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View Full Version : Folmer Schwing Commercial View - Var.#2



Jimmy Mathis
19-May-2015, 07:35
I am buying a 8x10 Folmer Schwing Commercial View - Var.#2, as far as I can tell, has wooden knobs on right hand side. This thing is a beast of a camera, with massive bellows, I canít pass it up for the price.

Not sure if it has all the extensions, I will find out when I pick it up. It looks in fairly good shape from the few photos Iíve seen, it was used, I was told not abused but the ground glass is missing. It was used for portraits, NASA field work. The elderly gentleman that is selling it said I can dig around and look for the extensions and I can have his lens he used with it, I donít have any info on his lens. I am picking up tomorrow and will post some images.

The most info I have found is on: piercevaubel.com, I havenít found any threads here, if there are please let me know.

Questions:
Does anyone have experience with these cameras? Any advice for use in the field? I am sure I wonít be backpacking with itÖ. Will this be able to support large lens like Wollensak No.5 Vitax and such out in the field? Will my OíConnor tripod and Gitzo PL5 hold it and lens safely or do I skip the Gitzo and attach directly to the leveling head of the OíConnor? Is this a hard to find camera (I have never seen one before)?

Any help will be greatly appreciated!!!

I am excited about this find and I will keep you posted with images and such.

Thank you.

Louis Pacilla
19-May-2015, 08:56
Not really a 'field camera" in fact it was meant to be a commercial studio camera and the 2A studio stand could be ordered w/ longer platform for either the Commercial 8x10 (46") or 11x14 (57") model.

This does not mean w/ dedication it could not be used out doors but hiking would be tough even on a good day.

William Whitaker
19-May-2015, 10:39
I have that camera in 11x14 with the extended rail. Louis says 57"; I measured it at 52". Substantial in either case. Mine came with an 8x10 reducing back. In fact, the Ebay seller advertised it as an 8x10 camera. But it is an 11x14 with a reducing back. I had been intent on making or having made an 11x14 back for some time, but the structure of the camera is robust enough that I could make a 14x17 rear standard and transplant the hardware to have a 14x17 studio camera, something I'd really like to have (over 11x14, which I don't shoot, anyway). As the camera needs a new bellows anyway, that part's almost a wash.

Folmer made lovely cameras; they're among my favorites. I have two: this one and a 12x20. Hope yours works out well for you!

Please post some photos of it when you get it.

Louis Pacilla
19-May-2015, 18:29
I have that camera in 11x14 with the extended rail. Louis says 57"; I measured it at 52". Substantial in either case. Mine came with an 8x10 reducing back. In fact, the Ebay seller advertised it as an 8x10 camera. But it is an 11x14 with a reducing back. I had been intent on making or having made an 11x14 back for some time, but the structure of the camera is robust enough that I could make a 14x17 rear standard and transplant the hardware to have a 14x17 studio camera, something I'd really like to have (over 11x14, which I don't shoot, anyway). As the camera needs a new bellows anyway, that part's almost a wash.

Folmer made lovely cameras; they're among my favorites. I have two: this one and a 12x20. Hope yours works out well for you!

Please post some photos of it when you get it.

Hey Will I was speaking to the platform length for the Century Studio Stand 2A which one could order the 2A studio stand w/ the longer platform (57") for the 11x14 Commercial View & it came with three sets of platform to camera screws for securing the Commercial View to the platform. The 2A could be ordered w/ a 47" platform w/ 3 sets of screws for the 8x10 Commercial View

The standard Century 2A Studio Stand came with a 37" platform with no platform screws to attach the 8A camera to the platform. I know as I own the 8A rig but they did finally add camera to platform screws then to the Century Master View Camera/Master Stand which I know as I own one of those as well.

William Whitaker
19-May-2015, 18:51
Thanks for the clarification Louis. The bed of my 11x14 with all sections in place measures 52", so would benefit from the longer platform.

Jimmy Mathis
20-May-2015, 04:02
Louis & Will,

Many Thanks for the input, great info..... I am picking up the camera today, I will keep you posted on the camera and some photos.

Cheers

Robert Brazile
20-May-2015, 08:15
Jimmy, will expect to see some 8x10 dry plate work soon, then. :)

Robert

Jimmy Mathis
20-May-2015, 18:06
Robert,

I hope all is well, How are you these days? Any dry plates? Yes you will, I have been making and shooting a lot of plates this year. I now have a 8x10 Century Universal, 8x10 Agfa Ansco studio camera, 9A Century Studio and some awesome old brass for them as well….

Sadly the trip to long island was a waste of time, except a dear photography friend was with me on holiday from Mexico and we spent the day there and back making images. The camera was way over sold to me about the condition, one persons idea of "not abused" is another persons “abused" definition. The rails on this camera where split like tooth picks and the extensions no where to be found and he decided that if I drove down from Vermont that his camera was worth more than we agreed on and as far as the lens he had they looked as if they were stored in a bag of rocks in his trunk for years driving down the long island pkwy…. What disappointment , except for the day traveling and photographing with a dear friend.

Some times a good deal/steal is just a dream chasing adventure, I am always looking for adventure though…!

Cheers

Robert Brazile
22-May-2015, 06:02
As regards dry plates: working on it! Sorry to hear about the bust, but there are a lot of these out there and I'm sure you'll find what you need. Best of luck, though!

Robert