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Thread: First 8x10 Advice/Suggestions

  1. #21

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    North Dakota

    Re: First 8x10 Advice/Suggestions

    Much prefer Deardorffs but use of others is limited.
    Uncle told me of his 8z10 start. Kodak Master View because a number of friend used & liked them. He got one and hated it. Almost quit 8x10 because it just did not work for him. Then he lucked into a Deardorff & loved how it handled.
    Nothing wrong with the Master View - just one felt right and the other did not. Both take fine images in the hands of many.

    As noted Photographer Tillman Crane has said: "One can't own too many Deardorffs".

    Whatever you get use it and get fine results.
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  2. #22
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: First 8x10 Advice/Suggestions

    My new photo adventure is on 3 wheels

    Waiting on eTrike that will enable my local area

    Almost a wheelchair, but I can walk, however don't drive. Bad eyes

    Small camera is fine, but my big ones may draw sitters

    I prefer to photograph people

    I may use flash and flashbulbs Wee Gee style

    That means estimate distance and shoot without focus

    One I love, as the people and bar are long lost

    Shot handheld at 4am bar closed
    Tin Can

  3. #23

    Join Date
    May 2015
    SooooCal/LA USA

    Re: First 8x10 Advice/Suggestions

    The choice of camera will be mostly based on size/weight and bellows extension/compression needs... Will one be able to practically carry it around, and then there is the FL of the lenses the user will prefer to shoot with normally???

    A "normal" (ish) 300mm is lens will require about 12" of extension between lens & film to focus to infinity, but will require double that extension to shoot close up (1:1), so that's how much extension for one FL... Long lenses need their FL bellows distance extension just to shoot infinity, and wides need camera/bellows to compress enough to shoot infinity... So a bigger/heavier camera that can extend long enough would be needed for those extensions, and a nearly closed compact camera for wides... Then there's movements available on a camera model, remember less DOF & camera movements less pronounced with larger formats...

    So first, really figure the FL you normally will shoot with and calculate how much the camera extension/compressions you would need and select cameras "by the numbers"... Decide early what would be your "only" FL (on a desert island) and basically stick to that... It's very easy to get "blinded by choice" of wanting it to do "everything", but start by narrowing down right in the beginning...

    Steve K

  4. #24

    Join Date
    Jan 2023

    Re: First 8x10 Advice/Suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    Weight of any 8x10 field folder is nil compared to the weight of all involved with making images. From tripod/tripod head to a stack of film holder, lenses, focusing aids, lenses, light meter and ... easily adds up to a whole lot more than a few extra pounds of camera..

    Add to this, using an 8x10 or larger camera outdoors is not easy, specially if environmental conditions get windy.. Stability of the set up remains a top consideration.. and where a light weight camera outfit degrades.. Essentially a lower weight view camera is inherently less stable/rigid and all those factors that aid in image quality..

    For a good number of view camera folks 8x10 is considered the "ultimate" sheet film format.. IMO, it's not and more speciality then what that sheet film format offers. The very real and rational trade off is 5x7 / 13x18cm.. which not a lot heavier/bulkier than 4x5 with significantly improved image quality over 4x5, best selection of view camera lenses, easier to deal with than 8x10 and reasonable sized enlargers and related...

    Then there is cost of film and all related to that.. which has never been low cost or 8x10 film. Cost of gear rapidly becomes nil compared to the cost of film and related for 8x10 after the first 100 sheets of film.

    That said, think every view camera user needs to try 8x10 at least once...

    Thanks Bernice for sharing your thoughts here. I definitely see the advantage of the bit heavier setups outdoors, one reason I am avoiding the Intrepid though they are low cost. I recently acquired an old 5x7 camera in great condition and I see your point on that format as well. Detail on my first couple of shots with it was amazing.


  5. #25

    Join Date
    Jan 2023

    Re: First 8x10 Advice/Suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom Bennett View Post
    For an 8x10 field camera I'm a big fan of the Kodak KMV 8x10; essentially a metal Deardorff (same weight and movements) with the added benefits of front shift and quick front extension feature that makes roughing in the focus quick and easy. Using short lenses is no problem and, if you are a fan of long lenses, there is a 1/4/20 hole in the front standard that you can put a tripod or monopod or some other support to keep things steady. I used a Deardorff for over a decade before switching to the KMV. Primary reason was the quick focus feature. Michael A. Smith and Paula Chamlee used these and for good reason. Also, I think they sell for less than the more prestigious Deardorff. Good luck in your move to 8x10!

    I did briefly conider that one too. There is one on eBay now that is comparable in price to the Deardorff I was considering. Definitely looks very sturdy and well built. Thank you for your thoughts on them.


  6. #26

    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Re: First 8x10 Advice/Suggestions

    I'm selling a 8x10 KVM this year, I have way too much stuff. DM me for photos and stuff. Why selling? I have a cambo 8x10 and Intrepid.

  7. #27

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Collinsville, CT USA

    Re: First 8x10 Advice/Suggestions

    For years I used Burke & James Commercial wooden 8x10. The camera never let me down. You can get one for around $500 and spend the res of your money on a lenses or lenses. 12" f/4.5 Wollensak Velostigmat in a Betax (without the variable diffusion on the front of the lens) is a pleasure to focus (with its f/4.5 max aperture) and compose with on the GG and at f/45 produces a wonderfully sharp image.

  8. #28
    jp's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Re: First 8x10 Advice/Suggestions

    I'd figure out which lenses and shutters you plan to use, then buy a camera that works for that.
    (I have a B&J field camera and a B&J Rembrandt 8x10)

  9. #29

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    San Joaquin Valley, California

    Re: First 8x10 Advice/Suggestions

    I have to admit a fondness for my Deardorff.
    I find working with it is very intuitive and besides, when the light isn't cooperating I'll often sit down on a boulder or stump and try to imagine the stories that old camera could tell.
    I hope your 8x10, whatever the make, gives you as much pleasure.
    "I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority"---EB White

  10. #30
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Houston Texas

    Re: First 8x10 Advice/Suggestions

    My fikrst 8X10 was a Kodak 2D. Doesn't have all the movements up front, but it was the right price and it go me into LF photography.

    They still are still thousands below other cameras in price and are commonly available on e-Bay.

    The Kodak 2D is a great steppingstone into LF imaging.
    Drew Bedo

    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

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