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Thread: Taking the 8x10 plunge!

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 1998

    Taking the 8x10 plunge!

    I want to start getting into Large Format. My plan in to buy a 8X10 Tachihara. Is this a good camera?

    I'm an enthusiast. I don't plan to give it a professional bashing. My interests are portraits and landscapes, so it doesn't need to be built like a tank. Is t here a lot of difference between the Tachihara and say, the Wisner?

    With a budget of two lenses, what would be the ideal pair? A 450mm and a 250mm?

    Does the Tachihara have a sunken lens panel to take Wide Angles? If not, what's the minimum it can take? What would be the equivalent of this in 35mm?

    At the portrait end, would I need a triple extension to do head and shoulders?

    My immediate plan is to do contact prints, but eventually to invest in an enlarg er, what's the least expensive 8x10 enlarger?

    Thanks in advance! Yaakov Asher Sinclair

  2. #2

    Taking the 8x10 plunge!

    The Wisner is probably a bit sturdier, has longer bellows, and is prettier than the Tachihara. But either camera should be adequate for your needs.

    The 450 is an ideal portrait lens (equiv. to 63mm in 35mm format). A 240 would be a gentle wide angle lens (equiv. to 34mm in 35mm format) and woul d be a good second choice.

    The Wisner would allow life size portraits with the 450---in other words, tight head shots. (But depth of field will be very poor.) For a head a nd shoulders shot with the 450, I imagine you'll need something like 28 inches of bellows extension. I'm not sure what th e Tachihara has, though it should be easy to find out.

    Don't know about 8 x 10 enlargers---I'm happy with contact prints!

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 1998

    Taking the 8x10 plunge!

    The only 8 x 10 enlargers I have ever seen were those I used in the Navy. They stood about 7 feet tall, took four men to wrestle into position, had enough glas s condenser lenses to furnish windows for a fair sized house, needed two people to focus.

    I don't know what they cost, but I am sure I could not afford one, nor would I e ven try.

    An 8 x 10 contact print is the nearest thing to photographic perfection most of us will experience.

  4. #4

    Taking the 8x10 plunge!

    Re Enlargers for 810, don't forget the 8 X 10 adapter for the Besseler 4 X 5 enl arger than Alan Ross created. It ocassionaly shows up used and of course is ava ilable new. Also, you'd be surprised how cheaply you can occassionally find the old Elwood (and I'm not talking 'bowt Jake's brother) ocassionally listed for - you gotta be persistent and have Cash on Hand! Rarely you might find an old an d I mean OLD Kodak. Ken Hough recently got a massive massive enlarger for darn near nothing. One last possibility is to try a newspaper or other printing hous e place they often have old copy cameras and other graphic arts type gear they a re getting rid of because they're going digital. All of this assumes you are ca pable of and willing to Do It Yourself! Your big expense would be glass - good 8X10 enlarger lenses are either new & costly or old and acceptable but you gotta get some kind of try out period. And of course you need to have a lense board for the enlarger made and drilled for the lense to test it. Lastly FILM FLATNES S - how does the negative carrier work, if it's glass then dust and Newton's Rin gs move in for a visit - if it's not then you need to check for sag and focus "p op" especially in the older enlargers with the massive 300 watt+ bulbs. I have been doing some digging in this area recently myself and hope what I have learne d is of use. Living near chicago has many phot advantages -primarily a very lar ge and active used market in large format gear.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 1998

    Taking the 8x10 plunge!

    look in the new view camera for the cost of a good 8x10 enlarger, Yaakov, for bare bones black and white they start at 1500 u.s. and go to about 40,000 u.s. for a color horizontal. I've been looking for a steal in 8x enlargers for 5 years, have given up and will probably resort to making my own. I've found stat cameras for sale that would be easy to convert but most are 14 feet long and eight feet or more height. If any of you more mechanically-minded than me care to help send plans of your 8x enlarger to Triblett Lunger-Thurd, 1812 andover ct., Oklahoma City Ok 73210 don't e-mail (work)

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 1998

    Taking the 8x10 plunge!

    There is a cheaper and more reasonable alternative to some of the expensive and large 8 x 10 enlargers mentioned above. I currently use a Zone VI 5 x 7 enlarge r for much of my work. When I moved up to 8 x 10 I purchased the Zone VI 8 x 10 head, which fits on that chassis. I beleive that the current price is around $ 1000 from Calumet. I picked up a used El Nikkor 240 mm lens on line and with t he combination I am now set up for 8 x 10 for under $1500. Switching the 5 x 7 head and the 8 x 10 head only takes a few minutes and is not difficult at all. I have my column mounted on the wall with drop down tables and sof far all work s very nicely. It is one more alternative to consider. Regards, Rob Rielly

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    San Joaquin Valley, California

    Taking the 8x10 plunge!

    If you want an 8x10 enlarger, coldlight heads are availabe for Beseler 45s and Zone V1s, but the won't do you much good for color printing. The mighty Elwood is a funky old beast that lends itself well to experimentation. You might be able to rig some kind of filter drawer for color printing. Aristo also made a cold light for Elwoods back in the days when that last dinsaur slipped in the LaBrea tar pits. Good Luck!
    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.

  8. #8

    Taking the 8x10 plunge!

    Look into the Shen Hao 8x10 camera sold at badger graphics, also I vote for the zone VI 8x10 head, unless you can find a good deal on E bay.

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