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Cameron Cornell
20-Oct-2018, 21:18
Recently, I acquired an 8x10 Kodak Master Camera, or as everyone seems to call it, a Kodak Master View (“Kodak Master Camera” is on the camera’s nameplate). It belong to a camera collector on the Olympic Peninsula who died recently. His son, who is a friend of a friend, passed it along to me for a very good price in exchange for my help this winter sorting through his father’s collection. It came with a 12 inch Commercial Ektar, the 8x10 back, the 5x7 reducing back, and the original case. The original bellows were riddled with pinholes, so I’ve removed them and ordered new bellows, and the 8x10 ground glass was not original, so I ordered a better ground glass to replace it. Otherwise, the camera is in fantastic condition.

I would like to hear from anyone on the forum who has any information to offer on the history of these cameras. I assume that plenty of them were produced, but they don’t appear to be all that common. At the moment, there’s just one up for auction and none for sale on this site as far as I can see. The production dates seem to be a mystery. I have variously found threads claiming that they were produced for 10 years between 1946 and 1956, or that they were produced for seven years between 1954 in 1961, or that they were produced from 1950 until the late 1960s. No one seems to know how many were made each year. I’m also curious about the metal that they used to make the clamshell. I’ve seen it stated with absolute certainty that it’s made of aluminum, and I’ve seen it stated with equal certainty that it’s made of magnesium.

Obviously, I haven’t use the camera yet, but I’ve been putting it through its paces in dumb show and I think I like the design. I’m taking a trip to France and Ireland next summer for five or six weeks. I was planning to bring my 5x7 Pony Premo, but the sturdy, compact design of this thing has got me thinking about bringing it along instead. With the studio camera as my primary 8x10 up to now, I’ve been limited to shooting 8x10 only in places where I can go in my car.

I’m interested to hear opinions on the camera’s drawbacks from those of you who have used it. Any reason it wouldn’t be a good traveling 8x10?

And as Randy suggested that I ask, who has one?

Thanks.

Cameron Cornell
Washington State
www.analogpprtraiture.com

Mark Sampson
20-Oct-2018, 22:09
I used an 8x10 Kodak Master Camera on the job at Kodak, and owned one for some years. I could never find any data about production dates, but 1946 might be a bit early and 'late '60s' would be too late. I think that they were designed to replace the Eastman Commercial 8x10 (the magnesium 2-D), which was made into the early '50s. Kodak was discontinuing LF lens production by the mid-1960s, too, and it's unlikely that they would be making view cameras and not the lenses for them. (I always assumed that they were made of aluminum, but never thought to check.) About production, I think that relatively few were made, but a large percentage of them have survived.
I would ask Todd Gustavsson at the George Eastman Museum, as they have EK's patent museum and a lot of the data about Kodak's cameras there.
Michael A. Smith and Paula Chamlee might be a source for the KMV's rather unusual lens boards.
They are fine cameras- best of luck with your search.

Tin Can
21-Oct-2018, 03:58
Why not also ask how many here have one.

I canít add to your data search but they are rare.

I waited a long time to aquire one.

Cameron Cornell
21-Oct-2018, 08:33
One of the aspects of this camera that I find fascinating is that it’s clearly a product of Kodak in its Golden Age when the company had a vast budget for research and development of new products. I can sense the ghosts of the Truman- and Eisenhower-era engineers in Rochester who designed this thing down to its last detail. They didn’t cut corners because perhaps they didn’t need to. It isn’t a sentimental piece of equipment; that is, it doesn’t seem like a piece of equipment that is meant to harken back to the old days with mahogany and fine leather or whatever. It’s an industrial object that feels like it came whole from the minds of those engineers, unimpeded by sentiment. They were designing their top-shelf camera for their modern world.

These are just my impressions from handling this thing as I take it apart for cleaning and put it back together.

Cameron Cornell
Washington State
www.analogportraiture.com

Doug Howk
21-Oct-2018, 08:36
I originally got a non-functioning beater; but fortunately another person was selling his piecemeal on epray; so I acquired the parts I needed. I've purchased lensboards from Michael Smith, and they are of excellent quality.

William Whitaker
21-Oct-2018, 08:58
I don't have one now, but have had two at different times (the last of which was Mark Sampson's). It's a lovely camera with a wonderful design. Lots of front rise, especially when you include the fine adjustment which adds another half inch or so. The biggest issue with that camera (IMO) has always been the odd proprietary lensboards. They were stamped out of a very soft aluminum alloy which does not mill cleanly and which bends easily. They are rather large, but the benefit of a large lensboard is negated by the light trap which is a gutter around the perimeter of the board, limiting the size of the lens which can be mounted. I had a few of the the MAS-produced lensboards and they were very nice. But at about $100 apiece (then), that got expensive quickly. I eventually modified the second camera to take Sinar boards. That was great, but it was an expensive solution.

As with almost everything in LF, there is no free lunch. I would recommend the camera in a heartbeat. But keep your lens kit limited and plan to invest in enough MAS lensboards to cover the basic kit. In fact, basing a lensboard adapter to Sinar utilizing a MAS lensboard would be the best solution, IMO. That can be done by most any semi-conscious machinist easily enough.

Bellows replacement is a little tricky as the rear bellows frame is attached with 16 (I think...) fine-pitch machine screws. That's not so bad, but the bellows material wraps around the rear bellows frame necessitating that holes be punched in the material to allow the multitude of screws to pass. A little unnerving on a brand-new $300 bellows. But also painful on the fingers.

The camera itself is very basic, but with good movements which are easy to use and lock solidly. I will advise that the metal gets cold if shooting outdoors in the cold months. Goes without saying. But it's a point always driven home each time you grab that frigid camera to adjust it. But I'm getting old and grumpy and tend to complain a lot anyway.

Cameron Cornell
21-Oct-2018, 09:28
Bellows replacement is a little tricky as the rear bellows frame is attached with 16 (I think...) fine-pitch machine screws. That's not so bad, but the bellows material wraps around the rear bellows frame necessitating that holes be punched in the material to allow the multitude of screws to pass. A little unnerving on a brand-new $300 bellows. But also painful on the fingers.

I was going to be asking about this later, but since you brought it up, I am going to be required to fabricate something to act as a rear frame for the bellows, as the original frame which was glued and screwed to the original bellows, was broken in one of the corners. Stupidly, so stupidly, it went into the bin still glued to the bellows. This was after work one day in my classroom. On my drive home, I realized with a start that I ought to have kept the broken frame either for repair or as a guide for making a new frame.

Obviously, Iíll just be using the dimensions of the rear standard to knock something together, but if anyone has any recommendations or suggestions or warnings, Iím all ears. I have all of the original screws and the new bellows should be here in a week or two.

Cameron Cornell
Washington State
www.analogportraiture.com

Tin Can
21-Oct-2018, 09:55
I bought mine here. A few loose screws perhaps from transport vibration. I went through the whole camera and snugged many up. Found replacements at McMaster. Then I adapted a Sinar to Linhof Technika lens board directly to the OE board with bolts. Most of my lenses are on Technika boards.

The 12" Symmar Dagor type is (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?12499-Symmar-Doppel-Anastigmat-6-8-300mm&p=98509&viewfull=1#post98509) always ready inside the folded camera.

A KMV sets up very quickly and fit inside a C1 aluminum case with a few film holders.

The OE GG is a useful thing of beauty, with a unique coating. Irreplaceable.

Nobody will ever copy a KMV.

Mark Sawyer
21-Oct-2018, 11:19
The KMV was a great camera from Kodak's golden age, when they were making the Commercial Ektar lenses, the 35mm Ektra camera, the Medalist, etc. I converted my KMV to take a standard 6x6-inch board:

John Kasaian
21-Oct-2018, 13:09
I had one.
A very good, rugged camera but finding lens boards is tough.
IIRC, Michael Smith had a bunch of lens boards made up for resale.

Cameron Cornell
23-Oct-2018, 08:42
I just got off the phone with Todd Gustavson, the curator of the Technology Collection at Eastman Museum. He looked it up and reported definitively that the 8x10 Kodak Master Camera was manufactured from September of 1953 through August of 1961. He said that the confusion over the dates often stems from the fact that the similarly named 4x5 Kodak Master View was manufactured from 1947-1953. Finally, he was able to confirm that the metal body of the camera is made of aluminum.

Thank you fellows for your input. I may well be posting on this thread again before I attempt to make a rear bellows frame and install the new bellows, as this will be the first time that I do either of these things.


Cameron Cornell
Washington State
www.analogportraiture.com

Mark Sawyer
23-Oct-2018, 10:53
I just got off the phone with Todd Gustavson, the curator of the Technology Collection at Eastman Museum. He looked it up and reported definitively that the 8x10 Kodak Master Camera was manufactured from September of 1953 through August of 1961. He said that the confusion over the dates often stems from the fact that the similarly named 4x5 Kodak Master View was manufactured from 1947-1953. Finally, he was able to confirm that the metal body of the camera is made of aluminum.

I've heard magnesium as much as aluminum for the 8x10, both from sources that should know.

Cameron Cornell
23-Oct-2018, 11:25
I've heard magnesium as much as aluminum for the 8x10, both from sources that should know.

Gustavson said that the Kodak Commercial View was magnesium, but that Kodak switched to aluminum when they replaced the 8x10 Commercial View with the 8x10 Master Camera.

I suppose we could try to set one on fire… :)

Cameron Cornell
Washington State
www.analogportraiture.com

Mark Sawyer
23-Oct-2018, 12:17
I suppose we could try to set one on fire… :)

I nominate yours, not mine! :)

William Whitaker
23-Oct-2018, 15:45
I was going to be asking about this later, but since you brought it up, I am going to be required to fabricate something to act as a rear frame for the bellows, as the original frame which was glued and screwed to the original bellows, was broken in one of the corners. Stupidly, so stupidly, it went into the bin still glued to the bellows. This was after work one day in my classroom. On my drive home, I realized with a start that I ought to have kept the broken frame either for repair or as a guide for making a new frame.



That's a shame. But since it's a simple static piece, it should be easy to replicate. I'd suggest a WTB on this site. That could possibly mean "Want To Borrow" as you really only need one to use as a pattern. The original is very thin metal, so not easily worked by hand. Too great a chance of blood-letting! But it would be a good WaterJet project.

Mark Sampson
23-Oct-2018, 17:14
Glad you found some answers and shared them... questions I never thought about when using the cameras. A few bits of related trivia:
When EK discontinued the 4x5 Master View in 1953, they sold the tooling to Calumet Photographic (then mostly a maker of stainless steel sinks). Who then did a little re-engineering (just how much is debatable) and sold the camera as the Calumet CC-400 for the next 35 years or so.
And if you can find a copy of the Kodak "Studio Lighting" pamphlet from about 1958, the 8x10 Master is the camera in the illustrations. That little book is a marvel of 'how they used to do it' btw, with lots of still-useful info if you're doing table-top work.

Cameron Cornell
23-Oct-2018, 19:53
Will, thank you for the suggestions about the bellows frame. I will definitely look into the options you recommended. I really appreciate your help.

Mark, I’m glad you added this information about the 4x5 KMV. I think these threads will be helpful for people who search for information down the road since our keywords will pull these discussions up on the Internet. The more good information we can add here, the less confused people will be (hopefully).

To that end, I just now did a little experiment to try and determine once and for all if the 8x10 Kodak Master Camera is aluminum or magnesium since not everyone was convinced by the word of Mr. Gustavson from the Eastman House.

Surprise, surprise, there are chemistry forums and welding forums that talk about how to determine whether a metal is magnesium or aluminum. A simple test that both groups recommend that doesn’t involve any fireworks is to put vinegar on the metal in question. Aluminum does not react to vinegar, whereas magnesium will cause the vinegar to rapidly start fizzing and bubbling; eventually, this reaction will start to dissolve the magnesium.

I’ve removed the hardware that holds the leather handle in place because I’m having a leathersmith in Bellingham make a new leather handle to replace the cracked and worn original. The contact point underneath that hardware has rubbed away the paint so that a strip of shiny silver-colored metal will be exposed until I replace the handle.

I put white vinegar in a dropper and put several drops directly onto the exposed metal. Results: nothing happened. For me, that settles the question. The anticipation over whether my camera was about to start dissolving in a sizzling chemical reaction was pretty exciting!

Cameron Cornell
Washington State
www.analogportraiture.com

Mark Sawyer
23-Oct-2018, 22:33
However, such tests do not rule out duranium, vibranium, adamantium, or mithril.

Vibranium would be an especially useful metal for dampening tripod vibration, so when you think about it, it would make sense that Kodak may have used it...

Mark Sampson
24-Oct-2018, 09:41
Given my financial situation, the 8x10 Master might as well be made of unobtainium. I regret selling mine, although it went to a good home. Someday I'll go back to 8x10, but not this year.

Cameron Cornell
26-Oct-2018, 09:46
Further to this question of the rear bellows frame, I have contacted Keith at Custom Bellows in England and Michael Smith to ask if either have a spare part that I could buy. Custom Bellows does not. I havenít heard back from Michael.

My thought is to give the precise dimensions to a machine shop and have them fabricate a frame out of aluminum, say, and instead of worrying about getting threaded holes and using the original tiny screws, just drilling holes in the bellows frame to match the holes in the rear standard and using tiny bolts and nuts when it comes time to secure the whole thing. I checked this morning, and there is plenty of clearance between the 8 x 10 back and the body of the camera for a small bolt. I already have tiny bolts and nuts that would probably fit the bill that I bought when I was mounting a Vitax flange to a lens board.

What do you think?

Cameron Cornell
Washington State
www.analogportraiture.com

William Whitaker
26-Oct-2018, 10:47
Again, you don't really need to purchase an actual bellows frame to use as a gauge. If someone could make a scan of one for you, that could be converted to CAD and become the basis for replicating the part. Sometimes steel is preferable to aluminum, especially if the manufacturing process requires a magnetic chuck. The weight difference would be negligible.

Cameron Cornell
26-Oct-2018, 11:27
Again, you don't really need to purchase an actual bellows frame to use as a gauge. If someone could make a scan of one for you, that could be converted to CAD and become the basis for replicating the part. Sometimes steel is preferable to aluminum, especially if the manufacturing process requires a magnetic chuck. The weight difference would be negligible.

I understand what you're saying, Will, but I think it's a long shot that I'll find someone who is willing to scan that part, or even sell it, for that matter. The rear bellows frame is integral to any functioning camera, and I assume that one would have to unscrew and unglue the bellows to scan it. Even if the camera was non-functional, it seems unlikely that someone would be willing to dismantle his bellows to extract this part for scanning. To be frank, scanning an object and computer-aided design are miles out of my wheelhouse. I'd be thrilled, though, if someone were able to do this for me. I'd be happy to pay.

But, assuming that no one turns up who is willing to do this, do you think my proposal above would work, perhaps switching the aluminum to steel?

Cameron Cornell
Washington State
www.analogportraiture.com

Thom Bennett
27-Oct-2018, 07:54
Big fan of the KMV. Beyond the great design and quick setup, I like that the screw, nut, and bolt sizes are easily found at any neighborhood hardware store. You'll find them listed in the 1954 Parts List at https://www.butkus.org. Except for the screws that attach the rear bellows frame to the camera! I went to a few hardware stores and got the closest thing I could find but, in installing the new screws, a few of the heads broke off because of the force needed. I've probably mangled the screw holes and it's been bugging me ever since. All of this is to say that I may be taking the rear bellows frame apart so that I can address the issue and, at that time, can scan the frame and offer any other assistance to you.

As far as mounting lenses, I found a KMV-to-Technika reducing lens board which works great and allows me to share lenses with another camera.

My first 8x10 was a Deardorff, which I treasured. But, in the real world, it was loose and fiddly and was not the quickest to rack focus on. Took a workshop with Michael and Paula and was able to see the KMV in action. The front focusing design is what convinced me to switch from the Deardorff. Quick and easy. Everything else on the camera was lagniappe and, every time I use it, I thank the gods of Rochester for making such a useable camera.

Thom Bennett
27-Oct-2018, 08:15
I believe this is a Colorama of the in-house studio at Kodak. KMV's in action!

183731

Cameron Cornell
27-Oct-2018, 20:40
Big fan of the KMV. Beyond the great design and quick setup, I like that the screw, nut, and bolt sizes are easily found at any neighborhood hardware store. You'll find them listed in the 1954 Parts List at https://www.butkus.org. Except for the screws that attach the rear bellows frame to the camera! I went to a few hardware stores and got the closest thing I could find but, in installing the new screws, a few of the heads broke off because of the force needed. I've probably mangled the screw holes and it's been bugging me ever since. All of this is to say that I may be taking the rear bellows frame apart so that I can address the issue and, at that time, can scan the frame and offer any other assistance to you.

As far as mounting lenses, I found a KMV-to-Technika reducing lens board which works great and allows me to share lenses with another camera.

My first 8x10 was a Deardorff, which I treasured. But, in the real world, it was loose and fiddly and was not the quickest to rack focus on. Took a workshop with Michael and Paula and was able to see the KMV in action. The front focusing design is what convinced me to switch from the Deardorff. Quick and easy. Everything else on the camera was lagniappe and, every time I use it, I thank the gods of Rochester for making such a useable camera.

Thom, that’s a really generous offer. If you do decide to follow through on that project, send me a message and maybe we can work something out. I really appreciate the thought. I’m also glad you sent the link to that parts list. There was one screw missing from the handle hardware on my camera, and that parts list enabled me to just order the screw I need without any guesswork.

Cheers,

Cameron

Tin Can
28-Oct-2018, 05:20
One issue with the KMV is the 1/4-20 female tripod mount. It is recessed more than modern tripod plate screws reach.

We need to use a longer, perhaps older or an adjustable camera mount screw.

Majestic screws are adjustable as are Ries.

Glennview (http://glennview.com/jpgs/vcam/kmv/parts/big_6.jpg) offers a custom replacement for the female socket with the added security of making it 3/8-16 which I vastly prefer to 1/4-20.

For now I use a Majestic head with a large video QR/KWIK STAND XL made in USA by Kessler Crane. (http://www.kesslercrane.com/)

Mark Sampson
28-Oct-2018, 21:21
haha, I look at the Colorama shot and remember that at no time in my Kodak career did I ever have access to studio space like that. Although EK's downtown studios (for the advertising guys) was pretty impressive the one time I visited. Worth noting, as well, that the Coloramas were shot with a 12x20 Deardorff. And best of luck with your KMV project, Mr. Cornell!

Jim Jones
29-Oct-2018, 07:42
The Kodak Coloramas were shot on a variety of equipkent from banquet cameras down to 35mm.

Thom Bennett
29-Oct-2018, 08:47
As Avedon said, "All photographs are accurate. None of them are the truth." Should have realized that studio was too good to be true. Were the Colorama's shot on Kodachrome? Was 12x20 color film a readily available format back then. Those must have been something to see on the light table.


haha, I look at the Colorama shot and remember that at no time in my Kodak career did I ever have access to studio space like that. Although EK's downtown studios (for the advertising guys) was pretty impressive the one time I visited. Worth noting, as well, that the Coloramas were shot with a 12x20 Deardorff. And best of luck with your KMV project, Mr. Cornell!

Mark Sawyer
29-Oct-2018, 11:44
As Avedon said, "All photographs are accurate. None of them are the truth."

Hmmm, I've always found that all photographs are true, and none of them are accurate...

Jay Decker
12-Nov-2018, 21:34
Mark - can you tell us any more about your KVM modification to accept 6x6 boards? I have a lot of vintage glass on 6x6 boards that Iíd like to be able to directly hang on the front of a recently acquired KVM.


... I converted my KMV to take a standard 6x6-inch board:
184452

Mark Sawyer
12-Nov-2018, 22:27
I don't think I can, really. I did it a decade or more ago, and about all I remember is it wasn't terribly hard once I got into it. Just a kind of adapter board the same size as the front standard faceboard.

Jay Decker
13-Nov-2018, 07:19
... Just a kind of adapter board the same size as the front standard faceboard.

It is just an adapter board - awesome, thanks for the information!

Jay Decker
13-Nov-2018, 14:29
Next question... what are you hauling your KMV around in? Have you found a good backpack or case to haul? In my case, it would be nice to find something that would haul the camera and 5x7 back.

Mark Sawyer
14-Nov-2018, 17:07
Actually, not an adapter board; I replaced the front plate that goes between the front standards, but if you took it off the camera, it would look like an adapter board, and took about the same effort to make as an adapter board. I had to disconnect/reconnect the bellows, but that's not a big deal.

I carry it around in an f/64 backpack made for 8x10 cameras. It fits very nicely, as does my 2D and B&J. It's the best solution I've ever seen for carrying 8x10s! Highly recommended!

Mark Sampson
14-Nov-2018, 18:29
Wish I'd known about that backpack when I had my KMV. I used the original fiberboard suitcase, rather impractical in the field. The one we had at Kodak seldom left our studio/workspace so it wasn't an issue there. Having the proper location kit, especially with the larger formats, is very important.

Jay Decker
15-Nov-2018, 19:08
Actually, not an adapter board; I replaced the front plate that goes between the front standards, but if you took it off the camera, it would look like an adapter board, and took about the same effort to make as an adapter board...

Thanks for the clarification. There are at least three different methods to make the conversion. Did you enlarge the opening in the front plate?

Mark Sawyer
15-Nov-2018, 19:41
I completely replaced the front plate. It was pretty simple to fabricate a new one.

Cameron Cornell
28-Nov-2018, 12:35
New Question: Could one of you fellows out there who has an 8x10 Kodak Master Camera confirm that the front and rear bellows frames should be glued inside the last flap of the bellows? This is my recollection, but as I said, I disassembled the whole thing and scrapped the original, leaky bellows (stupidly) without studying it closely or taking pictures.

You may recall that I no longer had the rear bellows. Since I wasn't able to get my hands on an original frame, I just measured the space myself and drew up a plan:

(Here is a iPhone picture of a computer screen showing the plan)

184842


I got estimates from metal shops ranging from $45 to $250 to fabricate the frame. I went with the $45 fellow (obviously) and I just got it back yesterday. It's perfect. I'm going to drill the ten tiny holes, paint it matte black, and send it (along with the original front frame) to Custom Bellows in England. When I get the new bellows back, I'll just use tiny bolts and nuts to secure the new rear bellows to the rear standard.

But as I said in that question up above, I just can't recall if the front frame should be glued to the inside of the bellows. I know that it is a rather complicated arrangement. Here are the only two pictures I could find online showing the back side of the front standard:

184843

184844

I'm sure the folks at Custom Bellows will know what to do, but I just want to make sure that my instructions to them are clear and correct.

Thank you fellows for all of your help.

Cameron Cornell
Washington State
www.analogportraiture.com

Cameron Cornell
30-Jan-2019, 09:36
After solving the myriad of little issues surrounding the rear bellows frame and awaiting all of the component parts to come in from all over (bellows, lens board, hardware, ground glass, Stone Photo Gear wraps), I finally tested the Kodak Master View last weekend with a 10" Wollensak Vitax. It was a pleasure to use and the negatives look fine. I'll be taking this setup to Europe for five weeks starting June 26.

Thank you fellows for your advice.

187048

187050

187051

Cameron Cornell
Washington State
www.analogportraiture.com

Jay Decker
30-Jan-2019, 10:13
... I finally tested the Kodak Master View last weekend with a 10" Wollensak Vitax. It was a pleasure to use and the negatives look fine...


Congratulations! Look forward to you posting all your killer image for us to ogle.

Thom Bennett
1-Feb-2019, 12:31
Nice looking rig! Glad you worked out all the issues with the back. Good luck on your adventure!

Mark Sampson
1-Feb-2019, 22:15
Best of luck! No doubt that you'll put it to good use. I do miss mine, although it went to a good home.

John Kasaian
11-Feb-2019, 13:47
Further to this question of the rear bellows frame, I have contacted Keith at Custom Bellows in England and Michael Smith to ask if either have a spare part that I could buy. Custom Bellows does not. I havenít heard back from Michael.

My thought is to give the precise dimensions to a machine shop and have them fabricate a frame out of aluminum, say, and instead of worrying about getting threaded holes and using the original tiny screws, just drilling holes in the bellows frame to match the holes in the rear standard and using tiny bolts and nuts when it comes time to secure the whole thing. I checked this morning, and there is plenty of clearance between the 8 x 10 back and the body of the camera for a small bolt. I already have tiny bolts and nuts that would probably fit the bill that I bought when I was mounting a Vitax flange to a lens board.

What do you think?

Cameron Cornell
Washington State
www.analogportraiture.com

Self tapping screws come to mind.

Susie Frith
17-Feb-2019, 01:29
Hi Guys,

A very interesting thread - thank you all for posting.

I saw a KMV quite a while ago when I attended a wet-plate course, but have not persued the aquisition of one - they are really rare in the UK.

I do, howver, still own one of a pair of Kodak Commercial View cameras that I bought 15 or 20 years ago. This is the one made between the late 30s and early 40s as a magnesium version of the 2D. From what I gather from various sites, this was discontinued due to the military demand for magnesium for the war effort. At one point I was going to convert the poorer of the two to an 8 x 20 camera, but didn't get round to it and sold it when I was scaling down my kit.

The KCV is a great bit of kit but the KMV does seem much more "field friendly". The KCV has an additional base board to extend the bellows which is something else to carry; does the KMV work like a giant Linhof Technika?

I hope you have a good time in Europe, Cameron.

Best wishes,

Sue

Mark Sampson
17-Feb-2019, 12:37
Sue, if this helps, the KMV is more like a metal Deardorff or Gandolfi, although the Technika comparison is not too far off. It is a clamshell type camera; Closed, it sits flat on the tripod, and you raise the rear standard from its base. Then set up the front standard and extend the bellows.
The KMV is more compact than the Commercial, to be sure. It does not have as much bellows extension, but front tilts are built-in.
They are both excellent cameras; I've used both but preferred the KMV for field use- in fact I owned one for some years. I suspect that the Commercial would do better with very long lenses, a colleague used a 28"(?) Turner-Reich convertible lens on his.
So "horses for courses".

Jac@stafford.net
17-Feb-2019, 12:43
I just bought a KMV after waiting decades. It strikes me as just right in so many ways. If it works out, I'll be selling three other 8x10s.

blueribbontea
24-Feb-2019, 20:25
Hi Guys,


I do, howver, still own one of a pair of Kodak Commercial View cameras that I bought 15 or 20 years ago. This is the one made between the late 30s and early 40s as a magnesium version of the 2D. From what I gather from various sites, this was discontinued due to the military demand for magnesium for the war effort.
Best wishes,

Sue
That is the story I heard about the Commercial view, that it was only made until about 1943. It sounds as if Gustafson is suggesting they were made until 1953 or so. One of those photo legends. Mine is in regular use and really a fun camera.

Bill

LabRat
24-Feb-2019, 22:39
I believe this is a Colorama of the in-house studio at Kodak. KMV's in action!

183731

I bet it gets warm in that studio!!! ;-)

Steve K