View Full Version : Feedback on 8x10

paul owen
18-Apr-2005, 08:32
Hi to everyone. I've been trying to get into 8x10 for landscape (contact printing) "on the cheap" :) I've lurked around on "the" auction site and have managed to get hold of a really nice Deardorff V8 (no front swing model) and a Mint condition Schneider Symmar-S 300mm 5.6 in a Compur 3 shutter. Camera is believed to date from 1940 and the lens' serial number confirms it was made in 1982. Any advice, hints,tips from users of one or the other (or both!) . Photos of items seemed to confirm condition as described but the items are still in transit! Thanks in advance. Paul

John Berry ( Roadkill )
18-Apr-2005, 10:01
Large format ain't no K-Mart sport. Looks like you didn't go " on the cheap " with your purchase. A decision that you will never regret. Start off right and do the "Azo Amidol thang". http://www.michaelandpaula.com/mp/startframe.html There is a lot to read there till you get your camera. That way you won't waste film and chemicals, and you can start dialing the negs in right away for the paper you will eventually use. John

Mark Sawyer
18-Apr-2005, 10:22
Paul- My best advice would be to duct-tape a phone to the side of your Deardorff. That way, when you show people your 8x10 Azo contact prints, you can say, "yeah, I shot that with my cell phone camera..."

Ralph Barker
18-Apr-2005, 11:17
Paul - good choices to start, I think. There are many hiking trails through the hills and valleys of the 8x10 Range. Have fun exploring those which appear interesting to you. A gracious smile to those who suggest "the One True Path" works wonders, I've found. ;-)

Mark - I hope you were referring to a phone with a nice, dark-stained oak cabinet and a ringer crank. Anything newer would look tacky on a Dorff, I think. ;-)

John Kasaian
18-Apr-2005, 15:18
Wooden Eastman Kodak Graflex film holders are about as 'on the cheap' as it gets. The light traps unscrew so if one starts leaking you can attempt a repair or cannibalize for parts. About 2/$35 last time I looked around---oddly they're often slightly higher on eBay! By all means check out the Deardorff Historical Website for tips on 'dorff maintenance.

Good light & happy 'dorffing!

Brian Ellis
19-Apr-2005, 06:55
I've owned two Deardorffs and have one tip for you. After opening the camera by putting the back in its upright position the next step is to pull the front standard forward and up into position, which is done by pulling one of the metal "arms" that form a part of the front standard forward. When you do that I think you'll see that one of the arms will rub against the side of the bellows (on both of my Deardorffs it was the arm on the right hand side as you face the front of the camera). I was concerned that with enough use that rubbing would wear a thin area or even a hole in the bellows. I found that if instead of putting the back in its upright position when opening the camera I tilted it all the way backwards (i.e. as if I was using back tilt to the maximum) the rubbing could be minimized and by very lightly pulling the metal arm outward while moving it forward I could eliminate the rubbing entirely.

That's my Deardorff tip of the day. Enjoy the camera, I think there's something special about Deardorffs. But why not an Ebony? : - )

19-Apr-2005, 15:45
Well Done!

Now you have a great foundation to begin your large format exploration. About a year ago a fellow photographer twisted my arm to get into 8x10 b&w photography after many years with 4x5 etc. You are going to be amazed by what your negatives can yield.

Large format lenses come in many designs and structures. I would suggest looking into a wide angle lens for your landscapes just wait until I find mine please. . . Your current 300mm symmar-s will be great and sharp as a "normal" lens for the size. I use a 210mm symmar-s on my 5x7 & 4x5 cameras.

Just don't get hung up on buying names, look around and you will find a lens that best fits the project at hand. Just as with a good 35mm Nikon F outfit with a set of lenses eventually you will begin to shop for another additional lens when you have shot with you convertible symmar-s for a bit.

Have Fun & Enjoy, you really did your homework well! Paul