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View Full Version : Eastman Kodak 2-D (and other's of that era)



Mike Fiction
19-Aug-2008, 10:20
I'm looking to get a fixer-upper 8x10 and would like something like the 2D but had a couple of questions. I'm looking for something primarily for portraiture.

Do the backs on these pull off and rotate (like on a Tachihara) to be in either landscape or portrait? I assume so, but are there any models that I should look out for that don't?

The 2D seems like the best model for what I want, is there any other camera suggestions from that era? I have no experience in person with any 8x10 other than some Deardorff's I've seen at mpex, so I'm kinda running blind with this :)

Front tilt would be nice, I've seen 2D's modified with this movement, is that difficult to do?

What kind of price range is the 2D in non-restored condition? What do replacement bellows cost?

BarryS
19-Aug-2008, 11:29
The 2D is a good choice for a portrait camera. The backs are all reversible, so that's not an issue. You could also look at the Century, Korona, or Seneca cameras--they're fairly similar. Check out http://www.fiberq.com/cam/index.htm for a good listing. You can have Richard Ritter add front tilt for an extra ~$300, but I'd probably just go for good user Deardorff if you want more movements. A new bellows will run about $300, so make an effort to find a 2D with a good bellows. Prices range from about $250 to $650 depending on condition, accessories, and whether or not it includes the extra rear rail. If you want to shoot with long lenses, the rear rail is good to have.

Benno Jones
19-Aug-2008, 11:49
If you're interested, Mike, I have a B&J 8x10 that needs some fixing up (good cleaning, new bellows). All the movements you could ever want, the back pulls off and rotates. PM if you want some pictures, etc.

Mike Fiction
19-Aug-2008, 15:51
For alts. to the 2-D I'd prefer something more like the 2-D's look with a wood stained finish, not painted. I'm just not a fan of the look of the painted ones :)

I really like the Gundlach's nickel hardware look with the cherry wood, but those seem way more rare.

Mike Fiction
19-Aug-2008, 16:15
Does anyone know about these?

http://www.fiberq.com/cam/seneca/sencamcity3.htm

Seneca : Camera City View 8X10

There's one of these for sale painted black / 8x10 and 5x7 back / extension rail / but has no bellows for $200

Peter De Smidt
19-Aug-2008, 16:45
My D2 has a natural finish.

ic-racer
19-Aug-2008, 16:51
You may spend more on a new bellows than the camera (if you don't make the bellows yourself). So figure this in when looking.

Kirk Fry
19-Aug-2008, 23:46
Ansco-Agfa's are in the same price range. Lots of movements. The fancy ones are painted battle ship gray (presumably because they were made for the Navy during WWII). :-) K

IanG
20-Aug-2008, 02:04
Ansco-Agfa's are in the same price range. Lots of movements. The fancy ones are painted battle ship gray (presumably because they were made for the Navy during WWII). :-) K

Surprising as it may seem no :D. In the 1930's catalogues and the 941 catalogue the Gray version of the Agfa Ansco 10x8 Universal View Camera is the Deluxe model and at $100 a full $17 more expensive than the varnished wood version. Watch out as some early Universals Views have no front tilt, and don't take extension boards.

The top 10x8 model, the Commercial View, was unpainted, and has triple extension (longer bellows), better movements and accepts up to 36˝" lenses.
http://lostlabours.co.uk/photography/images/aa009.jpg

After Pearl Harbour in late 1941 the US Government took over Agfa Ansco and the cameras changed significantly, they were all Gray from then on. The pre-War (well pre US joining the War) models are the better cameras. They were used by photographers like Ansel Adams, Brett Weston etc because they were the best US made 10x8 cameras available at that time, very well built and really nice to use.

Ian

eddie
20-Aug-2008, 04:22
For alts. to the 2-D I'd prefer something more like the 2-D's look with a wood stained finish, not painted. I'm just not a fan of the look of the painted ones :)

I really like the Gundlach's nickel hardware look with the cherry wood, but those seem way more rare.

you should be able to buy a complete user 8x10 for around the $200 mark. $300 for sure. try and get one with a rear extension rail for sure. they are hard to find if they do not come with the camera.

FWIW i sold a "beater" 8x10 with no bellows but complete with rail etc etc. for $50! (pics here (http://photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=854935) so you can see what "beater" means. pic 10 -17 are the 8x10) you have to figure bellows for 8x10 run $300-$500!

cheers

eddie

Brian Ellis
20-Aug-2008, 09:18
I've owned two 2Ds. The back can be removed and rotated for either landscape or portrait mode. I had the front of one of them modified for front tilt. I wouldn't attempt it myself, Richard Ritter did the modification for me and charged $250 which I thought was very reasonable. I imagine someone with woodworking skills could do it themselves but I don't have any woodworking skills and it was worth $250 to me to be sure it would be done right, which it was.

If you get a 2D for portrait work (assuming that would include head and shoulder type portraits) you'll probably need to get one that has the rear extension board. I forget the exact numbers but I suspect the bellows extension on a 2D may be too short for 8x10 head and shoulder portraits unless you have the rear extension. The sliding tripod block is also a very useful accessory when you have the rear extension so I'd look for one that has that also.

I've also owned an Agfa Ansco Commercial View. It had more movements than the 2D but you don't really need movements for portraits. The main thing I didn't like about the AA was that its rear extension is attached to the camera so it's bulky when folded. But if you won't be backpacking that probably wouldn't matter.

Whatever you do, make sure the seller has done the "flashlight in a dark room" test for bellows light leaks. A $250 8x10 camera with a bad bellows is really about a $450 camera.

Mike Fiction
20-Aug-2008, 09:40
I think from the responses I've had, the 2-D is the right camera for me.

I know someone who has one locally that is in pieces in a box. I'm not sure of the bellows yet, so I have to test that, but it does have the extension rail. It has 5x7 and 4x5 reductions backs but the 8x10 back is missing, so I'd have to track one down. It has some misc parts as well, like a Packard shutter. I think he wants $130 for it - I need to make a closer inspection and if the bellows are good (they looked newer), I might pick it up.

BarryS
20-Aug-2008, 10:50
Mike-- For $130--that package sounds pretty good. The Packard and the two reducing backs are worth $150 and the extension rail is easily worth $50. I think you can assume the bellows is probably in bad shape if it's been removed, but it may be salvagable by trimming some of the front and rear and remounting. I recommend Golden carbon black acrylic paint for patching small holes and gaffer's tape for anything bigger. You should be able to track down a 2D 8x10 back because there's a lot of 2D parts floating round. I've had my 2D completely disassembled and it's a fairly simple camera, so as long as you have all the parts, you should be ok. If you need small brass screws there are a few companies like http://www.microfasteners.com/ that have a good selection.

cowanw
20-Aug-2008, 14:29
Front tilt would be nice, I've seen 2D's modified with this movement, is that difficult to do?

I think you can just tilt the camera in the direction you would tilt the lens and then tilt the back in the opposite direction to fake the front tilt.
Regards
Bill

goamules
20-Aug-2008, 15:35
Mike, there's a 8x10 Empire State on the auction, over in 4 hours. Lens, tripod, looks good.

Peter De Smidt
20-Aug-2008, 18:04
Hi Bill,

Yes, as mentioned above, you can have a tilt adapter made. Richard Ritter made mine, and it's nice. And you're right that you can simply tilt the front of the camera down to get lens tilt, but that's a bit of a pita.
Peter

Brian Ellis
21-Aug-2008, 09:47
Front tilt would be nice, I've seen 2D's modified with this movement, is that difficult to do?

I think you can just tilt the camera in the direction you would tilt the lens and then tilt the back in the opposite direction to fake the front tilt.
Regards
Bill

See my previous response for front tilt modification.

Yes, you can aim the camera down and tilt the back to fake front tilt. But that changes the shape of objects you're photographing, which is probably o.k. if you're doing a landscape but not so o.k. if you're photographing common objects of known shapes such as faces, products, etc. But more importantly, to me at least, is that it's much more convenient to have "normal" front tilt instead of having to keep messing around with the camera angle and the amount of back tilt in order to get both the composition and the tilt right.

Mike Fiction
21-Aug-2008, 10:36
See my previous response for front tilt modification.

Yes, you can aim the camera down and tilt the back to fake front tilt. But that changes the shape of objects you're photographing, which is probably o.k. if you're doing a landscape but not so o.k. if you're photographing common objects of known shapes such as faces, products, etc. But more importantly, to me at least, is that it's much more convenient to have "normal" front tilt instead of having to keep messing around with the camera angle and the amount of back tilt in order to get both the composition and the tilt right.

I agree - I primarily will use 8x10 for people and objects not landscape - for front forward tilt, tilting the back backwards means you have to lean the entire camera forward and then use front rise to get back to the same perspective. If you want to do front backward tilt, you have no front fall to compensate and therefore is not possible.

Plus working with people, the faster I can setup a shot the better. :)

Drew Bedo
21-Aug-2008, 19:52
I had a Burk & James 5x7 that had been refinished...that is, it had been disassembled and the grey paint stripped, then varnished. I wasn’t a Deardorff, but it looked as pretty as a gold medal gymnast and was almost as flexible!

Mike Fiction
22-Aug-2008, 10:17
OK, I have another question - do Burke and James backs fit on the Kodak 2D with no modification?

I ask this because the 2D I looked at had a B&J 5x7 reduction back that fit perfectly, and wanted to know if it was modified.

W K Longcor
22-Aug-2008, 12:40
OK, I have another question - do Burke and James backs fit on the Kodak 2D with no modification?

I ask this because the 2D I looked at had a B&J 5x7 reduction back that fit perfectly, and wanted to know if it was modified.

Burke and James made MANY reducing backs -- often for specific cameras (non-B&J). Just because it has gray paint and says Burke & James on it does NOT mean it was made to fit a B&J camera. It was probably made by B&J, just to fit the 2D. I have a gray painted, wooden 4X5 reducing back that was made just to fit my all metal Kodak Master 8x10. B&J made some strange and funky equipment over the years, but they were the place to go when you could not find what you wanted any place else.

Mike Fiction
22-Aug-2008, 17:21
Burke and James made MANY reducing backs -- often for specific cameras (non-B&J). Just because it has gray paint and says Burke & James on it does NOT mean it was made to fit a B&J camera. It was probably made by B&J, just to fit the 2D. I have a gray painted, wooden 4X5 reducing back that was made just to fit my all metal Kodak Master 8x10. B&J made some strange and funky equipment over the years, but they were the place to go when you could not find what you wanted any place else.

Thanks, that's good to know.

Mark Sawyer
22-Aug-2008, 17:36
With front rise/fall and rear tilt, you can get the lens and film to the same positions and angles as with front tilt, (with the possible exception of some extreme positions), so yes, you can use one system with the same results as the other. Front swings are another story, as the 2d doesn't have front shift...

The 2d is a wonderful camera. (The "d" stands for "dark finish" btw.) If you get one also make sure it has the lower slider block, which is missing about as often as the extension rail.