd let bwc take carre of processing the film.

thanks again,

Ralph Barker
30-Nov-2004, 12:17
Eugene touched on a good point, Scott. While I'd be the last person to attempt to dissuade you from 8x10 (I bought a double-extension Tachihara myself a year or so ago), you'd be well served to consider both processing and what you want to do with the negatives and/or transparencies you'll produce, so you have a "plan" going in. Not all labs are equipped to process 8x10, and those that currently are may well drop the service in the future. Plus, some labs that might develop 8x10 may not be able to produce enlargements.

Naturally, there are various options on all of these issues, but thinking about them in advance would be a good thing to do.

Gem Singer
30-Nov-2004, 12:51

Tachihara makes two versions of their 8x10 camera, a standard double extension model, and a triple extension model with a longer bellows, a different rear swing, and heavier weight. You probably have the Tachi 8x10 double extension model. It weighs just under eleven pounds. The triple extension model weighs a few pounds more.


I'm eagerly awaiting your call. To quote from the movie Cold Mountain: "If you need help, here I am!".

Scott Rosenberg
30-Nov-2004, 15:12
thanks for giving me something to think about. i'm looking at the step up to 8x10 as a chance to learn another aspect of photography. if i don't like it, i can always sell the gear and continue happily plodding along with my 4x5 outfit.

you are a gentleman and a real asset to this forum. checking my calander, december is starting to look very busy indeed. i'll send you an email apart from this thread and we can see what we can work out.

thanks again!