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Thread: 8x10 Camera + Accessories: Advice

  1. #1

    8x10 Camera + Accessories: Advice

    Hello All,

    Long time lurker, first-time poster. I'm just getting into 8x10 photography. I'm going to start by shooting Polaroid film. I may branch out further down the road.

    I'll be shooting mostly in the field, only occasionally in a studio. Subjects will be landscapes, architecture, and portraits.

    I will be carrying the gear in a backpack or on my bicycle so a lighter/more compact setup is preferable.

    I've put together a list of gear that seems appropriate for my uses. For some gear, I've narrowed to a choice. For other gear, I've got options to pick from.

    I'd love to hear what you think before I make any purchases.

    Thank you.




    Camera:
    Chamonix 810V

    Lens:
    Nikon Nikkor W 300mm f5.6 Large Format Lens

    Lens Filter:
    Nikon 95mm Neutral Color NC Filter

    Lens Board:
    Chamonix CF Sinar Lens Board #3

    Tripod Base:
    Gitzo GT3533LS Systematic Series 3 Carbon Fiber Tripod

    Tripod Head:
    Gitzo 1570M
    Manfrotto 405
    Bogen 3057
    Manfrotto 229
    Arca Swiss B2 AKA Z2

    Quick Release:
    If applicable.
    4x4 Quick Release Plate
    Kessler Kiwk Stand XL

    Meter:
    Sekonic L-758D

    Focusing Loupe:
    Something at or near 4x.
    Schneider
    Rodenstock
    Fuji
    Toyo 3.6X

    Dark Cloth:
    BTZS Focus Hood

    Cable Release:
    Gepe Cable Release 40"

    Film Processor + Holder:
    Polaroid 8X10 processor 81-12 or 81-22
    81-09 tray
    81-06 Dialogue Holders

    Other accessories I wonder if I should add:
    A lens hood?
    A ground glass protector?
    Anything else?
    Last edited by Dylan Mulvaney; 9-Aug-2020 at 07:04.

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Re: 8x10 Camera + Accessories: Advice

    Let me touch on 3 things

    Exposure meter: Personally use a Pentax Digital Spotmeter. For taking incident readings a Gossen Luna Pro F. An (eclectic to be sure) S.E.I. Photometer every now and then.

    GG Protector: Made my own. Held on with velcro on the sides of the back. Two corrugated plastic sheets at a 90 degree to each other. Thin sheet of foam attached to the front in contact with the GG. Many like U shaped plexiglass protectors. A friend had one and it did not protect his GG.

    Lens hood: Frame from an older Sinar Norma auxiliary frame (400) mounted on the bed in front of the lens. Attached is a Sinar Bellows Hood Mask 2 (533.21). Much prefer it to a bellows lens hood. Just a lot easier to use in the field, and it is very effective.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1.jpg   2.jpg   3.jpg  

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Re: 8x10 Camera + Accessories: Advice

    I haven't shot 8x10 in a long time, but I will say that any of the lenses you mention will provide superb results. Buy on condition, then price.
    A tripod quick-release will be very helpful, although I will let others inform you about those, as well as about tripods & heads.
    You'll want a backpack or case for your outfit, again I'll let those with experience speak.
    Best of luck- and post results here when you have some!

  4. #4

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    Re: 8x10 Camera + Accessories: Advice

    This sounds expensive!
    Have you shot Large Format before?
    The focusing loupe and light meter in your 4x5 kit will serve you just as well with an 8x10 camera
    Polaroid is nice, but conventional sheet film will probably be less costly to learn on---less tears if you waste a sheet of Arista,eduUltra than a sheet of Polaroid.
    If weight is a driving issue, leave the tripod head at home and consider selection a smaller, lighter lens (300 mm Nikon M, 305 mm Schneider G Claron, etc...)
    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.

  5. #5
    jeanba3000's Avatar
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    Re: 8x10 Camera + Accessories: Advice

    Some thoughts :

    Carbon series 5 Gitzo tripod or equivalent is necessary for stability, with a sturdy tripod head.
    The head should have a upper panoramic movement (like you can find on top of Arca Cube, P1…), so when you have leveled your head, you still can pan your camera horizontaly without loosing the level.

    Fujinon C 300 is a nice lens to consider too but with less movement than the heavy f/5.6 lenses
    Rodenstock Apo Ronar's are well appreciated for landscape and proxy to macro photography, and not expensive. Prefer those with shutter than without if you don't want use a hat as shutter…
    For architecture, you will need expensive and heavy super wide SW lenses like Super Angulon (XL or not), Grandagon, Nikkor SW, Fujinon SW, maybe Super Symmar XL, with focal length around 150mm.

    A simple large square dark cloth with velcro or a clamp to close it under the bellows can also serve as an easily adjustable lens hood, I believe the BTZS hood can't.

    In my backpack, I stack my film holders behind my camera so they protect the ground glass, no problem.

    Any 1 spotmeter should be ok

    Polaroid is very expensive compared to regular negative + print, if you want to start cheap, you may consider paper negative and contact print
    There is a curse. They say : May you live in interesting times. Terry Pratchett

  6. #6
    Foamer
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    Re: 8x10 Camera + Accessories: Advice

    Looks good except I'd go for the Gitzo 1570 head (I use the Ries J250-2 as it's easier), and I just use a black nylon jacket for a dark cloth. It doubles as a light jacket when needed. The 1325 tripod will hold it.



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

  7. #7

    Re: 8x10 Camera + Accessories: Advice

    Thank you all for the advice.

    I've edited my original post to reflect some of the choices/purchases I've made. Below are a few outstanding things I'd love to hear opinions on.

    Focusing Loupe:
    I'm having a hard time finding these for sale – either new or used. Any leads there? Is there something I'm missing?

    Lens Hood:
    Is this something that's necessary for general shooting or is it used in specific conditions? Is it an essential part of your kit?

    Dialogue Film Holders:
    Does anybody have experience using these new 81-06 Polaroid film holders? They seem like a good alternative to the used Polaroid holders.
    https://cameza.shoplineapp.com/produ...nt-film-holder

    Tripod Head/Quick Release:
    I've held off on making a decision on this. I'm considering trying to shoot without one, though I could see getting one eventually. Any other advice here would be welcome.

  8. #8

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    Re: 8x10 Camera + Accessories: Advice

    Regarding shooting 8x10 Polaroid in the field, it's basically a one-shot deal. You load the holder, expose, but I believe it now has to be processed. I've thought about 8x10 Polaroid for years, but since I'm not a studio shooter I couldn't envision a plan to deal with unprocessed film in the field. Keep in mind that I've never even seen a Polaroid film holder, other than in pictures. I wonder if it would be possible to unload an exposed sheet, into a film box, in a dark bag? Anyway, just a thought...

  9. #9

    Join Date
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    Re: 8x10 Camera + Accessories: Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan Mulvaney View Post
    Thank you all for the advice.

    I've edited my original post to reflect some of the choices/purchases I've made. Below are a few outstanding things I'd love to hear opinions on.

    Focusing Loupe:
    I'm having a hard time finding these for sale – either new or used. Any leads there? Is there something I'm missing?

    Lens Hood:
    Is this something that's necessary for general shooting or is it used in specific conditions? Is it an essential part of your kit?

    Tripod Head/Quick Release:
    I've held off on making a decision on this. I'm considering trying to shoot without one, though I could see getting one eventually. Any other advice here would be welcome.
    Just about anything will work, but some work much better than others. Any low power magnifier could be pressed into service---more critical is how that gizmo suits your way of working.
    I started with a (cheap) ubiquitous Agfa plastic 9x and currently use a Silvestri tilting 6x. The camera builder Ron Wisner recommended linen testers over a loupe, a few guys use generic reading glasses you can find at drug stores or 35mm SLR lens held reversed against the gg, and many use more costly high end optics from Rodenstock, Schneider and Peak.

    A hobby shop specializing in stamp collecting should have some loupes in stock for you to examine
    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.

  10. #10

    Join Date
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    Camano Island, Washington
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    237

    Re: 8x10 Camera + Accessories: Advice

    Lighter 8x10 equipment equals a lot more expense. For that matter 8x10 equals a lot more expense. A 300mm Nikor W is a big lens - I have a 240mm Nikor W - it gets left behind in the car a lot. A 95mm filter is big and expensive I have tried to stay to 67mm filters. (and some series 9 filters) You may need more than a series 3 carbon fiber tripod more like a series 5 - ideally without a head (for longer exposures) I have a Gitzo PL5 head on series 5 aluminum legs - with my Heavy 8x10 (Calumet C-1) the camera can easily move on longer exposures. I use a 1 degree pentax analog meter. Loupes need to be checked out - I started with a linen tester, went to a Toyo 3.6X, and recently purchased a Horseman 6X loupe. I have 10 or 12 cable releases - for different shutters. I do have a couple of quick releases - but I don't like them in general - I broke a Toyo camera years ago when it didn't clamp right. I haven't used Polaroid for a long time - I shoot film and it is processed. A great pack sack is very important. I wrap all of my lenses separately. a Zone VI sighting filter and a variable length viewfinder (like a Linhof or other finder) are very useful in finding exact locations for images in the field before setting up the tripod. You will need the various small tools: tape measure for measuring bellows length, stopwatch, method for calculation of bellows factor (I made cards), information for exposure resiprosity correction for the film you are using, filters, filter adapters, wire, tape etc.

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