View Full Version : 4x5 convert to 8x10

4-Apr-2011, 02:59

I'm searching for 4x5 cameras, which is easy and cheap to convert to 8x10.
I found Sinar P. Enough to have a Film holder focusing back (expensive) and a bellows.
Do you know other manufacturers, like Cambo, Linhof, Toyo, Horseman, ..... which is easy and cheap to convert?

Steven Tribe
4-Apr-2011, 03:44
Easy? Yes.
Cheap? No. Backs and suitable bellows are often bought as a complete camera because they are both in short supply and therefore expensive for the many that have the same idea as you (me included - as regards to Cambo).

Walter Calahan
4-Apr-2011, 05:41
Cheap? Ha ha ha ha ha

Sometimes it is less expensive to simply buy a used dedicated 8x10 camera.

If money is no object, I like the Arca-Swiss system. Very flexible for conversions.

4-Apr-2011, 06:20
Pre recession, I wanted an 8x10 conversion for an Arca F-Line-
but after being the under bidder twice, at around $1600, I decided to make my own-
you can find my account of it here if you search for a thread called 'Arca Irish 8x10'.

As soon as I had mine made, the recession hit, and everything started to get a little cheaper...

An earlier Arca 8x10 will cost less, and they're all good cameras-

As are the Sinars and Cambos and all the other personal preferences-

4-Apr-2011, 06:22
Unless you plan on getting stuck on a desert island with one camera, I think a separate camera is better idea too.

I like 4x5 backs for 8x10 cameras for occasional 4x5 use or when I run out of loaded 8x10 film holders or for using lenses too big to put on a 4x5 camera.

I also like the smaller, lighter, portable, and sometimes handholdable separate 4x5 camera.

I do too many different things with photography for one camera to handle it all. I choose different camera for different days/events and stick with that camera for the duration.

The simplicity gained from using one camera for a period (such as a rangefinder, tlr, etc..) is lost by using a multi-format-system to say you use one camera.

Bob Salomon
4-Apr-2011, 06:50
Easy, yes. Very easy. Cheap, no. When you convert most cameras and Linhof in particular, you replace the back and the back standard and carrier block, the bellows, add a longer rail. You just replaced everything on the 45 camera except for the front standard out of a collection of parts. And, on some cameras you also have to change part of the front standard.

For Linhof this is a moot point as they no longer offer 57 or 810 cameras or conversion kits. But in the past, when they did, it was more cost effective to buy both a 45 and an 810 camera rather then the conversion.

If you want to do it as inexpensively as possible then don't buy a 45 camera buy an 810 camera and a reducing back to 45.

Steve M Hostetter
4-Apr-2011, 07:02
you just replace the back and bellows with the 8x10 sinar P but thats to convert to 4x5

cheapest way would be to get a expansion back or make one

4-Apr-2011, 07:18
As suggested above, an 8x10 with a 4x5 reducing back converts easily and inexpensively to 8x10 :) That is the way to go.

For example if you did the 4x5 to 8x10 conversion with the Horseman system, the bellows, rear standard, front standard 'stalk' and possibly an extension focusing rail will be needed. In fact you will need just about everything that makes a complete 8x10 camera except the front standard.

4-Apr-2011, 07:22
The Toyo G system is relatively inexpensive, and to change to 810 you need to replace only the rear standard and bellows.

Bob Salomon
4-Apr-2011, 08:43
The Toyo G system is relatively inexpensive, and to change to 810 you need to replace only the rear standard and bellows.

And maybe add more rail. That leaves you not replacing the front standard and the mounting clamp. Like the other systems you have bought most of a complete 810.

Drew Wiley
4-Apr-2011, 09:54
Even with a Sinar it would probably be a lot less expensive simply to buy an 8x10 camera rather than upgrade a 4x5 with the necessary components, especially given the bargain rates of used equipment at the moment. In some Sinar configurations, dedicated 8x10 standards are more heavily engineered than 4x5 standards simply elevated to make them usable on the larger format.

7-Apr-2011, 11:01
Thank you for the helpful answers. I think I will search for a "cheap" 8x10 camera.