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Thread: Lightweight 8x10 architectural camera (A-S?)

  1. #1

    Lightweight 8x10 architectural camera (A-S?)

    Hi, I have a pretty specific (A-S) question relating to my general quest for a precision 8x10 that is light enough to carry around (I do a lot of urban walking and architectural work).

    I have used several different brands -- most often Sinar -- and numerous formats, but I'm thinking of selling everything I have and putting the funds into one high-end, lightweight 8x10. I want as full a range of movements as possible in a sturdy, lightweight package, which apparently means Ebony or Arca-Swiss, neither of which brand I've used before. (Feel free to point me to other options, but it seems that most of the usual suspects are either not as precise or as sturdy or as lightweight or as versatile with respect to movements; I'd like all four if possible.)

    I've always preferred monorails, which gives the edge to A-S, but in Nathan Congdon's review of the Ebony 810, he said he rejected the A-S 8x10 (I'm thinking F-Line, not M) because it only offered 40mm of front rise, which of course is ridiculously limiting. Somebody else said there's an A-S "extender" that adds 40mm of front rise, and therein lies my question. Has anyone seen or had experience with this extender? Is it the gizmo in the upper right of the 14th pdf page (in A-S's page numbering, page 1.12) of the A-S catalog at http://www.largeformatphotography.info/ARCA.pdf? (How) does it work?

    "Official" and "knowledgeable" answers from A-S reps are, I assume, as difficult to come by as they have been since "elusive sales support" was apparently written into the company's charter 40-odd years ago.

    I'm open to considering Ebony, and I suppose I could find a way to justify it in terms of income produced, but I can't believe how much a full-featured Ebony costs even over the already-very-pricey A-S. Then again, over the years I've gradually invested quite a bit accumulating camera gear, and I don't want to sell it all in exchange for a camera with a crippling limitation. Thoughts?

  2. #2
    not an junior member Janko Belaj's Avatar
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    Lightweight 8x10 architectural camera (A-S?)

    Have only seen it on web, camera has no direct rear shift and swing, but seams light and strudy: Canham JMC810. (http://www.canhamcameras.com/8x10metal.htm)

  3. #3
    not an junior member Janko Belaj's Avatar
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    Lightweight 8x10 architectural camera (A-S?)

    and the "traditional" one isn't bad at all. I bet you cen have much larger front rise combining base and plane tilt. The 1st one uses sinar's boards, this one is lighter... 8x10 Lightweight (http://www.canhamcameras.com/8x10lightweight.htm)
    btw, what means "A-S"?

  4. #4

    Lightweight 8x10 architectural camera (A-S?)

    Sorry; "A-S" is "Arca-Swiss."

    I previously owned an 11x14 Canham and am open to the 8x10 model, but wonder if I could do better with respect to rigidity, versatility, and/or precision. (I do like both the man and his cameras, however!)

  5. #5

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    Lightweight 8x10 architectural camera (A-S?)

    FWIW, the architecture photography firm of Hedrick-Blessing did a fair amount of work with 8x10 Deardorffs. :-)
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  6. #6

    Lightweight 8x10 architectural camera (A-S?)

    Janko, at least on my browser there's a very short character limit in this forum for "Subject of post." I didn't want to imply in the title that my question wasn't fairly arcane, yet there wasn't room to type "lightweight" + "architectural" + "Arca-Swiss," which is why I abbreviated it to "A-S," and I forgot and used the same abbreviation in the first line. Hope that explains it.

  7. #7

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    Lightweight 8x10 architectural camera (A-S?)

    What movement is more important for architecture than rise? I think it is worth more money to have more of it.

    A quick scan of B&H reveals another potential (monorail) candidate: Toyo 810G, with 85mm of geared rise...

  8. #8

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    Lightweight 8x10 architectural camera (A-S?)

    Arca has an all-new version of their 8x10 and the guy to talk to with your questions is Rod Klukas at Photomark in Phoenix (602) 244-1133. I am picking up the new 140mm 4x5 there next month and may just spring for the 8x10 if he has one in stock. I have a ProII A-S 8x10 now which is just a dream and the kit is lighter than my 4x5 F-metric. The new 8x10 is lighter yet and has an ingenious hydraulic bail which closes the back on the film holder with a very light tap of one finger...Evan Clarke

  9. #9

    Lightweight 8x10 architectural camera (A-S?)

    Hmm. Very interesting, Evan; thanks for the news. I'll give Rod K. a call and see if the front end of the new version is as impressive as the back end.

    Christopher, the Toyo 810 looks like it has it all (and B&H has a used one for 40% less than new), but the weight (almost 20 lbs) is kind of a deal (back?) breaker for long jaunts. (I'm well aware of the ULF transporting options using carts, baby joggers, etc., but I'd like to avoid that if possible when shooting 8x10.)

  10. #10

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    Lightweight 8x10 architectural camera (A-S?)

    Could you please tell us the name, or any further description of the new Arca Swiss 8x10 ?

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