Have I found an 8x10 worth checking?

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To the masters and repliers of my last question of what 8x10 should I look for? One of my students traveled to Phoenix recently, I gave him a list of things to look for (since I can't ditch school). He went to Photomark and met Ron Klukas(student said he was very helpful) and found a used 8x10 Zone VI with 4x5 reducing back. It is priced at 1800.00. Ron also showed him a 300mm Caltar IIS? for 850.00. (The student couldn't remember if it was new or used.) I have looked at the older messages and was unable to find your thoughts on the Zone VI or the lens. I think I would be wise to keep looking for a Deardorf or a Kodak per your recommendations, but, the bell's ringing and I'm chompin at the bit to get started in the race. So, should I ditch school and leave all my photo students alone for the day and go to Phoenix or should I just cool my jets and keep searching for the Deardorff? I have e-mailed Photomark and have not received any replies to my queries so I don't know how long the bellows is, if there is a lens board or any other accessories. thank you for your input and all your help. jacque

-- jacque staskon (jacque@cybertrails.com), April 09, 1999


I considered a Zone VI before I found a Deardorff. They are relatively lightweight, and usually a pretty good buy. Was that $1800 for the camera with the 4x5 AND 8x10 backs? That would be a pretty good deal, since you can count on a 4x5 back in good shape selling for $250-500.

As for the lens, I would say that you could do better. Perhaps not on that particular lens, but there are better deals out there in Dagors, Aratars and Ektars (and many other 'ars too numerous to list). By the way, the II-S is no longer available new; it's been replaced by the II-N and the II-E.

Just for comparison purposes, here's what I spent on my Deardorff:

Camera with 8x10 back - $1195 4x5 rotating back - 229 5x7 rotating back - 150 ----- Total $1574

And I had to refinish the camera. Don't forget the "hidden" costs of lensboards and film holders.

-- Chad Jarvis (chad_jarvis@yahoo.com), April 09, 1999.

Jacque - Wait for the Deardorf or the alum. Kodak. Either is far hardier that the Zone VI. The Caltars were and are, reportedly made by Rodenstock. [the very earliest Caltars were made by Ilex, but those had no numbers] The numbered ones are very nice lenses, regardless of who actually makes 'em. If the $850 is the used price, it's high, however. I've bought several Commercial Ektars and Wide Field Ektars on EBay and saved a bundle, while also being able to report no problems with that kind of a transaction. Patience me lad! Dick Fish/Smith College

-- Dick Fish (dfish@javanet.com), April 09, 1999.

Just to add my .02.

I got 2 (two) 8 X 10 Master Cameras, 1 carrying case, 1 5 X 7 reduction back, 5 5 X 7 holders and 3 lensboards for $1700.00. My glass is not of recent vintage, I sortta wish I had an Ektar or 3, but I have payed as little as $250.00 and as Much as $400.00 for my Turner Reich Convertibles. Granted, no where near the same league, but if all you need is basic glass, and you're shooting B&W and not enlarging, they'll do.

Try and relax and wait and search and save your cash. Although having and getting is fun, getting a good price can make the conclusion of the search tath much sweeter.

-- Sean yates (yatescats@yahoo.com), April 09, 1999.

Hi jacque:

Definitely you can do better on the glass. For my 300mm I bought a mint Kodak Commercial Ektar for $424. For wide-angle, I have a Angulon 210mm in Compound shutter(Ex++)($650) and a 16-1/2" Red Dot Artar om Copal (Ex+++)for $1,000. Very pleased. But those more knowledgeable than I find sleepers and little jewels for much less (guys like that Sean fellow!)

I also have two Kodak Master Views, the best of which I found at a Dallas/Fort Worth camera show, with case and Fresnel, for under $1,000. The KMV did not have a 4x5 back, but you can find converted Deardorff 4x5 backs from a few sources. Lensboards are scarce, but we're working on getting some made and we're looking into an adapter to take smaller boards. Jim at MidWest Camera in chicago (see ad in Shutterbug) should be able to help you locate a KMV. A good working Deardorff (not fancy) is also a good choice. Both are sturdy and relatively lightweight.

-- Henry Stanley (HTStanley@prodigy.net), April 10, 1999.

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