8x10 Field Gear. What to buy???

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I am looking for a great field camera in the 8x10 format. I'm not a dealer, just a cash starved enthusiast who would like to graduate to 8x10. Perhaps a used but not abused Zone VI or Wisner. I'm willing to pay to play, but not the $2000+ that most 8x10's demand. HELP! I also need a couple of GREAT vintage lenses to cover the 8x10 format. I need about a 300mm and a 200mm or so in excellent working condition Coverage, shutter speed accuracy and sharpness are very important. I would like a more recent model lens, but I cannot go over $350.00 per lens. Maybe someone has a vintage convertible lens that would be appropriate. Let me know. Please reply to my email address - edward1@voyager.net

Hey, I'm looking ideas. Get in touch with me!

Thanks!!! -Ed Shotwell

-- Ed Shotwell (edward1@voyager.net), November 11, 1998


Clayton Classic Camera, Mid-West Photo Exchange and Columbus Camera, all have 810 cameras and lenses which are reasonably priced. I've bought from them and have been pleased. Old Kodak 8x10's are light-weight, fold down nicely and have a heritage of distinction, with Weston, Adams and others making world-reknowned images using these.

-- Dick Fish (dfish@smith.edu), November 11, 1998.

Here's the outfit I put together with the approximate prices I paid: 8x10 Deardorff (user condition, no front swings) $750, 10" Wide Field Ektar (some polishing marks) $500, 14" Commercial Ektar (clean) $550. Very, very happy with the results. See my site at: http://www.ravenvision.com/rvapeter.htm All the 8x10 images (which comprise much of my site) were taken with this equipment. Suggest Midwest Camera Exchange as a good place to start looking. Vintage lenses are fine, especially for b&w. (Some consider them superior.) Don't expect the kind of contrast you get with a modern lens. But as far as I'm concerned, that's a big plus! Top shutter speed 1/30 sec., so, depending on your film and the degree of selective focus you want, you might have to use an ND filter in bright sunlight. Shutter accuracy? Surely you jest. But repeatable? Yes. Just have a camera repair shop test your speeds, then put a peice of tape on the shutter and write the real speeds on it. If this puts you off, just remember that you will still have better optics and shutters than Edward Weston ever had. And I believe Meyerowitz shot "Cape Light" with similar lenses, and that was in color. Have fun!

-- Peter Hughes (leonine@redshift.com), November 12, 1998.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ