View Full Version : Free 8x10 Eastman!

Kirk Gittings
28-Feb-2005, 13:52
I am downsizing, getting rid of stuff I never use. I have an Eastman Commercial View camera 8x10. I paid 175.00 for it a few years ago in Chicago. All aluminum (magnezium?), movements (except rear rise and fall and front tilt and swing), very sturdy (only about 17 inches of belows draw, is there an extension missing?), everything works, belows is original and probably very leaky, 8x10 and a 5x7 reducing back, one lens board and one adapter lens board (down to about 4x4). No lens. This is a picture of the basic camera.


I am going to give this away to the most deserving person who respondes to this thread. "Deserving" is by my definition. You have a couple of weeks to respond.

This should be fun.

Neal Shields
28-Feb-2005, 14:51
You are going to give one of us what we deserve??!!!!

My lord, I will use them according to their desert.

God's bodykins, man, much better: use every man
after his desert, and who should 'scape whipping?
Use them after your own honour and dignity: the less
they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty.
Take them in.

Kirk Gittings
28-Feb-2005, 15:07
I am very moved. I have been receiving some very heartfelt appeals and offers on my email. I would prefer to see them here though if possible. If you are embarrassed to do so I understand. I will consider all replies equally whether in private email or posted here, but I would like to keep the process as public as possible.


J. P. Mose
28-Feb-2005, 15:17
And to think Neal is from Fort Worth, Texas!

I don't deserve or need this fine camera. However, I would like everyone to think of a deserving college student or young artist who would be trilled with this treasure. Unfortunately, I can't think of anyone at the moment.

Jim Galli
28-Feb-2005, 15:21
Kirk, I'm the least deserving SOB so we may as well get that out of the way. If you give it to me I'll plug up the bellows holes with goo, use it twice, and sell it on Ebay. You would do this when I've got an entry level 2D on Ebay wouldn't you. There goes all my bids. OTOH whoever gets it can contact me for a great G-Claron to use with it.

Jim Galli
28-Feb-2005, 15:27
Actually, I do have an idea for you. Donate this to Deep Springs College and I'll go spend some time getting the kids there up to speed with it. Their school is just at the bottom of the hill on the road that goes up to the Ancient Bristlecone Forest, and about 60 miles from me. Take the doation slip for $2500 and use against your tax bill next year. Hey maybe I'll give them the 2D also!

28-Feb-2005, 15:36
Sort of curious about what you mean by deserving. Are you looking for sobstories, pleas of need (lets face it people can live without an 8x10 so there goes the need), or desire? Just looking for clarification.

Kirk Gittings
28-Feb-2005, 15:36

I've even had offers to kick in a couple of more 8x10 cameras for second and third prizes. This is sweet. You guys are great.


Kirk Gittings
28-Feb-2005, 15:45
I guess I mean who needs it the most. Who is going to use it the most. Its been sitting in a case in the corner of my studio for 5 or 6 years. I would like to see it out there making images. If I am not going to use it I would like to see it go to somoene who has the desire and not the funds or someone who needs this for a specific project or maybe some student with a burning desire. etc. I would like to make a contribution to the real developement of someones art.

This isn't science and there is no formal review committee to review the proposals. Its just me and my love of the genre.

28-Feb-2005, 16:01
I'll bite.
I am a second year Photography student at Oklahoma Community College.(51 year old photo-journalism student, actually) I am attending full time, working 40 hours in a shop till I get through, and putting three daughters through college as well. My school camera is a Canon AE-1P I am currently shooting LF with a refurbed whole-plate London Stereo that came off that E-place for a whopping 36 dollars. (It was listed as "some kind of camera accessory") I home-built one butt-ugly (heavy on the ugly) 5x7 back for it, and have been bidding as much as I can possibly afford for an 8x10 to 5x7 reducing back to rework for it. Three months and I am still shooting with the ugly-duck back. Bellows are about 30 percent photo tape, lensboard is masonite, ground glass is garage-made. I unfortunately and stupidly sold a 5x7 Jap field camera for pennies of value out of necessity. I had painstakingly refinished and refurbed it, new plating, bellows, etc and "gave" it away. I would dearly love an 8x10 ANYTHING. (Ultimate goal is 8x10) However, on a very limited income, very high output, my purchases are often those that are listed in wrong places as unknowns. I do not have any "collectables" only "daily drivers". Send it this way, and I will reciprocate in kind, and pass on another to someone else. My LF shooting is landscape and historical architecture. Done on weekends with youngest(15 yr old). AND since it was brought up, my wife is from the home town of Gilley's (Pasadena TX). Can't beat those Texas women!

michael meyer
28-Feb-2005, 16:47
Hi Kirk, I'll bite too.

As a young artist, I'd love that Eastman of yours, though I don't need it by any stretch. I can think of several other equally deserving young artists and college students as I'm just a couple of years out of NYU's Tisch School (not to mention just a couple years into paying for that school...) and have several friends still there.

You can check out what I've been doing since school at my site: michaelmeyerphoto.com (http://www.michaelmeyerphoto.com). If you tack "/experimental.pdf (http://www.michaelmeyerphoto.com/experimental.pdf)" onto that address you'll get a look at the series I am trying to get exhibited. It's nominally large format as it's on 4x5 film, but the pictures weren't exactly made with a camera.

My series that your Eastman would be great for is my series "Transience." I've been photographing the two cities I grew up in, Auburn and Lewiston, Maine, as a metaphor for change and loss and as an oblique comment on our consumer culture. I've been thinking of presenting the work as 4x5 contact prints, but 8x10 contact prints would be even better. And the sites are all scouted on 4x5 so I could easily go back and re-shoot them (if not pay for them) with 8x10 for the final product.

If you, or anyone else likes the abstract stuff, check back in a bit for a new project I've been doing. 2"x20" panos done with a Nikon... They're fun. They'll be up sooner or later. Hopefully sooner. But your 8x10 has no benefits for that project.

Your Eastman would also free me up to take my 4x5 toyo into my high-school classes for polaroid fun. At the moment I use the camera for the bulk of my work and don't want to risk damage to my main camera, but if I had another big camera I'd feel much more comfortable about bringing the camera into the classroom for the students to play with.

So your generosity would benefit both me and thirty or so high school students.

But there's lots of deserving people out there. I'd be happy enough if this posting just generated some hits on my website.


28-Feb-2005, 17:04

I'd wholeheartedly give support toward Jim G's suggestion... after all, he's promising something even more valuable than the camera itself!

He's promising his time, which is a priceless (and a rare commodity) in my books!

Secondly, the donation of the camera AND Jim's expertise will help a "group" of future photographers. This combination is a pretty valuable gift to the art of LF photography.


28-Feb-2005, 17:22
Give it to me so that I, in turn, can experience the pleasure of giving it to someone else. In this way you will be doubly rewarded. Tis better to give than to receive, but what bliss to give, to give, and then receive!

Your humble servant.

domenico Foschi
28-Feb-2005, 17:36
kirk, forget my request, if there are young students out there, in need of a camera, then i think i should pull out, and in fact i will.
Wait! I will put an old Dallmeyer Serrac, in good shape WITH Flange, Sorry , no shutter.

Kirk, I'll wait for that deardorff of yours instead....

Ellen Stoune Duralia
28-Feb-2005, 18:07
Wow Kirk! It's random acts of kindness like this that restore my faith in humanity! Way to go, man!

Disclaimer: I'm not putting my 'plea' in the hat - I'm happy with my Horseman. Just wanted to congratulate Kirk for being an awesome human being!!

Jeremy Moore
28-Feb-2005, 18:50
I will throw my hat in the ring. After shooting solely digital and not enjoying the process I moved back into film first with a holga and then a 5x7 B&J. I've been wanting to "move up" to 8x10 for some time so that I can make larger palladium contacts and other alt process prints. Digital negatives are an option for me to print larger, but it's just not as fun as the film contacts! (I'll be saving the digi neg process for the tri-color gum bichromate I'm teaching myself starting this week!) The camera would be used lovingly and I do have experience with older wooden cameras (i.e. the B&J). If I move to something a little newer I'll pass the camera on to someone else.

For the disclaimer: I'm a full-time college student who works near full-time (30-35 hrs/week) just about finished with my double major in social science and philosophy and I am in the midst of a BS in biochemistry (which is really helpful with my movement into the alt process darkroom!). My printing has jumped up in the past 2 months exponentially in the hope of finishing a portfolio to submit for my first entrance into local gallery shows. Not a photo major, but a hopelessly addicted amateur.

dan otranto
28-Feb-2005, 20:48
give it to a school that will use it and make good work with it. (probably college)

Mike Cockerham
28-Feb-2005, 21:45
Hi Kirk

I'll enter my story , I have worked in the the retail camera world for twenty years, graduate of a well known photography school, and part time studio owner. I have been thru school with trying to get by with what equipment you can scrap together. That is why I've been loaning my 4x5 Calumet, two lens and holders, to students who work with me to use for their classes. I have gone as long as three years without seeing this camera until they graduate and return it to me. When the next student comes in and needs to use it I send it out with them. When I was in school I would have loved to have a chance to use an 8x10 camera and I would like to be able to expose these students to this format if possible.


Larry Gebhardt
1-Mar-2005, 05:58
My wife will kill me if I buy an 8x10. Yet I am still drawn to the cameras and fear I will soon succumb. So if you give me the camera you will actually be saving my life. And I would then be able to put my life towards making beautiful 8x10 contact prints and bringing peace to the world through art. Just think, your selfless act will save my life and maybe even the world - what could be more deserving than that.

MIke Sherck
1-Mar-2005, 06:45
This is so very cool! I used to do something like it back in the days when one could find 35mm cameras at garage sales for $10-$20. I don't know how many Minolta SRTs and Canon AE-1s I bought and gave to the kids I ran into when I was out photographing. Still have one left, an old Minolta something-or-other. I don't know whether it ever made any difference to any of these kids, but maybe...

You've set yourself a difficult problem: it's one thing to toss a cheap 35mm and a couple of rolls of tri-x at a middle school or high school kid and see the light on their faces; it's quite another to have to wade through the number of stories you're going to see. I'm glad I'm not the one who has to make the decision! Best of luck to you, sir! :)

Kerry L. Thalmann
1-Mar-2005, 10:16

This is a very generous offer and is sure to earn you big karma points with the gods of light and shadow. I get the feeling you are about to enter one of the most productive and rewarding periods of your photographic career.

For those interested in Kirk's camera there is a similar one ending on eBay this afternoon (current bid is $315 and the REAL bidding is still over 8 hours away). Lots of pictures with the auction listing.

I also have one of these cameras. I don't shoot a lot of 8x10, certainly not enough to justify a new $2000 - $3000 camera. So, the Eastman suits me fine. It's a very usable camera. I wrote a review of mine for View Camera a while back. I don't have my back issues handy, but I think it might have been in the Jan/Feb 2003 issue. If you can find an extension rail, the max. extension goes up to about 30". Even without the extension, I can focus my 450mm Fujinon C at infinity with a bit to spare.

In any case, it's a very usable 8x10 camera and an extremely nice gesture on Kirk's part.


Kirk Gittings
1-Mar-2005, 15:53

Thank you for the kind words. I hope your prediction holds true.

In the final analysis I am just a 4x5 kind of guy. It is the only format that as a general purpose camera seems right. I have tried everything and always come back to 4x5. I was in Sacramento two weeks ago shooting with my friend Gordon Hutchings. In the course of two days he used an 8x10 Deardorf, a Horseman 4x5, a Graflex 4x5 and a Galvin 2x3 totally seamlessly like they were all part of the some 35mm system. That is not me. The 4x5 was all I needed. So upon reflection, I decided to rid myself of some unused baggage and I decided the never used 8x10 needed to go to somebody who really needed it.

I have had some very moving responses here and on my email. No decisions have been made. I will let this fly awhile longer.

Thanks everyone!

Calamity Jane
1-Mar-2005, 16:36
If it was an old 4x5 wooden field camera I'd show you fellas how to grovel, flutter eye lashes, and look pathetic! (Snicker!)

Kerry L. Thalmann
2-Mar-2005, 00:49
I'm so inspired by Kirk's act of generosity, I've decided to sweeten the pot a bit.

To the lucky winner, I would like to donate an Eastman lens to go with Kirk's Eastman Camera. The lens is a 12" f4.5 Eastman Kodak Anastigmat in a fully-functional Compound shutter. This lens is a tessar type and the predecessor to the famous Kodak Ektar series. The glass is uncoated, but in great shape. It's a heavy beast, but man does it light up the ground glass at f4.5. According to an old Kodak catalog, this lens is recommended for the 8x10 format and covers 64 degrees at f16. That works out to a 15" (380mm) image circle. So, moderate movements are possible on 8x10.

It is "age-appropriate" for Kirk's camera. The serial number dates it to 1940. My research indicates Kirk's camera would have been made between 1937 and 1942. It even comes mounted on a home made walnut lensboard that will fit Kirk's camera. Circa 1940 8x10 Eastman lens + circa 1940 8x10 Eastman camera. Sounds like a match made in heaven (aka Rochester).

Now if we can get somebody to throw in a couple film holders, and maybe some film, we can get some lucky person all set up and ready to enter the world of 8x10.

I'll leave the judging of "most deserving" up to Kirk. This was his idea and I trust his judgement.


Kirk Gittings
2-Mar-2005, 07:49
That is perfect Kerry! That completes the package. Thank you!

2-Mar-2005, 08:48
I have no desire to suck up but, can I name my firstborn after you?

Darin Boville
2-Mar-2005, 13:13
Would a "how-to" book be of value? I'm in the process of unpacking my books--just moved to California--and came across "The View Camera: Operatins and Techniques," by Harvey Shaman, 1977, Amphoto. Fair condition. Nice overview of view camera technique and movements, etc. I'd be happy to add it to the mix if it is ok with Kirk. Just tell me where to send it...

I wish I had a spare Majestic Tripod....


www.darinboville.com (http://www.darinboville.com)

2-Mar-2005, 13:22

I would like to put my hat into the ring for the 8x10.

I am currently stuck somewhere between the assisting and shooting worlds of photography, and when I can afford to, I travel and shoot mostly with an old speed graphic 4x5 handheld. I'm always amazed at how patient people are to have their photo taken when using a large old clunky view camera. I think I get pictures that you would never get with a 35mm, just for the simple fact that almost everywhere in the world, it is pretty commonplace to have your picture taken with a 35mm, so it is no big deal when someone asks to take your picture.

I would love to put together an 8x10 camera that I could literally carry on my back, and take another trip. So far, my speed graphic has been to China(2001), Ireland (2002) and unknown parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennesee(2004).

If I get the camera, it will be going to a good home. If not, I hope the lucky recipient will use it for good and not evil.

Thanks for your consideration,


2-Mar-2005, 14:15
I'd like to put in a "bid" for a friend (without his knowledge). Sean Yates is a middle-aged, poor but honest librarian remembered by many of us on this forum as the helpful guy who practiced and preached low-cost LF photography (he wrote the review of Kodak's 8x10 Master View camera which appears on the Home Page). A couple of years ago during a period of financial stress he had to sell his entire 8x10 setup that had been accumulated over the years. He has declined an offer of my 4x5 Graphic View because, as he says, 8x10 is his thing. But his enthusiasm grows weak, and I'd like to see him involved again before he gives up.

J. P. Mose
2-Mar-2005, 17:16
If you gave it to me I would sell it on Ebay, advertising that all proceeds will be donated to charity....I think S.E. Asia comes to mind! Of course your name would be on the marquis!

Just think.....we would be helping those in need and letting someone become the proud owner of your beautiful Eastman camera....what a nice thought!

2-Mar-2005, 23:02
sean yates? our sean yates? honest?

oh please!


p.s. not to mention he has more masterviews than that swamp ape clyde butcher.

p.p.s. i vote for randy. he's in my town and i like the cut of his giblets. but yer not counting my vote is ya?

Kirk Gittings
3-Mar-2005, 15:25
I need to pay the bills. So I am off on a couple of out of town commercial shoots for a little while. I will wrap this up when I get back.
Thanks all,

Catherine Wheeler
5-Mar-2005, 06:03
I don’t have a large format camera at all. I hope to get one someday, but it won’t be financially feasible for several years. My husband went back to school after the demise of the small family farm in the rural Midwest, and has accumulated a heavy load of tuition debt that will take several years of continuing to live modestly in order to pay off. The Eastman would let me get started making contact prints with negatives bigger than those my 35mm can produce. I’d like to take large format portraits of people in their natural settings, beginning with my 80-year-old father-in-law on his farm—he can tell a story about every tree and stone on the place. I wish I would have started ten years ago.

I’ve loved photography all of my life, but I began looking into large format earnestly a year ago when I stumbled across an article on contact printing with amidol and azo and was immediately smitten. I found this site soon after and became a daily visitor. I feel fortunate to have learned so much before I’ve even begun. Once I get a camera I hope to quickly overcome my lack of large format experience with patient and determined practice, a voracious appetite for learning, and a notebook full of ideas of photographs to make.

5-Mar-2005, 06:54
Kirk, What a noble act. Now you've inspired me to dig out the durst 35mm enlarger and donate it to a deserving photography program at a local school. I'm sure it would be of more use than collecting dust here.

Chase Willsey
17-Mar-2005, 01:28
Kirk, I am a Senior, Youth Ministry major at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, AR. I have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams throughout my life, that includes being raised by a photographer dad who also shared in that experienc with his own father.

When I graduate in May, I am moving to Alamosa, CO, where I will be going on staff with Str8way Ministry, a Christian organization who leads short term mission trips all around the world to work with disadvantaged youth. As with many Missions organization, there is not enough budget to cover a salary and I am expected to raise my own support. Where ever I go, I will always have a camera by my side and my dream is to be able to support what ever ministry that I am a part of with photography. Along with that, and more importantly, I hope to bring back images that will touch the hearts of those people who are unable to travel with us and see it with their own eyes. I believe that this camera would allow me to do just that.

This is an amazing thing that you are doing and I pray that the camera ends up in the most deserving hands. God bless.


Mike Shaffer
22-Mar-2005, 23:34
While I would love to have this camera I can not claim to be particularly deserving. You see, having been unemployed for an extended period of time, I am still clawing my way out of debt and would be unable to purchase even the lens and accesories needed. Thus it would not get the amount of use that it deserves.

My interest is in doing Cyanotypes so 8x10 is an ideal format but alas even a free camera would be too expensive right now. :-{

What you are doing is very noble and I hope you find the right recipient.


Andrey Donchev
23-Mar-2005, 04:02
This will be (in case you'll find that this is the most deserving cause, not person!) the first 8x10 camera in Bulgaria, I think! So far I'm a MF shutter, but this is only because I didn't found enough means to go up! If I decide to go bigger I must buy everything, starting from camera and lens and stopping with the film, from abroad. No commercial labs for developing or printing from such a media, no local second hand equipment market, nothing! This is what I call adventure….or I can wait for my kids to grow up and to buy one for me …. Do you think that after 15 years or so will be still 8x10 film available………?

I’m kidding…..., but I REALY DO PLAN TO GO BIGGER!

Best regards from the end of the world …. from my point of view!

Sean Yates
30-Mar-2005, 11:05
Greetings All,

Hail! and Well MeT!

I am the humble, and I do mean humble, recipient of the largess of Mr. Gittings and Mr. Brewster and the concern and consideration of Dr. Mitch.

Yesterday when I arrived home from a hard day at the salt mines, there was a large Fed Ex box sitting on the porch. After I recovered from the hyperventilation, I managed to prise the contents loose from the bubblewrap and peanuts and I must say I am MUCH taken aback and astounded.

Youz are a SWELL buncha Guys and Gals! I am truly touched and I shall endeavor to use this baby and the lenses therewith to good effect and make images worthy of your charity. MUCH THANKS !!!

Trib, move your gnarly backside over, I've been off the porch too long and now that I'm back I need a place to sit.

Sean Yates
Liberty, IN
divested of Master Views but One Commercial B to the Good!

Kirk Gittings
30-Mar-2005, 15:07
Sean jumped the gun a little bit here, but no harm done. I will put together an anouncement soon. I am in the middle of my buiggest deadline of the year!

Wayne Campbell
30-Apr-2005, 13:09
I would like to add my voice to the swelling crescendo of praise for Sean Yates. Sean was never sparing of his time or patience when dealing with people's queries. A few years ago Sean gave up his beloved Koday Masterview; which would be the equivalent of you or I sharing a kidney for a transplant. He seemed forlorn and in the dumps (so far as to even dabble in digital) but now I detect from his reply a glimmer of hope. Sean will no doubt be singing the old "I once was blind, but now I see" when he slaps on Kerry Thalmann's gift 12" f4.5 Eastman Kodak Anastigmat in a fully-functional Compound shutter. This story warms the cockles of one's heart. (Where are the cockles anyway?).