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Thread: New 8x10 for under $500? Interest levels?

  1. #21

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    Re: New 8x10 for under $500? Interest levels?

    Oh and of course I forgot about shen hao who also makes 8x10.

  2. #22

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    Re: New 8x10 for under $500? Interest levels?

    Wow!

    Don't even bother.

    This bunch has it all figured out for you.

    Group think at work.
    The Viewfinder is the Soul of the Camera

    If you don't believe it, look into an 8x10 viewfinder!

    Dan

  3. #23
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    Re: New 8x10 for under $500? Interest levels?

    Thank you all for your replies, I'll try to get to everybody. I appreciate the clarity, kindness, civility and thought that went into all these responses.

    Quote Originally Posted by maxotics View Post
    How deep is a rain puddle in the Mojave dessert after a small rain-shower? If there IS a large-format market, please show me where. All I see is a few hundred people poking around ebay auctions with little intention on buying. Don't mean to be rude!

    Engineering wise, the tripod mount has to be strong and stiff to prevent shake. Then the parts must be stiff enough to prevent any frame warp and its effects that trickle down to the film plane. Then what about lenses? Either user must buy from a used market they don't understand, or you must provide. If someone experienced with lenses, think they'd rather spend $500 in used market and wait for a deal.

    Sorry I can't think of a less profitable endeavor than building an 8x10 camera.
    You are not being rude Part of my thinking was that if an 8x10 is under the cost of say, a Canon Rebel, then a lot of photographers who may not have decided to do so, would go for one. I also think that 4x5s are a no-go because the used market is so saturated, but I've had trouble finding 8x10s at decent prices in good condition. As far as the lens, I was thinking get in good with a lensmaker, and get some good, sharp, if slow, glass made, perhaps with a gravity shutter to keep costs down. $500 may be ambitious for the body, but my ultimate dream of $1000 for an out-of-the-box 8x10 experience, from picture to print, is even more so.

    I simply don't see 8x10s, new or used, at this price point, and I think it's doable.

    Profitable? Maybe not. But I kind of don't mind if I just break even. If I had millions, I'd be happy to spend some of it to give 8x10 to a wider audience. But I don't

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    MRC cameras is selling 8x10 for 800, (Italy I think) but you can make an offer to him for less at Ebay, perhaps he may accept 600, I don't know.

    https://www.facebook.com/McrCameras/

    I'd suggest you forget about injection-molded ABS and volume production, now this is not a volume market.

    One possibility is to make a ABS 3D print of parts, then using molding silicone of the Smooth-On brand like to make molds to cast the parts with polymer chemestry, you can also place a metal frames inside the molds to make reinforced parts. Also you can 3D print the mold itsef with PE, and then casting with it. If you sell a lot of units then make injection molds...

    Then you need bellows or bag and GG...

    Also it is not the same if you manufacture in the 1st world than in Bangladesh, salary there is $40 a month.

    Can you make a really sound design? This is the question...

    If you can then you'll have a very limited market...
    Good suggestions on manufacturing; and I am thinking that wood and a few good carpentry jigs may be good enough without going the ABS route. The ABS thing, especially with metal reinforcement, would make for a very robust camera that could shrug off just about anything. But wood has been fine forever too. Yes, the GG and bellows would be a pain, but I'm sure there are solutions. And as far as manufacturing overseas, I'd like to do as little of that as I can.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luis-F-S View Post
    It's a very small market, albeit there is one. 8x10 cameras are either expensive or junkers. I have 3 V8's and they weren't exactly cheap. Lenses must be purchased used, but at least for the time being there is usually good selection on the auctions or this site. AFAIK, Canham is the only current domestic manufacturer of 8x10 cameras. Keith produces an excellent camera at a commensurate price. Good luck on your endeavors, it would be great to have a domestic, affordable 8x10 again!
    Small indeed, though I hope the affordability would draw in those who wouldn't consider it otherwise. I agree, lenses are a sticking point. I am sure Canhams are wonderful, but my goal is to push the price point down into the realm of relative affordability. Thanks for the well-wishes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernard Kelly View Post
    I think there'd be a niche market, for sure. Especially if the camera you were promoting had features comparable to the more expensive ones, e.g., the same or similar movements, or a particular advantage in lightness or dimensions. I bought a Kodak 2D thinking I'd found a cheap entry into 8 x 10. It's going to cost me more than $500 to make it workable but I won't have paid an excessive amount when I'm finished. (Others, of course, would say I wasted my money.) Still, if there'd been a better option (apart from Ilford's pinhole) I would've taken it. So I'd say yes.
    Using the Bender as inspiration but not a blueprint, I was thinking of an 8x10 that's very light and very inexpensive, but provides a wealth of movements on both standards. I fixed up my own 8x10 as well, and I'm lucky that I'm only about a grand into it all-told. If not for finding it through a friend, who only sat it on a shelf to admire, I'd have likely never had one at all. That theoretical cheaper option is what I'm hoping to be able to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Jones View Post
    The market is ever shrinking. Just look at the number of camera, lens & film makers today.

    While your goal is laudable (as is your price point), it may be extremely difficult to hit. Mike Walker makes ABS cameras; his 8x10 is about $3000 US... The Bulldog pinhole was about $400 and Ilford has the money to pay whatever it took to create a "plastic" camera.

    Bender's Achilles' heel is (among others) a lack of rigidity. IMHO, as you scale up, the importance of maintaining camera positions & settings is more important (and difficult due to mass) due to the cost of film. Good luck.

    Mike
    Very true that the market is shrinking, but I am wondering if this 8x10 can do for LF what the Holga did for film, so to speak. Only not as agressively terrible. I agree a design with good rigidity that doesn't have movement creep of any kind is essential. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    Inexpensive cameras and lenses are plentiful, I have drawers full of LF equipment and others on this forum have closets and whole rooms full of stuff.

    What 8x10 photographers need is inexpensive film.
    If there are masses upon masses of cheap 8x10s somewhere I haven't seen them. But I agree. The film can be quite prohibitive. I don't know what to do about that. Dry plate holder maybe?

    Quote Originally Posted by choiliefan View Post
    Perhaps making new 8X10 film holders would be a more profitable endeavor? Nice ones are rare and quite expensive.
    Perhaps it would, and if I made the camera I'd like to offer holders, too. A $500 camera is small comfort when all the ancillaries are $1000+.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    yes !!!

    But as a hobbyst anyway I'm not able to shot more than one sheet in a weekend. A careful shot... Then you have do develop with a lot of care, and a good print deserves a few hours, then scan the digital version... at the end there is a lot of fun for the cost of a single sheet
    There is much work to be done to obtain an 8x10 photo start to finish. But that is as you say part of the fun

    Quote Originally Posted by angusparker View Post
    Absolutely - the camera isn't the problem its the cost of consumables. You can buy and offload an 8x10 camera fairly easily - just call it the Ebay rental fee! The film however is pricey, even in black & white. 4x5 is the sweet spot for afforability. 8x10 only really makes sense if you are going to contact print. You are competing against the used market and the new marker - and then new owners have to be savvy enough to acquire the film holders, lenses etc as well. I don't see much of a market.
    The film again. Agreed, though. 4x5 is really quite the sweet spot, but I don't want to enter that already saturated camera market. I think an 8x10 works, not just for contact prints or shooting on positive paper/plates, but to give people access to the world of truly big images. 8x10 really is markedly different. But I agree, it's not going to be easy to piece together a kit from the camera itself. Should a complete kit be the new goal? Would that draw in otherwise non-LF users?
    Please, call me Erik.
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  4. #24
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    Re: New 8x10 for under $500? Interest levels?

    Round two....

    Quote Originally Posted by 36cm2 View Post
    These responses are too jaded for my taste. If your goal is solely to make money, then perhaps these answers are right. But if you have a love for this art and a passion for its survival then I believe there is a market and, more importantly, a mission. A modern, cost effective, light but rigid production design would be very interesting. It's all about your value prop and the time and resources that's worth to you. As for paper, scale that design across even larger formats and couple it with various Alts backs and I think it's even more valuable to the field if not to your retirement fund.
    I like this reply. This isn't about making a billion dollars. Or even dollars. It's about spreading the popularity of Large Format. I just thought maybe building something that could be sold would be a good way to do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sampson View Post
    How much money do you have to lose? Look at those who have tried within recent memory... and how many are left. I've lost track... Wisner, Zone VI, Bender, Wehman, Carbon Infinity, Lotus, Ebony, all gone. Are Tachihara/Nagaoka/Ikeda still in business? Deardorff? The thing is, you'd be competing against the used market, since many photographers happily use 80+ year old cameras.
    Not much, to be fair. I agree that's a long list, but again...I don't think anyone's taken the "build it inexpensively" approach. Those cameras all cost double or triple my target price, maybe more. And again, in the used market, I don't see good working 8x10s at the $500 mark. Maybe I'm not looking in the right places.

    Quote Originally Posted by jp View Post
    8x10 users (in the US at least) can get inexpensive film with the Ektascan b/ra film. Used lenses are pretty affordable, at least compared to the pro 35mm gear.

    I've bought 8x10 Burke & James cameras pretty affordable and they have met my needs though others are smaller, lighter, or better in some way and compromised in other ways.

    One camera that's not common at any price is the 8x10 B&J rembrandt style cameras; fixed front lensboard with some adjustment to the rear standard. This is basically a portable version of the classic century studio camera which is cheap because it's ancient, common, and not portable. The fixed front standard would make it simpler to build, and is good for people that like to play with big old lenses. Should appeal to film and and wet plate users. You'd either have to find a niche (perhaps this) which there is not much used supply, or create a new market by doing something new.
    I agree 35mm has gone a bit nutty and good used 8x10 glass is right in line, price-wise. I have never bought a B&J but I have seen a few good ones.

    As for the Rembrandt, that's an odd bird, but I can see the advantages. I am hoping the price was new enough, as far as mine was concerned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fr. Mark View Post
    Another approach might be plans and hard to find bits and sell a kit. I'm to tired to go looking but it seems to me that there has been at least one thread looking at what might be an acceptable set of parameters and where to find the parts.

    I've built a succession of 8x10's I'm not happy with: modified opaque projector, telescoping box with light leaks, and an all movements not exactly monorail camera which has adjustment and rigidity issues even if I only mount a 300mm f5.6 on a Sinar shutter on the front of it and not the 457mm/18" f3.6 which must weigh 2-3x as much. As you scale up rigidity does become a pain. Particularly if you have lots of movements.

    You could lower film cost with X-ray film or by making your own dry plates. Both have their issues...

    I also agree with the fellow who said 1 or a handful of films provides very inexpensive entertainment for most of a weekend. Compare it to going out for a meal and a movie.
    I like the idea of a kit, or even open-sourcing a good design that just about anyone can build with basic tools. A turnkey camera would be ideal, but as I said before, I'm not looking to be a millionaire from this, I just want to see more 8x10s in the wild. Again, the rigidity issues aren't trivial but I think they can be sorted.

    What I really want is an 8x10 for everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by StoneNYC View Post
    Talk to Intrepid first.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Roody View Post
    At $500 per camera how much profit can be made? A 20% profit ($100) would net you $5000 for 50 cameras sold. So it is essentially a not-for-profit business. That has to be taken into account. If a not-for-profit business model is acceptable, then go for it.
    I would be fine with that.

    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    Orthochromatic film? X-ray film?
    I don't know about you guys, I'm not shooting pinhole or X-rays with my 8x10 camera.
    XRay film is sensitive to visible light. And a Pinhole lensboard would be an affordable "make it take pictures now" thing to include with a basic camera.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    Considering their time, R&D, parts, manufacturing costs, etc. they couldn't make a $100.00 profit on a $500.00 camera. Not counting other things like tools, insurance, liability insurance, advertising, postage, packaging, warehousing, etc. they would be lucky to make a 5% profit. And then their is that tax issue. Maybe city, maybe state, maybe county, definitely IRS. And if you don't make a profit for a long enough number of years IRS will tell you that you are operating a hobby, not a business, and then those manufacturing costs will not be a business expense.

    And don't forget the cost of that back and a ground glass and Frenel. Are you going to inscribe or silkscreen format markings? That also adds quickly to your costs.

    You should sit back and take a good hard look at the 810 market. Who still makes new cameras at any cost, anywhere, not many. It's not a growth market.
    You look at lenses. You do know that Fuji, Nikon, Rodenstock and Schneider no longer make any lenses for 810, much less for 45. Who makes new film holders for 810? Who makes film for 810?

    Why do you suppose all those camera companies, lens companies, film companies, holder companies have stopped manufacturing for this market or have gone out of business?
    Who buys 810 cameras today?

    I don't think that your idea is at all realistic as a business venture. Hobby, maybe. And a view camera isn't quite as simple to make as you may think. It is critical for serious users that when you put the camera into a neutral position that the lens and film are in alignment with each other, if you do a direct displacement they remain parallel to each other. If you move a standard forward or back that they remain parallel to each other. If you do a tilt or a swing the standard doesn't also move in another direction. That the bellows extension is long enough to, at a minimum, accept a standard focal length lens of 300/360mm. That you can focus closer than infinity with those lenses requires a double or triple extension bellows. But the camera must maintain its parallelism and rigidity at this maximum extension. You probably want the bellows to compress enough to handle a 120, or so, wide angle. This would probably mean a tapered bellows construction, not cheap, or a WA bellows.
    And that is just a start. There is lots more to designing and manufacturing an 810 that is workable.
    Harsh. Probably fair, but harsh. I trust you on manufacturing though. However, Schneider at least advertises they still make lenses that easily cover 8x10. Am I missing something? And 8x10 film is still made by Kodak, Fuji, Fomapan and Ilford.

    I am aware that view cameras are not trivial to make. But not everything has to be built like a Sinar, either.

    It will all start with a workable design. And I really want to try my hand at that. If I can't make it, fine. But you can't convince me not to try.

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinP View Post
    8x10" camera . . . injection-moulding . . . $500 . . . does not compute. The tooling-costs will kill the project before you get past the financial planning stage.

    If you want to make something that would be saleable, look at new film-holders (maybe a double 4x10 design within an 8x10 measurement DDS) or bellows or a spring-back that can be incorporated in home-built cameras. Possibly a 3D-print lens-mount and simple single-speed shutter for meniscus lenses? This sort of thing might sell.
    As the not-a-manufacturing-insider, I will take your word on the ABS and instead think more about things like carpentry jigs, and wood construction. I like the idea of making the more complicated parts for home builders. As far as the lens mount, that works too, and I was thinking of a gravity shutter as those are effective and cheap to make.

    Quote Originally Posted by blue4130 View Post
    I think the key is to not just look at the West for marketing. In China there are (I believe) three companies who make 8x10. Talking to other photographers here (in beijing) there is still a demand for big cameras. If there wasn't, I doubt chamonix or frica or dayi would be making them.

    (edit to add additional info)
    But even in china with cheap and questionable work practices, the costs are $2700, $1500 and $1300 respectively. So I think $500 is a bit unrealistic.
    I agree a global market might be needed to find enough buyers to make the idea viable. But I also believe, perhaps wrongly so, that those cameras cost that because they are not made with a specific eye to affordability. They are built, and simply cost what they cost. There is a difference between a thing that is made, then made cheaper, and a thing that is designed to be inexpensive from the start. For instance, the former is represented by a Ford Falcon, and the second by a Type 1 Beetle. The beetle eschews the things it doesn't need, and makes the rest as efficiently as it can.
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  5. #25
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    Re: New 8x10 for under $500? Interest levels?

    Quote Originally Posted by blue4130 View Post
    Oh and of course I forgot about shen hao who also makes 8x10.
    They do, and their 8x10s are quite lovely.

    Quote Originally Posted by AuditorOne View Post
    Wow!

    Don't even bother.

    This bunch has it all figured out for you.

    Group think at work.
    I did kind of ask for it though!

    I am actually quite pleased with the responses. Except for a couple that seemed to be trying to tell me to simply forget about it and go back to playing angry birds, I think I got measured, thoughtful replies that helped to inform my worldview and my ideas on such a project like this.

    But I will say, wether I start building them, make kits, make components, or open source an 8x10 and offer plans, I'm not likely to give up on this idea altogether.
    Please, call me Erik.
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  6. #26

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    Re: New 8x10 for under $500? Interest levels?

    It would be tough, but it could be done. Get your manufacturing process down and make a go of it. Spin casting may even be a viable option.
    Questions and comments are always welcome

  7. #27

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    Re: New 8x10 for under $500? Interest levels?

    I'd buy one.

  8. #28
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    Re: New 8x10 for under $500? Interest levels?

    8 x10 is the pursuit of the art people, is willing to enjoy the lonely people, is the person who have a lot of dollars, is the body strong people, he belongs to the work of men.
    You see how many such people around, this is your market.
    Don't forget, also remove of them, don't like 8 x10 picture of people, and has 8 x10 of people.
    This group is very little, if you want to do big business, give up the attempt and the best!

  9. #29

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    Re: New 8x10 for under $500? Interest levels?

    I would not let others get you down. Manufacturing is now easier than ever with things like consumer avaliable laser cutters and rapid prototyping using 3d printers. Heck, I had some custom lens boards made from carbon fiber for less than $9 and done in less than two days from initial email.

    I strongly suggest looking at intrepid, they seems to be making a solid go of it.

  10. #30

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    Re: New 8x10 for under $500? Interest levels?

    I wholeheartedly applaud to your plans! If I hadn't ordered a new 8x10" field camera just a few days ago I'd surely say I want one.

    Best Regards
    Wilfried

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