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Thread: 8x10 For "Street" Portaiture

  1. #1

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    8x10 For "Street" Portaiture

    I'm seeking advice from members about the best 8x10 camera to use for location photography. I have a Burke and James but it's a bit clumsy (to say the least). I'm more of a street and location photographer and enjoy doing environmental portraits of people I meet. I've done this before with a Wista 4x5 camera and a an old Kodak folding 8x10 but it's been a few years and am looking to purchase a camera that is a bit easier and quicker to dial in than the B&J. I know this is a very complicated process but am looking for advice on what camera might have weight and set up speed advantages. Also, what tripod would be appropriate? Thanks for any advice.

    joe murray | nativesonsfilms

    Directors Guild Of America-Director
    Int'l Cinematographers Guild -Director of Photography
    www.nativesonsfilms.com

  2. #2
    Foamer
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    Re: 8x10 For "Street" Portaiture

    I'm going to suggest something like a Chamonix 8x10. They are medium-expensive, but very lightweight and easy in the field. They are also very nice looking cameras, something that might be important for what you're doing.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  3. #3
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: 8x10 For "Street" Portaiture

    KMV Kodak Master View sets up very quickly.

    And is self casing.

  4. #4

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    Re: 8x10 For "Street" Portaiture

    Lightweight, affordable and easy to use: considered the Intrepid 8x10?

  5. #5

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    Re: 8x10 For "Street" Portaiture

    That's one reason I bought mine, but a better choice would be a camera that didn't need the front placed and screwed and could be closed up with a lens on it. I've considered that a Century Universal 8x10, sort of a Crown Graphic on steroids with long bellows and more movements, would be the perfect camera for this, and they aren't too expensive for what they do:
    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...rsal_8x10.html
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

  6. #6
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    Re: 8x10 For "Street" Portaiture

    Fastest setup? A non-folding camera. If you have vast amounts of money to burn and patience to search for a scarce camera that's no longer in production, Ebony SLW810. Very lightweight, too, specified at around 7 pounds. Slightly less vast amount of money to burn and want a camera still in production, Shen-Hao TFC810A, which is more or less a copy of the Ebony. About 8 pounds.

    There was also a non-folding 8x10 Tachihara, but unlike the Ebony and Shen-Hao, that one had a very limited bellows draw and is really intended strictly for ultrawide work. Very hard to find, too.

    Next fastest, much less money, but some patience may be required to find one in good shape with sufficient rigidity: any of the classic cameras with a fold-down front rail, for example Eastman No 2 or 2D. The Eastmans are a bit heavier than the non-folding cameras, though - more like 10 or 11 pounds.

    Fastest traditional folding design I've ever used? Early-model Nagaoka 8x10. The folding design and detents were such that I could have the thing unfolded and ready to pop in a lens within just a few seconds. Also quite lightweight for an 8x10 - about 8 pounds. Hard to find, though. The most recent Nagaoka 8x10 looks quite different - I haven't used one, but it looks as though it has a screw-in front standard like the Phillips cameras, which is a bit slower to set up.

  7. #7

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    Re: 8x10 For "Street" Portaiture

    I guess a folding camera offers the most possibilities as it can be loaded into a backpack as I was able to do with my old Kodak. What tripod would be appropriate for this type of camera. Thanks for all the usable advice. I'll let the thread play out a bit more and start a list to narrow down.

    On another note I've searched around and large format camera plans or even better, plans with hardware kits aren't available. With the resurgence in hand tools and woodworking interests, it might be a viable service for someone to provide.

  8. #8
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    Re: 8x10 For "Street" Portaiture

    Quote Originally Posted by joedgaia View Post
    I guess a folding camera offers the most possibilities as it can be loaded into a backpack as I was able to do with my old Kodak.
    The non-folding cameras I mentioned are very compact and backpack-friendly too. Take a look at the picture of the TFC810A on the Shen-Hao website and you'll see how the design works:

    http://www.shen-hao.com/PRODUCTSabout.aspx?i=988&id=n3

    Whether you want to spend that much money, of course, is a separate question.

  9. #9
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    Re: 8x10 For "Street" Portaiture

    They will be out of reach for most people because of the price, but for completeness re the Ebony non-folding models, there was also an SL810, which was a bit heavier (about 9 pounds) as it had rear movements with the associated extra hardware, while the SLW had only front movements. Also an SL810U with asymmetrical rear tilts and swings, same weight as the non-U. Pictures attached, SLW on the left and SW on the right.

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	177436Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SW810.jpg 
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ID:	177437

  10. #10
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: 8x10 For "Street" Portaiture

    Toyo 810M if you can handle the weight; it sets up in seconds and is precise and smooth in operation.
    It can be used in the rain, snow or heat with no adverse effects on function.

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