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Thread: Wooden 8x10 Eastman Commercial Camera - anyone know anything about it?

  1. #1

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    Wooden 8x10 Eastman Commercial Camera - anyone know anything about it?

    I've seen these cameras crop up a few times used for decent prices but information appears extremely scarce. The camera shares a name with a later Kodak 8x10, the metal commercial b. It's a big wooden tailboard camera from the 20s or so (it seems) with a little bellows-extending lens board system. At a glance they look really nice, solidly built with plenty of movements. Does anyone know much about these cameras? Anything one should look out for besides the standard checklist? Anyone with experience using one? Reference photos attached. Thanks!

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  2. #2
    jim_jm's Avatar
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    Re: Wooden 8x10 Eastman Commercial Camera - anyone know anything about it?

    Haven't used one myself, only the more common Eastman View cameras, but here's a link if you haven't seen this.
    Seems a seriously heavier build than other wooden cameras of the time at 20 lbs.

  3. #3
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Wooden 8x10 Eastman Commercial Camera - anyone know anything about it?

    I have one. Mine needs a refurbishment. Note that the tilting lens board, which I don't have, is the only direct way to get front tilt. The camera is more deluxe than, say, a 2D. Yes, it's heavy. It was meant for commercial on location work, the kind where assistants are involved. If I make it to retirement, I'll spend some time restoring mine.
    May tomorrow be a better day.

  4. #4
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Wooden 8x10 Eastman Commercial Camera - anyone know anything about it?

    Looks like a great design

    The very nice folding lever bellows support stands out as I have not seen one before

    I assume it was double sided
    2022

  5. #5

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    Re: Wooden 8x10 Eastman Commercial Camera - anyone know anything about it?

    Thanks all for the replies!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #6

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    Re: Wooden 8x10 Eastman Commercial Camera - anyone know anything about it?

    I have two (one that is in decent shape but needs a restoration to be usable and one that is a step away from a parts camera and is going to require a major overhaul) - they are impressive cameras. The overall build quality is top notch (for example, substantial metal plates with grooves for the standards to ride in instead of the ubiquitous wooden slots that can loosen up over time, hinged supports for the bellows, substantial handle, etc). They are like the cadillacs of the folding wood camera world (in terms of both luxury and size/weight). A complete camera will have the tilting lensboard, sliding tripod block, and separate mini extension rail for the back.

    There are two weak spots that I have noticed on both of my cameras - failing glue joints, and a wobbly front standard. Glue joint problems are not particular to this camera, but I do think they are amplified by the folding front rail and the heavy components. If that front rail unhooks and slams down while you are carrying it or setting it up you will probably loosen up a joint or two (both of mine have loose joints near the hinge). Obviously this is more of an age related problem rather than a design flaw. The Achilles heel of the camera is the way the front standard is attached to the sliding rail hardware by small screws going into end grain wood - an inherently weak design (in a camera so overbuilt this design choice seem to be a disappointing afterthought). In the picture of the camera you posted above you can see that somebody addressed this problem and modified the camera by adding what appears to be angle brackets that wrap around the front standard and screw into the long grain.

  7. #7
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Wooden 8x10 Eastman Commercial Camera - anyone know anything about it?

    Yes, my camera has the same issues. I'm sure it could be fixed. I have everything but the tilting lens boards, and that wouldn't be hard to make.
    May tomorrow be a better day.

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