PDA

View Full Version : Looking for my first 8x10, suggestions?



scathontiphat
3-Jan-2018, 09:08
sorry, there must be a million "which camera to buy" threads, but couldn't help starting a new one. I'm looking to buy my first 8x10 camera and lens (but will post lenses in the lens forum) and looking for some advice on what to buy. I've recently seen the Intrepid 8x10 offering online, and wondering if i should go that route or look for something used.

I don't want to spend a ton on my first camera because i know after shooting with it for a bit i'll discover more about what i do and don't like and will inevitably end up with another camera that suits my needs better, once i actually know what my needs are. I do know i want a field camera, as most work will be done not in a studio setting and i'll need to lug the camera around. I do enjoy shooting head shot range portraits, which means i'll need something with a good amount of bellow extension to focus so close. I still need to figure out what lenses to look out for, but will not be using anything super wide or super long to start with. But i do have a preference for larger apertures for brighter ground glass, shallow DoF, and eeking out some shutter speed when needed since i like to shoot people, so i suspect this means i need a front standard that can take some weight. I've got two young children at the moment, so finding time just to shoot is hard enough, and as such i'm looking for a camera that will just work, with little to no maintenance/fixing up.

some history: i have shot 35mm (digital and film) for about 8 years. I got to borrow a 4x5 field camera, and a huge 8x10 monorail studio camera (which of course i lugged out into the field) about 6 years ago and fell in love with 8x10. only shot about a dozen sheets on 8x10 before having to give it back (3 or 4 of which were improperly exposed, or i left the shutter open when pulling the dark slide out :p). At the time i couldn't afford to shoot 8x10, but have been wanting to get back into 8x10 ever since. I can no longer remember what camera it was, but attached is a photo of it for reference. Can't remember the lens i used either, which is a bummer since a field version of that camera + the same lens and i'd be a happy camper to start right now.

Some details:
Field camera
Budget for camera by itself : approx $1k
Location: California, USA
Planning to mainly shoot BW and contact print, although unless I can save a ton of money would rather have modern lenses I can shoot color with as well.
Portrait focused, but will be used for their stuff as well. Photographers I’m influenced by to give you an idea of what I like to shoot: Sally Mann, Alec Soth, Greg Miller, Richard Avedon, Paulo Roversi

thanks for any suggestions/advice!!!

173283

Pere Casals
3-Jan-2018, 10:29
I'm looking to buy my first 8x10 camera and lens

I started 8x10 2 years ago, with tight amateur budget.

Camera I use is CAMBO SC 8x10. 810 Cameras are not as cheap as 45...

Lenses I have that cover (or nearly) are Symmar 210mm convertible (1964), Rodenstock Sironar-N 300mm MC (c. 1980), Symmar 360 convertible to (Nice!) 620mm (1964), and Lomo O-2 600mm (c. 1978)

For the lenses you have to provide information:

> Budget ?

> Portrait, landscape, architecture, objects ? What circle size do you want ? What focals ?

> Need multicoated ?

Andy Eads
3-Jan-2018, 10:40
The camera in your photo is a Horseman. There were two flavors of 8x10 that I know of but they shared the same basic idea: solid monorail and axis tilt & swing. I have the 4x5 version that I used to schlep out in the field as well as in the studio. I also have a Bender 8x10 that has long since gone out of production. They were sold as kits so the quality of assembly varies widely. These show up for sale from time to time. I have problems with the locks not being strong enough to hold everything tight especially when inserting the film holder. Search this forum for other recommendations; there is lots of good advice to be found. I wish you well! -Andy

paulbarden
3-Jan-2018, 10:45
@scathontiphat;

Its difficult to make recommendations without know what your budget really is. Can you offer a ballpark figure for your $$ limit, please?

Luis-F-S
3-Jan-2018, 11:25
Have you tried the search function on the website? Whatever you buy a get a cheap one because as you said you want to get something different later on

consummate_fritterer
3-Jan-2018, 11:59
My choice would be Chamonix or Canham. Others would work well too but those are my favorites. Neither are 'budget' cameras though.

Jimi
3-Jan-2018, 12:58
It is also a bit dependent on your location in the world ... the availability of 8x10 cameras in US compared to Europe for example, are quite different.

scathontiphat
3-Jan-2018, 13:19
Thanks for the replies. I added some details to the original post. I’ve been flipping through other threads as well, but I feel like the new offering from Intrepid sort of throws a spanner in the works when comparing budget options that I’ve not seen discussed (but maybe I’m just bad at searching). Hence the desire to start a new tread.

paulbarden
3-Jan-2018, 14:20
Thanks for the replies. I added some details to the original post. I’ve been flipping through other threads as well, but I feel like the new offering from Intrepid sort of throws a spanner in the works when comparing budget options that I’ve not seen discussed (but maybe I’m just bad at searching). Hence the desire to start a new tread.

Last year I had an opportunity to buy a complete 8X10 Deardorff kit with a pristine Kodak Ektar 12" lens, 8 film holders, and more, so I went for it, finally committing to a lifelong desire to work with large format negs. Yes, it was pricey (USD $3300) but at that time I was certain that I was ready to commit and that the camera would serve me well. I was very sure that it was what I wanted and that I was ready for what it offered me.
If I was less sure about my needs and goals, I expect I would have opted for either the Intrepid 8X10 or a "discount", very rough and tumble old Kodak 2D or perhaps an Agfa Ansco. I have seen these sold with a basic lens for under $1000 on occasion. As a starter camera for someone who isn't sure what his commitment level is (yet) I would seriously consider the Intrepid. One thing you know when you buy one is that it is "brand new" functional (you can expect some functionality compromises with very old, well-worn old discount 8X10s, such as leaky bellows, etc.), clean, lightweight and capable. Its not a "prestige camera" by any means, but its going to serve you well as your first LF camera. The lens you choose will be far more important. Don't "cheap out" when buying your lens!

Ari
3-Jan-2018, 14:36
As has been often said here, your first LF camera likely won't be a keeper.
Buy something that you can afford, and learn from it what you'd like in a camera, all while you learn.
Seems like the Intrepid would be a good starter camera, and who knows, it may end up being a keeper.

ottluuk
4-Jan-2018, 04:19
The camera in your photo is a Horseman. There were two flavors of 8x10 that I know of but they shared the same basic idea: solid monorail and axis tilt & swing. [...]

Doesn't it look more like a Linhof Kardan Master TL (or similar Linhof model) rather than a Horseman? If so, that would be on the heavy side compared to many other monorail cameras.

gypsydog
4-Jan-2018, 12:41
Several people have suggested the intrepid, I disagree, the bellows will probably be two short for what you have described. While cheap initially you will lose money when you go to sell the intrepid in order to upgrade. I suggest an older used camera, Agfa/Ansco , Calumet C-1 or similar with more bellows and full movements in good usable condition. You should be able to recoup your money or even profit if you decide to upgrade. Also, you will need a large lens board and sturdy front standard to accommodate the larger aperture lenses.
As for weight, the problem really is not the camera but the lenses, tripod, holders, etc..etc. Four to six pounds difference in camera weight is irrelevant in the total package.
Good luck and do your research, you'll be glad you did.

John Kasaian
4-Jan-2018, 13:18
The Ansco Universal(like Ansel's) and Calumet(the green monster) has always seemed to me to be undervalued. Kodak 2D is also an option for a budget friendly entry into the 8x10 realm. There are plenty of other old woodies but they tend to be either pri$tine museum piece$ or restoration projects---if you can find something somewhere in-between, you're lucky---especially on ebay!
Deardorfs are excellent but seldom budget friendly.
Modern wooden cameras like Tachiharas and Shen Hao are fine but they tend to hold their value too well. I wouldn't expect much of a price break for a used over a new new example.

What I find expensive are film holders and a strong enough tripod, both being crucial to success.
You can probably save a bit of your budget $$ if your camera comes with any of these accouterments.

There are plenty of lenses to consider, just click on the LF Home Page on the blue banner ^^^up there^^^ for links to reviews and performance tables.

Good luck and let us know what you end up with.

Jac@stafford.net
4-Jan-2018, 14:03
The Ansco Universal(like Ansel's) and Calumet(the green monster) has always seemed to me to be undervalued. [...]

Totally agree! Let me add that the more expensive Green model is not necessary. I am so happy with my aluminum and steel model that I'm selling the Deardorff and Century 1 this year. It is a great, super rigid camera. Not so field-friendly, but I don't hike anymore.

jp
4-Jan-2018, 14:23
A budget priced field camera is a Burke & James. It will weigh less than an old metal camera. It's not as compact or pretty as a Deardorff. Most are gray, mind is clear poly'd. As these are 4x the size of a 4x5 setup, be prepared to pay more for camera, lens, film holders. $1000 is a little on the low side unless you pick up a dead photographers bundle on Clist from a widow and took your chances. Realistic rates are more like $400-500 for a decent 300/5.6 lens, $120 for two film holders, $150 for film, and the B&J is probably <$1000. Budget for some tripod too if you don't have something big for a tripod. I think $2k is more realistic if you need a complete budget outfit.

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7626/16886205781_4767cd845c_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/rJbdEZ)0321151714 (https://flic.kr/p/rJbdEZ) by Jason Philbrook (https://www.flickr.com/photos/13759696@N02/), on Flickr

Jim Galli
4-Jan-2018, 14:36
I'll throw in here with the rest. I have long experience if nothing else to offer. Been there, done that. Began with a Cambo. Moved up to a Deardorff. And have owned and tried most of the usual other suspects that have been owned and used by west coast school photographers. Ansco's. Green Monster Calumet's. Old Gundlach wobbly's. A Burke and James or two. So don't discount experience offered for free by myself and others.

Ultimately I landed at an odd place for an odd reason which probably won't cross over to what you want to do. But listen just the same. My keeper camera and the one that has made the bulk of the images on the pages of my web site is the venerable Kodak 2D. Here's why. It just so happens that there is room inside that camera for a Packard Shutter to live. A 6 1/2" Packard goes inside just at the first bellows fold and attached to the inner bulk head. That then gives me the freedom to use any and every possible old brass barrel lens that crosses my path.

I just finished restoring a lovely old Cooke Portrait lens Series VI last evening which will go on the venerable 2D as soon as today and we'll enjoy investigating it's unique signature along with all the rest. Take a look at the web pages when you're bored and have some time.

The camera is neither sexy or sought after. But it's a solid old workhorse and has provided me with half a lifetime of pictures. The camera is non-descript, but it has enjoyed a who's who of lenses over it's long life of service to me. It's one of the few things I own that's absolutely not for sale.

FWIW here's one on the you know where place. A great camera with a great lens. I'm not affiliated with the seller. Buyer beware as always. But a Kodak 2D with a Goerz Dagor (https://www.ebay.com/itm/Kodak-8-x-10-2-D-View-Camera-with-Dagor-Goerz-12-f6-8-iAcme-No-4-Shutter-Disney/122893189992?hash=item1c9d014368:g:f7IAAOSwR2RaTBHN) is a force to be reckoned with.

paulbarden
4-Jan-2018, 15:00
I’m with Jim on this: if I were looking for a first (and perhaps only) 8x10 camera I would jump on that 2D/Dagor listing

Jac@stafford.net
4-Jan-2018, 15:17
[...] Began with a Cambo. Moved up to a Deardorff. [...]

My keeper camera and the one that has made the bulk of the images on the pages of my web site is the venerable Kodak 2D.

Pardon the gratuitous snips.

Deardorff is the overweight, disengeered (to create a word) camera akin to a full-dresser Harley-Davidson compared to any same year BMW, and I've had several of each.

The choice of a Kodak 2D surprises me. Don't you have any wind where you work? The 2D is not much different than the Century 1 which I suspect has some kind of ghostly sense of the wind and starts waving like a flag when the wind is miles away.
.

Peter De Smidt
4-Jan-2018, 16:02
I'm going to disagree, a little at least, with some of the above. Old field cameras can often have issues, such as misaligned ground glass, warped wood, leaky bellows, movements that don't tighten..... If you can find one that you like in great shape for a good price, by all means go for it, but if you're not careful, getting into into good working order can be pricey, and a bit of a challenge, unless you're pretty handy. On the other hand, there seem to be a bunch of decent 8x10 monorails out there, often used in a studio. Their condition might be better, they're more solid, flexible, ....., and they can work better with longer lenses. Sure, they're heavier and bulkier, generally, to carry around, but it's not that big of a deal unless you want to go backpacking. Cambo, Toyo, Horseman, Sinar....are all good brands. Shop wisely and you'll have a great camera. Down the road you can always add, say, a lighter Chamonix for hiking.

Something like a Wisner or Zone VI 8x10 would be kinda in the middle, more likely to be immediately usable than a 70 year old camera, but not as bulky as a monorail.

Jim Galli
4-Jan-2018, 16:23
My pictures speak for themselves. That old Kodak holds still for long seconds at a time. And I am allergic to wind, so we are well matched. My argument, compelling as it may seem, is only one in a thousand just like it I suppose. Still, the pictures produced speak volumes at this point.

Luis-F-S
4-Jan-2018, 16:37
Pardon the gratuitous snips.

Deardorff is the overweight, disengeered (to create a word) camera akin to a full-dresser Harley-Davidson compared to any same year BMW, and I've had several of each.

So you won't be asking much when you sell it! So how much do you want for it? Feel free to PM me! L

Jac@stafford.net
4-Jan-2018, 16:53
So you won't be asking much when you sell that piece of garbage! So how much do you want for it? Feel free to PM me! L

I price to sell. It will probably be 50% of a comparable posted to the big auction site, but I have to find some way to make pictures of it first. It's below Zero F in my studio - which is really the back yard.:(

Vaughn
4-Jan-2018, 23:06
I bought my Zone VI 8x10 (lightly) used in 1995 -- been quite happy with it. I have abused it over the years, but it keeps on working just fine. Not a great super-wide angle camera -- too much bellows, but can easily handle a 600mm (24") lens. I do need to tighten up a couple things before I go out next time, but just made a couple 8-minute exposures yesterday and everything seemed to stay in place -- hopefully develop this week, but I have a backlog of 120 film, also!

Not a light-weight camera, but not too bad. Fourteen pounds, maybe. It is the glass that can put on the pounds. The Fuji W 360 is 1.5 kilos (3.3 pounds)! Yesterday I could have saved a few pounds on my back and left the 360mm behind (and a couple film holders), and just taken the Fuji Ws 250mm/6.7 and 300mm/5.6. But you never know!

A nice tight 2D would be nice, but I have enjoyed the Zone VI and am glad I got it. I have used 2D and Deardorff 8x10s.

cplkao
4-Jan-2018, 23:07
I would suggest to get a Rittreck view 5x7 camera with the 8x10 back extension. It gives you the option of a versatile 5x7 and can become 8x10 easily.

With the amount of budget you won’t get a decent 8x10 field camera, I had done that search two years ago and all the cameras offered to me are over 1500usd...also the cost of film holder is not that cheap either, plus a steady tripod and head. On the other hand a 5x7 shooting kit is so much more portable than 10x8 and you get a decent contact print size.

I jumped straight into 8x10 from 4x5 with paper negative and 6 film holders, the result is worth it, but lugging all those gear around really becomes too much in the end. Then I discovered 5x7, which is cheaper to shoot and so portable..


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

John Kasaian
5-Jan-2018, 08:22
My pictures speak for themselves. That old Kodak holds still for long seconds at a time. And I am allergic to wind, so we are well matched. My argument, compelling as it may seem, is only one in a thousand just like it I suppose. Still, the pictures produced speak volumes at this point.

If I were in the OP's shoes, I'd give this one a good hard look. Just sayin'

Luis-F-S
5-Jan-2018, 11:01
I’m with Jim on this: if I were looking for a first (and perhaps only) 8x10 camera I would jump on that 2D/Dagor listing
++1! if you consider the value of the lens, the camera is almost free!!!! Just add film holders and film and you're good to go!

Andy Eads
12-Jan-2018, 12:53
Doesn't it look more like a Linhof Kardan Master TL (or similar Linhof model) rather than a Horseman? If so, that would be on the heavy side compared to many other monorail cameras.

On careful examination, I agree that it is likely a Linhof. The Horseman used one of two front standards. One was a cylinder that supported the 4x5 front standard. The other was a large L shaped standard with a square corner. The camera pictured has a round corner typical of Linhof design. Both the Linhof and Horseman are very heavy but also very sturdy. Thanks for the correction.

scathontiphat
13-Jan-2018, 12:24
Thanks for all the suggestions guys! That 2D was mighty tempting and almost pulled the trigger, but have decided to go DIY instead. I know it was against one of my initial requirements, but i just couldn't find something i particularly wanted at a price i was willing to pay... so something's gotta give. I've picked up a cambo front standard which can ride on any 1x1" tube (i'll be using 8020 as my rail). Will order a bellows from ebay (was just planning on buying a replacement bellows for a cambo 8x10 (https://www.ebay.com/itm/281154239718)). So i just need to make the back frame, back end of the bellows frame, and film back. I plan on basically copying the woodyman/intrepid film back since that seems reasonably simple, just need to figure out how big to make the frame to accommodate an existing bellows design before i start making the back frame (see other thread (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?143710-Cambo-8x10-back-bellows-frame-size-Anyone-have-one-they-can-measure&referrerid=34120):) ). will be doing zero movements on my back for now, and just rely on the front movements. Will post back as it comes together and final cost! I've got 2 weeks before the kids get back from a trip with their mom... not sure i'll quite make it, but we'll see!

oh, and i remember now, that camera in the picture was a Linhof. it weighed a ton.

scathontiphat
22-Feb-2018, 10:49
Just thought I’d give an update. Attached pictures are my new cambo/Toyo Franken-camera! Ready to shoot it’s first sheets this weekend (although only in portrait orientation). It came in at 9.5lbs total which is a couple pounds heavier than I was originally targeting due to using another cambo front standard for the rear instead or just a simple friction slider, and having the bellows rear frame made from 1/2” plywood (originally I was designing for that part to be load bearing). No rear tilt or rear rise, and you have to change orientation like a Toho or Gowland lite by undoing the front bellows attachment and then rotating the whole rear onto another mount (which actually I haven’t made the “landscape” bracket yet). Probably ended up costing me about the same as buying an intrepid since I ended up buying a Toyo GG back and wasn’t patient enough to find a better deal, but I have tons of bellows draw to be able to shoot 1:1 on my 360mm, and it holds my 360mm Rodenstock Sironar-N f/6.8 with confidence!

Michael_Fuller
11-Mar-2018, 12:36
Well, I'm new to the site, but I'll put in my two cents worth! I once had a Kodak 2-D 8x10 with a Commercial Ektar. A less expensive lens I had was a Wollensak 159mm Velostigmat "Extreme Wide Angle". You might find the Wollensak very reasonably, but as I recall it is a little flat on contrast. It did cover an 8x10 sheet of film, but I don't remember if there was enough coverage for much "swing" or "tilt". I'm thinking affordable, here... That was years ago...others are more up to date, I'm sure.