View Full Version : 11x14 Deardorff Studio cameras

Mike Troxell
11-Nov-2003, 21:35
I've seen several 11x14 Deardorff studio cameras on ebay lately that are sold with the studio stand. Do the 11x14 studio Deardorffs have a tripod plate or were they meant to only be used on studio stands? My question is, could one of these monsters (and they are BIG) be mounted on a tripod and used in the field (from the roadside, working out of a car) or were they only meant to be used in the studio?

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
11-Nov-2003, 23:28

I have an 8x10 Studio camera, not a Deardorff, but a similar design. I must say, I laughed when I thought about taking it into the field. It really would be a nightmare. The cameras are quite heavy, but that is irrelevant in comparison to how unwieldy they are. These are not folding designs; the five foot track on my studio camera does not collapse. It would not easily fit a back seat, nor can I easily take it down my studio stairs. Even when I fiddle with it to attach the stand or tripod it is a two person job. Of course, you could attach it to the back of a pickup truck or inside a van and simply move the car around...

John Cook
12-Nov-2003, 04:00
Let me put it this way. If you need to justify the cost to your wife, tell her you plan to be buried in the camera, saving the cost of a casket. It really is that big.

Steve Hamley
12-Nov-2003, 05:54

There's a picture of one with a person in the picture on Ken Hough's Deardorff page.




David A. Goldfarb
12-Nov-2003, 05:56
They often go for surprisingly low prices, because of the difficulty and cost of shipping them. The stand includes two 11-foot pipes weighted with lead at the bottom so that they weigh about 75-lbs each, and these rest in a cast iron base. Occasionally one sees old studio cameras of this type made into coffee tables with a sheet of glass on top, alas.

jerry brodkey
12-Nov-2003, 06:04
David, is the glass on that coffee table by any chance ground glass?

Mike Troxell
12-Nov-2003, 08:46
OK. I think that effectively answers my question. Studio camera used outdoors...definitely NO! I'm staying away from these monsters. I can just see myself driving up, parking, getting out and focusing the 11x14 that's bolted to the back of my car, then putting my car in reverse, backing up to reposition the camera and refocusing. :)

Jim Galli
12-Nov-2003, 09:22
You've got the idea. I went to Ken's site and that picture of Mr. Deardorff standing underneath one of those things tickled me. He must have trusted his mounting hardware because if that thing had fallen on him it would have killed him.

13-Nov-2003, 19:01
Get a big old van. Put a set of rails in the van, mount the camera on the rails, open doors, slide the camera out...

Works for 20x24 too!

Al W
14-Nov-2003, 14:02
I've had a chance to look at one of these up close. It was detached from the stand, so I picked up one end. It was surprisingly light. The rails collapse down to a short enough length that it could be handled in the field; close to the car, better yet van. I felt it was actually usable as a field camera, but the drawbacks were centered around what it was designed for.

Unless your primary goal is 11x14 photos of flowers, you have the wrong camera for the job. It would be a great camera for portraits and close-ups, but beyond that you would always be fighting the camera. A nice long 11x14. I don't know what it's shortest length is.

The large stand is to hold the camera in any position (and I mean any position) for advertising close-up shots, and it does a great job of that. But outside the studio it' junk. The camera would probably work on a really sturdy studio tripod. It would be advisable to have a small piece of plywood under it to spread out the stress over the whole camera. I don't know if it was designed for one point tripod mounting, even though the hole is there to do it.

Unless you're using this camera for what it was designed for I'd look elsewhere.