Experience re: 8X10 cameras (Ebony, Canham, Wisner)?

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

I am looking for a high quality new 8X10 field camera to last a lifetime. I own and operate a lab making platinum prints (I also have a day job). I am not a landscape photographer. I especially love to take revealing documentary portraits of people in their environments, close-ups in nature, and I dabble in street photography with my TLR. I do not photograph for clients. I have considered Ebony, Wisner, Canham, and even an Arca Swiss F monorail. I will start with a 300 or 360 mm lens for portraiture (see'In the American West' by Avedon). Does anyone have any experience or opinions regarding the quality, rigidity and longevity of Ebony vs. Canham vs. Wisner (without taking cost into consideration). Regards from Toronto, Mark Nowaczynski

-- Mark Nowaczynski (archivalprints@home.com), August 21, 1999


Dear Sean, Thank-you for taking the time and trouble to share your thoughts with me. I live in Toronto and there is really very little used (or new) large format equipment to be seen. The situition is such that Canadian distributors of large format cameras and lenses are willing to sell directly to the consumer. But more importantly if I buy a new camera from a small manufacturer, I am rewarding them for their commitment and helping to ensure their survival. When I amortize the savings of buying used over the rest of my shooting life it really doesn't make any significant difference financially. I really don't mind rewarding Keith Canham of Ron Wisner etc. for their dedication because without these singleminded individuals the art, science, and craft of hand building quality cameras would perish. I feel that those of us who can afford to support the industry should continue to do so. Happy shooting! Mark

-- Mark Nowaczynski (archivalprints@home.com), August 21, 1999.

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