View Full Version : Tale of two Deardorffs

john wilton
15-Oct-2009, 22:42
I have an old, well-used 1930s no-front-swings V8, no beauty queen but entirely servicable after Richard fixed a few things. A few weeks ago a front-swings V8 came up with the 13" Ia Raptar. I put what I thought was a ridiculously low bid on it and was amazed when I got it. Turns out it is one of the Air Force contract kits. Camera in perfect shape. Came in a very heavy (30lb not including payload) moulded fiberglass case with fitted interior for the camera, Crown No. 4 tripod and little samsonite type case for the mounted lens. Latches all around, "US Property" moulded into the case. Looks as though it was designed to be dropped out of the back of a low-flying C-130.

This is all great, but for one thing: my ancient NFS weighs only 11-1/4 lb. The newer FS weighs a full 13 lb. Bit of an issue for an elderly car-less New Yorker living 4 flights up. So I figured out how to get overall weight down: discarding a heavy wood U-shaped GG protector (2 lb) in favor of a sheet of 1/8" plywood velcroed in place (1/4 lb). Swiching from plastic to wood holders (3@5oz=1 lb saving). An Art Wolfe Sundog backpack instead of a heavier Lowepro PhotoTrekker. Finally, using the wonderful Crown tripod (4lb without tilt head) instead of my Ries Model A with Model A Photoplane head (13 lb). Putting this all together it means that I can leave the jogging stroller (22 lb) behind and skip down the stairs and into the streets with a manageable backpack and easily carryable tripod. Especially with the older, lighter camera.

So there's no question here. The newer camera is very, very nice and a joy to use. I have to keep both cameras, for a while at least. I have the option of going light with a few holders and light lenses. Or heavy with more holders and lenses, the stroller and the Ries.

I hope I can find someone who has an Air Force contract V8, is missing the case, and has space for it. The case is not something that can stay forever in a small apartment. It's also a historical artifact that cannot be discarded.

Michael Roberts
16-Oct-2009, 03:45
John, congratulations! What a great find. I've been using a Crown #4 for the past few months and have grown to like it very much--it's 1lb lighter than my Berlebach, much lighter than my Ries, and was rated to hold 18# loads. Plus it's a perfect match for a vintage camera.

If you haven't already you might also want to post a FS or WTT notice.

I've noticed you can sometimes get items sold as packages for much less than the individual items go for--I guess most folks don't want the hassle of getting rid of the excess....

Pete Roody
16-Oct-2009, 07:34
Hi John,

Try the older camera and see if you can live without the front swings. 2-lbs doesn't sound like much but the weight does ad up.

A few of us Ny'ers shoot every Saturday. PM me if you are ever interested in joining us.