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Thread: 8x10 camera question

  1. #1

    Join Date
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    8x10 camera question

    Hi-
    I was interested in doing 8x10. Can anyone tell me a good set up to start with. (Camera , lens etc.) I will be doing portraits and then contact printing as I have a darkroom already.

    Thanks
    in Advance
    Scott

  2. #2
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: 8x10 camera question

    Kodak 2D 8x10's are a reasonable way to go. As long as the camera is in good condition and its bellows light tight, it would be one of the cheaper ways to jump into it. They can be a little wobbly, but there are ways to reinforce them. A little heavy perhaps, but not too bad and fine for portraits.

    What sort of light will you be using (studio stobes, hot lights, natural light)? That info is handy to know for determining the shutter type. Then, what kind of portraits -- head and shoulders, full body, groups? That will inform us about what focal length lens might be good to start with. Anywhere from 300mm (12") to 480mm (19") would be contenders.

    Then there is regular, sharp focus lenses, then there are soft-focus portrait lenses.

    A big can-o-worms you have open here!

    Vaughn

  3. #3

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    Re: 8x10 camera question

    Wide open question.

    Have you ever shot with 8x10? Do you like tight portraits, or environmental portraits?

    Best place to start is with the lens selection, then attach a camera that you like. For portraits you don't need a ton of camera movements.

    Me, I tend to do environmental portraits (full length) so use a 240 mm lens.

    If you want tight facial images, a 360 mm lens is a good starting point.

    I use a KB Canham, but there are so many 8x10 cameras to use. For portrait work, I suggest the simpler the better.
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photography/index.html

  4. #4

    Re: 8x10 camera question

    For pure portraiture an old portrait camera like a 2D will serve well, and be pretty cost effective. If you are of a mind it is a great camera for a packard shutter and old portrait lenses. It isn't, however, the worlds greatest field camera, and in the field you will soon be yearning for something lighter and more compact with more movements. The sky is the limit when you start down that road. FWIW I think a 2D is a good place to dip a toe into 8x10, and being relatively cheap and popular, you will get good value from owning it if you start with a good deal in the first place, keeping in mind what I wrote previously.

  5. #5

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    Re: 8x10 camera question

    Another excellent starter camera is an Agfa/Ansco 8x10. These have much larger front lensboards than the Kodak 2d, and thus allow a big packard shutter behind the lensboard.

  6. #6

    Re: 8x10 camera question

    Starter options for 8x10 portraiture are basically older, cheaper cameras. I'd try and get a Calumet C-1 myself (cheap with long bellows and reduction back).

    I looked at a 2D when I was starting out. The big advantage is price. The minuses are many: age, really limited movements, and it uses an back extension board, oft-separated from the camera. I wouldn't get a 2D without the extension rail for portraits.

  7. #7
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: 8x10 camera question

    I am not recommending buying these cameras -- these links are for informational purposes only.

    A nice set-up for portraits:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/c1897-ROCHESTER-VIEW-CAMERA-W-ROSS-LONDON-BRASS-LENS_W0QQitemZ170303520063QQcmdZViewItemQQptZFilm_Cameras?hash=item170303520063&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66%3A2|65%3A1|39%3A1|240%3A1318

    Way too expensive:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/WOODEN-CAMERA-8x10-CAMERA-W-LENS_W0QQitemZ360131899189QQcmdZViewItemQQptZFilm_Cameras?hash=item360131899189&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66%3A2|65%3A1|39%3A1|240%3A1318

    A "Tailback camera -- best used for portraits only (no front movements), but can be used in the field:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/beautiful-wood-and-brass-camera-exc-condition_W0QQitemZ280315319806QQcmdZViewItemQQptZFilm_Cameras?hash=item280315319806&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66%3A2|65%3A1|39%3A1|240%3A1318

    A metal rail version...could be a good deal for studio use.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/8x10-CAMBO-VIEW-CAMERA_W0QQitemZ120379707659QQcmdZViewItemQQptZFilm_Cameras?hash=item120379707659&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66%3A2|65%3A1|39%3A1|240%3A1318

    An atypical Korona it has the ext rail and extra supports...and some interesting lenses for portraits!:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Rare-Vintage-Korona-8-X-10-View-Camera_W0QQitemZ140303369444QQcmdZViewItemQQptZFilm_Cameras?hash=item140303369444&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66%3A2|65%3A1|39%3A1|240%3A1318

    And one more type...The Burk and James:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/A-beautiful-older-8x10-Burke-James-large-format-camera_W0QQitemZ300295254812QQcmdZViewItemQQptZFilm_Cameras?hash=item300295254812&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66%3A2|65%3A1|39%3A1|240%3A1318

    Lots of good possibilities for a first 8x10.

    Vaughn

    PS...sorry if you have to cut-and-paste the links.

  8. #8

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    Re: 8x10 camera question

    Years ago I went to a traveling "camera show" with a box of unwanted cameras & lenses. I traded them all for a Calumet C-1, a big ole heavy studio camera with an Ilex 375mm lens (a tessar I believe, but some have said a triplet.) I think the seller was valuing the combo at $300-$400. Both items are pretty much out of favor here, but I am astonished at the photographic capability afforded by this setup.

    Have fun - Alan

  9. #9

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    Re: 8x10 camera question

    thanks for all the comments

  10. #10
    Wayne venchka's Avatar
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    Re: 8x10 camera question

    The For Sale area here is always a treasure trove of just about anything you may need or want. Or don't need, don't want but you buy it anyway. Wait, that applies to me.

    Anyway, good stuff at good prices. Be quick.
    Wayne
    Deep in the darkest heart of the East Texas rainforest.

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