View Full Version : Ebony RW810 or SV810

robert lyons
16-Jun-2008, 05:11
hi, anybody using these cameras who could give some input on them? also, the issue of weight and using longer lenses with the RW. thanks

16-Jun-2008, 10:21
Hi Robert,

I use an RW810 and love it. I do almost exclusively landscape and find it a perfect compromise for that task. The lenses I use range from the SS XL 150 to the APO-Tele-Xenar 800mm. The 800 focuses at infinity with full extension plus a little back tilt, but it works -- in calm wind.

The camera fits perfectly in the f.64 large backpack, and leaves room for a Nikkor-M 300mm and 450mm lenses in Sinar boards in the top compartment (along with the other gear - meter, filters, etc), and the SS XL 150 in one of the side pockets. This is quite a load for the f.64, but it works.

It performs OK in a light wind -- probably better than most because of the limited movements (compared to the other Ebony models). I haven't found any folding 8x10, including the RW810, that I would consider useable in a moderate wind (>2-5 kts).

When working right out of the car I use a Gitzo 1500, and if I am carrying it I use a Gitzo 35xx(something) CF, both with RRS BH-55 heads. Both legs and heads support the camera very well.

I just returned from a ten-day trip through Bodie, 395, Death Valley, Yosemite and Kings Canyon. The RW810 was the only camera I took. It worked out very well. I did seriously luck out in many places with light or no winds.

With all this said, I do not use the RW810 in the studio. I have a metal monorail for that which gives me the movements needed there. But I feel that the RW810 has all the movements I need for landscape, and none that I don't need -- a perfect compromise (for my needs).

If you are looking for a landscape 8x10, I think you'll like the RW810.


Robert Skeoch
19-Jun-2008, 17:49
I shoot with the SV810. Mine is made of Mahogany.
It is the nicest 8x10 I've ever used but that isn't your question.

I find that I rarely use the bellows much more than I would if I was using a RW. And the couple times I did use the longer bellows I could have done something else to make the RW work. So if I had it to do over I would just get the RW810 and save the weight and cash.
I only use it for landscapes, portraits and a bit of still life. I don't shoot any studio commercial work with it. If I did studio/commerical work I might want the expanded range of the SV810.... but don't feel it's needed in the field.
I use the Fujinon 300mm and 450mm but have ordered the 600mm C. There is no wrong choice between the two because they both are great.