View Full Version : Which model 8x10 Deardorff?

23-Mar-2005, 02:52
Hello All,

First off... I'd like to extend my apologies if this question has been posted previously and answered. I did do some research on the net for the answer but didn't manage to locate answers to all my questions.

I'm looking for an 8x10 Deardorff that has all the movements (swings, tilts, rise, and fall) available for both the front and rear standards. Is this available and, if so, which model should I be looking for?

Do I, in fact, require all these movements on both standards or should I look at one where the movements are available on the front standard (ie: full movements on the front standard and swings & tilts on the rear standard?) If the answer is affirmative... what model should I buy?

Secondly, I've heard talk that Deardorff is once again making cameras. Is this true and, if so, is the beast that I'm looking for available and what model should I inquire about? Is there a website for Deardorff that anyone here can provide?

Thanks again for all the useful information that is generally provided on this forum... your assistance is, as usual, greatly appreciated. :)


Steve Hamley
23-Mar-2005, 04:30

No 8x10 Deardorff field camera had rise and fall on the rear standard. All had swing and tilt on the rear standard.

All 8x10 Deardorff field cameras had rise and fall on the front standard.

Early 8x10 Deardorff field cameras had no front swing, so this is the only movement choice you get.

For lansdscape work, I'd say front swing is not required, although it is nice. For anything in a studio or architecture, yes, you want front swings.

Jack Deardorff is indeed making new cameras and you can get an 8x10 field camera. Contact Jim Andracki at Midwest Photo Exchange. There is no website for Deardorff.


Jim Rhoades
23-Mar-2005, 07:02
Steve gave most of the info needed. You can call Jack Deardorff at 219-464-9748. 10 AM to 10 PM Tues-Fri. 10AM to 3PM Sat. closed on Monday. Ask for his 37 page catalog and history. While he will build a 8x10 he's mostly a one man operation so it might take some time. I have the new 5x7/4x5 "Signature Convertible" It is indeed a real Deardorff. Put it on a tripod next to the 8x10 and they just ooze class.

The last NFS Deardorff was in 1947. V8's had front swings after that.

I believe the next camera to Midwest is a 11x14. Oh, I wish I had the money.

steve simmons
23-Mar-2005, 09:00
Deardorffs made prior to 1951 do not have front swing. I would not want one of these myself but that is a personal choice. None of them ever had rear rise and fall

Deardorff is officially out of business. Jack Deardorff has a new company Deardorff Photographic Products International (DPPI). I have not seen one of these new cameras. We have asked to review one but it has not been made avalable to us.

Midwest Phto will have a few DPPI cameras on display at the View Camera conference in Springfield, MA May 20-22.

steve simmons

John Kasaian
23-Mar-2005, 09:03

To add to the great advice you've already received: If you're looking at older 'dorffs, there are only two models that I'm aware of: the V-8 which is a field camera, and the studio camera which requires a heavy wrought iron stand and as a result spends it's life in a studio enviorment. The V8 is by far the most popular(and plentiful and useful) of the two. If you haven't yet, do a search for the Deardorff Historical website for some excellent information.

I think your best bet for getting a camera if you can't find one for sale from an individual would be Mid west Photo Exchange or maybe one of the other large outfits. They sometimes buy out commercial studios and have the big 'dorffs in stock at fair prices(approx $1600-$1800 the last time I looked) Thats where I got mine. Its a "user" but the bellows are new and since it had to work for a living, its been well maintained. Of course if I had the money, I'd certainly be tempted to get a new one(oh why oh why didn't I make my momma and poppa proud of me and go to medical school?)

'Dorffs rock! Have fun!

Edward (Halifax,NS)
23-Mar-2005, 09:59
Forgive me if this is heresy but why would someone buy a 50 year old Deardorff when for about the same price they could get a new(ish) Tachihara or Shen Hao?

Mark Sawyer
23-Mar-2005, 11:04
Because, Edward, forever after when setting up the camera, that person will slap his forehead and say to himself, "Wow... I could have had a V-8!"


Andy Eads
23-Mar-2005, 12:12
Mark, how long have you been waiting to use that line?

23-Mar-2005, 13:23
Steve, Steve,

I didn't think there was rise/fall on the rear standard but thought I'd ask just to make sure. Thank you for clarifying that up. I would like to use it (every so often) in the studio so swings would be a handy movement to have.

I'll get ahold of Jim at MidWest and see what they have in stock, or coming into stock in the next short while.


Thanks... I'll get ahold of Jack and ask about delivery times and costs. Out of curiosity, what made you decide to go the 5x7 route rather than the 8x10? Would you mind providing ballpark pricing if you have it on hand?


Thanks... (as usual!) I am, indeed, looking for a field model rather than a studio version. BTW... how are your ventures in pinhole photography going? I'm in the midst of designing (???), building (???) a 4x5 version. I found a wooden graflock back and the actual pinholes are on their way. It should be fun exposing my first sheet of photographic paper in one of these. :)

I have looked through that website a bit but have a lot more research to do on these cameras.

And, I'm sure your momma and poppa are still proud of you even though you didn't get to go to medical school! :) Besides, if you had gone to medical school... you might not have time to get out and take pictures. :)


There's just something about the allure of a Deardorff that has me going... a sense of history? They're surely built like a tank and will most likely out-live me! So, it's something you can use and, at the end of the day, pass it along to the next generation. You should take a peek at one if you get the chance... :)


Had to laugh at that one! I think you've been watching a bit too much television! :)

So... it sounds like a V8 with front swings is what I should be looking for. Yes?

Cheers All...and, again, thank you in advance for any further information that you can provide.

Jim Rhoades
23-Mar-2005, 15:36
Henry, you have mail.
Edward from Halifax, If you have to ask, you would never understand.

Eric Woodbury
23-Mar-2005, 16:12
Henry C

5x7 v 8x10

I went to 57 from 45. From there it seemed that 57 was twice the area of 45 and the camera was about the same size and many of the lenses I had covered. Also, I prefer the 57 aspect ratio to the 45. The big problems I find with 810 are the weight and film size. Everything goes up in weight: film holders, lenses, tripods, etc. Seems like every picture with 810 (in the field) is two trips. The other is handling the film in the darkroom. 57 film I can handle with one hand and 810 is strictly a two-handed operation. I do 810 for some of my studio photos, but for all my field work it would be no fun.

23-Mar-2005, 19:58
Thanks Jim... I'll check my messages just as soon as I get home.

Eric... I appreciate the thought process that you presented with respects to 5x7 versus 8x10. To be frank... I hadn't thought of going 5x7 but I knew that a lot of folks prefer this format over 4x5. I suppose it's a matter of personal choice. I'm tossing the idea of 8x10 because I want to make contact prints rather than enlargements. Lastly, regardless of whether it's a 5x7 or 8x10... I'd still be looking for the 5x7 (or 8x10) reducing back to 4x5.

I'm presently shooting with a Sinar X 4x5 in the studio... so this camera (for the majority of times) will be used out in the field. I won't be disposing of the X after buying a Dorff. I must admit to loving the X even though it's a monster in terms of size and weight. But, I'll take your advice under consideration. There's a 5x7 Dorff that has been restored on e**y at the moment. I'll keep an eye on it.

Thanks again... all your sage advice is greatly appreciated.