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Michael Wellman
5-Mar-2020, 22:04
Iíve been lusting for a 14x17 camera and looking around at my options. Tonight I discovered a new one for sale on eBay for $2K made by Fire Studio out of Blaine, Washington. Has anyone heard of this camera or have any knowledge about the builder? A Google search didnít show anything. Itís always been my experience that if something seems to good to be true itís probably not that good of a deal.

Andrew Plume
6-Mar-2020, 07:17
Michael

I've been following this seller for some time, cannot add anything more I'm afraid

regards

Andrew

Luis-F-S
6-Mar-2020, 07:33
Looks a bit flimsy, also, look at the weight, pretty light, I’d compare the weight to similar sized cameras. L

domaz
6-Mar-2020, 09:00
Are you sure the camera is made in Blaine, WA or is it simply imported in there? Blaine is basically a border/port town.

Peter De Smidt
6-Mar-2020, 09:08
I bought one of his film holders. The quality was poor. The flaps that hold the darkslide at the bottom were crooked, with one edge being over a 1mm higher than the rest of the holder. This means that the holder would not seat properly, which would lead to light leaks, the film not being on the proper plane, and the holder flap eventually breaking....When I mentioned the issue to the seller, the response was, "That won't be a problem in use!" That's total BS.

MAubrey
6-Mar-2020, 12:42
Are you sure the camera is made in Blaine, WA or is it simply imported in there? Blaine is basically a border/port town.

I'm in Bellingham, 15 minutes south of Blaine. They're importing from China.

And some of their Ebay listing actually have Chinese characters in the descriptions.

Greg
6-Mar-2020, 16:10
Personally would try to locate a vintage Empire State view camera if one wants to shoot 14x17. Very light, classical, and can be easily restored. The 11x17 Fire Studio has a lot of possible movements, especially with the front standard, and that makes me wonder just how sturdy the camera is. A 14x17 Chamonix lists for $5,810.00... judging by my 11x14 Chamonix, you get what you pay for.

dentkimterry
6-Mar-2020, 18:39
I bought some of their film holders. The 4x10 ones leaked so I returned them. The 11x14 holders leaked also but I was able to fix them, it was a pain n the butt though.
Terry

Peter De Smidt
6-Mar-2020, 18:43
I bought one of the 4x10 holders. It allows one to use 4x10 in a regular 8x10 camera. I hoped it would allow me to see if that format would work for me without having to buy a camera. Alas, the holder is unusable as is. When my workshop comes up to a bearable temperature, I'll modify/fix it, but that'll be a few months yet.

Michael Wellman
6-Mar-2020, 20:02
I suspected as much. You get what you pay for. I contacted the seller on eBay and asked about a web site. He said they don't have one up and running yet. I find that really bizarre. Shortly after that email I got a response from the seller that he was dropping the price to $1600 for me for 48 hours! I'm sure there are people out there that jump on that deal. Not me.

esearing
14-Mar-2020, 05:39
I have associated Fire Studio with Jim Fitzgerald for some reason - may not be true. Here is his 14x17 build back in 2018 but the ebay one had different hardware. https://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?149314-New-Lightweight-14x17-Camera-is-finished!&highlight=14x17. I don't suppose Jim could do such fine carbon work with flimsy cameras.

Jim Fitzgerald
14-Mar-2020, 12:04
I have associated Fire Studio with Jim Fitzgerald for some reason - may not be true. Here is his 14x17 build back in 2018 but the ebay one had different hardware. https://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?149314-New-Lightweight-14x17-Camera-is-finished!&highlight=14x17. I don't suppose Jim could do such fine carbon work with flimsy cameras.

Please don't associate me with this company. If I was ever too start a company and build cameras for photographers it would be Carbon Art Photography.

Peter De Smidt
14-Mar-2020, 13:19
Just from watching Jim's builds and looking at the Fire Studio holder, I knew he couldn't be behind it.

Tin Can
14-Mar-2020, 13:23
Exactly, his builds are very sturdy, even his last lightweight version.


Just from watching Jim's builds and looking at the Fire Studio holder, I knew he couldn't be behind it.

Jim Fitzgerald
14-Mar-2020, 13:38
Thanks guys. My big 14x17 to 20x24 is for sale but it is a beast a sturdy one at that. My lightweight 21 pound 14x17 is a dream to use and is solid as well. I've always taken my time and tried to build them right and with the finest quality wood and materials I can afford. After all they are all for me!!

esearing
28-Mar-2020, 11:08
Please don't associate me with this company. If I was ever too start a company and build cameras for photographers it would be Carbon Art Photography.

I meant no offense Jim, apologies. I knew you were selling a 14x17 camera a while back and this one showed up about the same time in the same general geographical area. So I mistakenly merged the two.

Andrew Plume
28-Mar-2020, 12:13
I meant no offense Jim, apologies. I knew you were selling a 14x17 camera a while back and this one showed up about the same time in the same general geographical area. So I mistakenly merged the two.

Yes, easily done and it had occurred to me as well - two ULF builders in Washington State etc etc but any coincidence pretty well paled quickly, the quality is the difference and it's not hard to see which 'manufacturer' stands out.......................

regards to all and well done Jim

Andrew

Jim Fitzgerald
28-Mar-2020, 20:03
I meant no offense Jim, apologies. I knew you were selling a 14x17 camera a while back and this one showed up about the same time in the same general geographical area. So I mistakenly merged the two.

Not a problem at all. I just wanted to clear up any confusion.

anerdoo
3-Jun-2020, 05:20
I have purchase an 11x14 from the seller. I can't afford a new state of the art, anf most used cameras(if you could find one) were more much than what I paid. So I got a lightweight camera with new bellows and rear focusing. This camera would not be up to most users standards used to higher priced models like Phillips, Wisner, Chamonix, etc. My camera was definitely substandard until I upgraded the front standard with stiffer upright standards and changed a couple fasteners to secure things better. I bought a ligjt tight holder as well that needed modifications but I like it for a third of the cost of other used holders.

If you can't quite swallow the idea that some tinkering is required on a new camera then stay away. But if you want a camera that is less than a quarter the cost of a new one and have time it may be of some use.

I hope this is helpful


Andrew

ghostcount
3-Jun-2020, 08:13
...I bought a ligjt tight holder as well that needed modifications but I like it for a third of the cost of other used holders.

Curious, what did you have to do on those holders.

anerdoo
3-Jun-2020, 10:32
The holder was too short to actually fit a sheet. Removed the light trap cover by taking out the screws. Inside there is a border/stop glued in place. I actually just popped them out and switched the ends that but against the film- it looks like they were placed backwards originally since the side with the sloped overhang to hold the film edge was facing the wrong way. I used a scrap negative to gauge where to epoxy it back down and then reinstalled the cover on the light trap.

ghostcount
3-Jun-2020, 11:04
The holder was too short to actually fit a sheet. Removed the light trap cover by taking out the screws. Inside there is a border/stop glued in place. I actually just popped them out and switched the ends that but against the film- it looks like they were placed backwards originally since the side with the sloped overhang to hold the film edge was facing the wrong way. I used a scrap negative to gauge where to epoxy it back down and then reinstalled the cover on the light trap.

Thank you!

dodphotography
4-Jun-2020, 07:07
The holder was too short to actually fit a sheet. Removed the light trap cover by taking out the screws. Inside there is a border/stop glued in place. I actually just popped them out and switched the ends that but against the film- it looks like they were placed backwards originally since the side with the sloped overhang to hold the film edge was facing the wrong way. I used a scrap negative to gauge where to epoxy it back down and then reinstalled the cover on the light trap.

It's great to have that skill level in repairing.

pound
8-Jun-2020, 00:44
I have purchase an 11x14 from the seller. I can't afford a new state of the art, anf most used cameras(if you could find one) were more much than what I paid. So I got a lightweight camera with new bellows and rear focusing. This camera would not be up to most users standards used to higher priced models like Phillips, Wisner, Chamonix, etc. My camera was definitely substandard until I upgraded the front standard with stiffer upright standards and changed a couple fasteners to secure things better. I bought a ligjt tight holder as well that needed modifications but I like it for a third of the cost of other used holders.

If you can't quite swallow the idea that some tinkering is required on a new camera then stay away. But if you want a camera that is less than a quarter the cost of a new one and have time it may be of some use.

I hope this is helpful


AndrewThanks for sharing the experience. Do show us some photos of the camera and holders when you have the chance.

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