View Full Version : What questions to ask and how to examine a used 8x10?

Chris Hawkins
24-Jan-2000, 20:21
I'm going to purchase a used 8x10 in the next couple of months. Leading candida tes are Cambo Legend and Calumet C-1. What should I ask about prior to purchasi ng one via the internet? If I get the chance to examine it in person before pur chasing, what should I look for other than smooth movements and obvious damage? Is there a way to check for bellows leaks? Poor alignmenet?

Tony Brent
24-Jan-2000, 23:28
Everything should work smoothly, not bind, and lock securely. Watch out for stripped threads, gummed up slides or gear racks. They can be cleaned, but the value is not as high as if they are in good shape to start with. Look for cracks in castings that may indicate hard use.

To check a bellows, either turn out all the lights and hold a small flashlight inside with the bellows racked all the way out, or turn ON all the lights and stick your head inside. Check all the corners, since this is where bellows start to pinhole first. Small holes can be patched fairly easily, larger tears means more involved repair. Either one lessens the value. Check where the bellows mount to the front and back frames for leaks, cracks, bends and buckles, etc.

In general try to form an overall impression of how much and what kind of use the camera has had.

Bill Glickman
25-Jan-2000, 04:13
I don't know how much you are spending, but if I spent a few thousand dollars for a used camera, I would consider sending the camera to a qualified repair facility like mamiya USA that can check it with a sophisiticate laser system, to see how aligned the entire system is. this is one of the few things that is difficult to eyeball. If not, a few very careful film test shot wide open with new holders should get you close to the answer of alignment. I agree with the posters above about the physical nature of the camera. Beware when new gg / fresnels have been installed, this is sometimes the begining of alignment trouble.