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Thread: First 8x10 - Field Camera or Monorail?

  1. #21

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    Re: First 8x10 - Field Camera or Monorail?

    These are the practical, real world advice and comments I was hoping for. Thank you! I know certain cameras are better suited to certain things, but info like the variations between the Sinar Fs and other suitable, lighter monos is exactly what I was looking for. And with Rick's rather obvious suggestion of wheels (I didn't actually think a that...dur!), that pretty much takes care of the questions I had about the best way to manage the big camera on shoots - i.e. short treks from the car.

    I'm pretty sure that settles the question of what camera to get me started in 8x10. If it all works out well with the BIG MONORAIL and I end up satisfied with 8x10 contact prints only (from an earlier post of mine) - I'll just keep it and get a folder later for the added mobility of the lighter camera. That worked will with 4x5 and I still use both cameras when the situation calls for it.

    And BTW - to address the question of medium and materials - I don't now and never expect to do wet plate or anything else like that. I am a straight up B&W film guy only and other than the possibility of some alternative printing processes, intend to stay that way. I used to shoot color 35mm and now I have a little digicam for that on those rare occasions when color is necessary. I figure I can get the rest of my lifetime's worth mastering monochrome photography and have no intention of moving off that path anytime soon. Hopefully that will keep me squarely in the market for materials for the foreseeable future.

    Thanks again all, for your input and your experience in helping me make this decision. That's exactly why I come here!

  2. #22

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    Re: First 8x10 - Field Camera or Monorail?

    Quote Originally Posted by rdenney View Post

    But your statement that you have no intention of selling undermines your previous argument that it will hold its monetary value. If one has no intention of selling it, then its value on the market is of no consequence.
    The value of the camera is unaffected by my intentions, and while my camera is not for sale, others are.
    One man's Mede is another man's Persian.

  3. #23

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    Re: First 8x10 - Field Camera or Monorail?

    I have packed it fully assembled upside down into a regular top loading backpack with the glass facing my back (75 liter /4500 cubic inches). The 12" base rail keeps most things away from the camera. I don't bother padding it but you could wrap a dark cloth around it. I only have 4 holders and a couple of lenses so I think my total pack weight was under forty pounds. I don't think I've carried it more than 0.5 miles. I have also carried it attached to a tripod. I pick it up by the base rail to not put any strain on the ball head. I have a folding hand cart and plastic totes I have used as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cletus View Post
    Dear Ansel -

    Sinar F or P was one of those on my short list. You think about 16lbs? How do you transport the camera? Surely you aren't slinging the tripod over your shoulder with camera attached - unless you have the mightiest head I've ever heard of...

    I am in the E. Weston camp with the motto "anything worth photographing can be seen from the road". For the most part anyway. I kinda figured if I was using the heavy non-folder I could just shlep everything over to the "photosite" (ha ha), set up, make exposure, shlep back to the truck and repeat for next image. That's pretty much what I do now with the 4x5, but that camera isblight enough I feel comfortable leaving it on the tripod and therefore slightly increasing my range. Also allows me to make a photo with only one trip to/from my vehicle.

    Do you find you can make a picture with a single trip using the 810 monorail? How do you pack the camera? Surely it don't fit into any camera bag or backpack?

  4. #24
    Scott Walker's Avatar
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    Re: First 8x10 - Field Camera or Monorail?

    My field camera is a Sinar P2 8x10. I hike and snowshoe with it usualy over my shoulder on the tripod. If I am heading to a destination more than a few miles away it all goes into a backpack (not the one in the picture) and I almost always have my lovely assistant with me to carry film holders in her pack.


  5. #25

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    Re: First 8x10 - Field Camera or Monorail?

    I know of some parking lots I wouldn't want to carry a Calumet "metal monster" across.
    Just sayin'
    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.

  6. #26

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    Re: First 8x10 - Field Camera or Monorail?

    Make your choice based on your use. If you work primarily out of the studio I strongly suggest the use of a flat bed view camera commonly (but incorrectly) called a field camera. Be sure to get necessary track extenders for over 24" (the Calumet C1 gives you 35") the Deardorff around 24. It is also very desirable to have a 4x5 reducing back. I suggest that if you don't have a huge budget, consider used VC's as obove. C1 and Deardorff both use identical lens boards.

    If you only shoot in studio then you'll love a monorail systems camera but they are big, ungainly, and difficult.

    Lynn (co-creator of the Calumet C1 and VP of B&J, makers of lots of VC's)

  7. #27
    MIke Sherck's Avatar
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    Re: First 8x10 - Field Camera or Monorail?

    I carry an 8x10 Burke & James Grover monorail (that's it, in my avatar photo.) It weighs 12 lbs and I paid somewhere between $0 and $100 for it (bought it in a lot, sold the rest. Can't exactly recall how it all netted out but I recall being happy that I'd gotten an 8x10 nearly free.) In the field I carry two lenses, four film holders + all the rest in a soft-sided cooler bag and the camera and tripod go over a shoulder, like Scott's picture above. I'm 50-mumble and can easily carry it several miles that way. It's an interesting camera and I could undoubtedly take at least a couple of pounds off by removing excess knobs, etc. but I don't find 12 lbs. unreasonably heavy. More to the point, I don't go mountain climbing with it. Not at my age!

    Mike
    Politically, aerodynamically, and fashionably incorrect.

  8. #28
    indecent exposure cosmicexplosion's Avatar
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    Re: First 8x10 - Field Camera or Monorail?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Petronio View Post
    From what we've seen of your output, that's obvious.
    Well that's philasophical. A I don't have a scanner. And b. I don't really have any thing worth showing as I am still stuffing up all my exposures. So when I do get something worth showing I'll show it.
    Then again maybe I would progress faster showing every one my stuff ups. Still need a scanner.
    Besides that I just had a sabotage of a building project I was running which put me in the red and have been
    Living on peanuts most of the year. So film and chemistry comes after food.
    Good news is that I am settling things so expect a big cheque.
    But thanks for your interest. I'll keep you posted.
    through a glass darkly...

  9. #29

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    Re: First 8x10 - Field Camera or Monorail?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Walker View Post
    My field camera is a Sinar P2 8x10. I hike and snowshoe with it usualy over my shoulder on the tripod. If I am heading to a destination more than a few miles away it all goes into a backpack (not the one in the picture) and I almost always have my lovely assistant with me to carry film holders in her pack.

    I'm trying to picture where the rail is in that photo.

  10. #30
    Scott Walker's Avatar
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    Re: First 8x10 - Field Camera or Monorail?

    Quote Originally Posted by welly View Post
    I'm trying to picture where the rail is in that photo.
    LoL, well it's position has nothing to do with the look on my face.

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