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andrewh
10-Jun-2010, 16:57
Hello everyone,

Does anyone in the forum own, or have experience with Lotus cameras -- 8x10, in particular? How does it compare to some of the others such as Chamonix, Canham, Ebony, et al?

http://www.lotusviewcamera.at/index1.html

Thanks,

Andrew

Kimberly Anderson
10-Jun-2010, 19:45
Hi Andrew,

I have been using a Lotus 11x14 and 8x20 recently. I also have been using a Canham 4x10 as well. I have been using these cameras for a little over a year.

My impressions are that the overall build quality of the Canham is superior. The metal brackets and fittings seem to be a little heavier and more sturdy than the Lotus. Granted, the Canham is 1/3 to 1/4 the size of the other cameras, but I would expect that Keith would take his ideas for the smaller 4x10 and just upsize them.

That being said, the Lotus cameras are no slouch. The only thing I have a problem with is that the locking mechanisms are somewhat flimsy and are easy to break. I do like the geared rise/fall on the front standard of the 11x14. The 8x20 does not have a geared front standard.

I have no experience with the Chamonix or the Ebony.

I can take photographs of the various cameras if you'd like to see particular parts of any of them.

I shot with the 8x20 this morning, processed the negs this afternoon. That camera is a pleasure to work with.

Oren Grad
10-Jun-2010, 20:16
Quite a few years ago, back when Lotus had an official representative in the US, I had the opportunity to borrow an 8x10 Lotus to test.

Well, I was going to test it, but I ended up not bothering. The camera that came to me had a reversing back that wouldn't reverse - the dimensions of the back were off by just enough that it would fit in one of the orientations but not the other. I couldn't fathom how they could have let it out of the workshop that way, especially at the price, but they did.

I was also not thrilled with the many sharp corners and edges on the focusing track and other bed components.

In fairness, it was a sample of just one, it's been a good while, they've since come under new management, I'm sure they've tweaked the design, etc., etc.

Also in fairness, as you ask around you will find some satisfied Lotus users too.

cdholden
11-Jun-2010, 05:01
Well, I was going to test it, but I ended up not bothering. The camera that came to me had a reversing back that wouldn't reverse - the dimensions of the back were off by just enough that it would fit in one of the orientations but not the other. I couldn't fathom how they could have let it out of the workshop that way, especially at the price, but they did.


I've read that Edward Weston had the same experience when he first received his Century Universal.

andrewh
11-Jun-2010, 10:54
Thanks, all!

lumi
13-Jun-2010, 09:46
I have been using the 8x10 Lotus for the last four years. My previous experience with LF has been Nagaoka 4x5, Linhof Technika 4x5 and Acra Swiss 5x7. I am very satisfied with my Lotus, to the extent that I no longer look for other possible brands. I is very steady and a joy to use with Nikkor SW 150, Sironar-N 300 and Fuji C450 focal lengths. The company can adjust to your need, I ordered a somewhat shorter bellows and a had mounted a long Burzinsky rectangular tripod plate instead of the original circular plate. I also had a Boss screen mounted instead of the darker Satin Snow that came with the camera at the time of my purchase. The Lotus will last a generation (or two) and the finish is luxurious. And: customber service is exellent. GŁnter Stroebele in Austria is a joy to communicate with, and I will recommend this camera for landscape and portrait work. Once i a while I do architechture, and for that I recommend the wide angle lightweight bag bellows.

Sverre
Oslo, Norway

andrewh
14-Jun-2010, 07:53
Thank you, Sverre; much appreciated!

Andrew

Brian Ellis
14-Jun-2010, 08:54
I've never owned one but I've played around with one that a friend owns. I don't remember the exact dimensions but it wasn't 8x10, more like 4x10. It was a gorgeous camera and seemed to be very well made. The movements I tried were smooth and everything locked into place very easily. I was very impressed, at least as impressed as one can be without actually taking the camera out and using it.

Scott Davis
14-Jun-2010, 09:54
I don't have any of their cameras, but I do have three of their film holders for my 14x17, which is a Canham. They're some of the nicest film holders I've ever handled. Beautiful to look at, and easy to use.

Kerik Kouklis
14-Jun-2010, 14:44
I owned a 12x20 Lotus for several years. I've owned many view cameras over the years, and the Lotus was the nicest one I've ever used. Like Scott said, their holders are about the best available.