What's the best 8x10 view camera available on the used market

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

I'm interested in finding a good deal on a used 8x10. I'd like to get a nice studio camera for less than $500, but I'd be pretty happy with a field camera also. Please make alternate suggestions if it's not really possible to get a nice 8x10 for this price. Thanks everyone!


-- Eric Johnson (ericj@lisco.net), November 29, 1999


My first 8 X 10 was a worn but very servicable Calumet 8 X 10 C - 1 which I paid $400.00 for with a lens board, but no lens. Look for those and Agfa/Anscos, Kodak 2-D's, Commercial B's and of course the ever present Burke & James. Be prepared to invest time instead of $ to get exactly what you want.

-- Sean yates (yatescats@yahoo.com), November 29, 1999.

For that price range by far the best (most rigid, movements etc) is a Calumet C1. They're fairly common on the used-gear market.

Don't forget the lens; probably the best for the least money are Commercial and Wide-Field Ektars.

-- John Hicks (jbh@magicnet.net), November 29, 1999.

I'd like to add another vote for the Calumet (aka Orbit) C-1, a very durable metal, incredibly easy to use (read: big knobs), commonly available studio 8x10. I've seen a couple on ebay within the last three weeks going for under 500 or so. Just got one myself and am a very happy cam

-- Gregory Froelich (gregfroelich@atheneum.org), November 30, 1999.

It may take some searching but you may be able to find a Deardorff for a little over your $500 target. I bought a 8x10 Deardorff(circa 1949)for $699 which included a case and four film holders. If you value the holders at $30 a piece and the case at $50, the net for the camera is $529. It is a classic and one sweet camera.

-- Chuck Richards (ChNR@aol.com), December 07, 1999.

Thanks for all the info everyone! It's helped me narrow my choices significantly.

CHUCK, what kind of movements does the Deardorff have compared to the Calumet C-1, for example? Does it sufficient rigidity? Thanks.


-- Eric Johnson (ericj@lisco.net), December 07, 1999.

I am not that familiar with the Calumet C-1. The Deardorff has front rise and fall, front swings, front tilt, rear tilt, rear swings. The movements are detailed in a book called "Corrective Photography". I have seen copies on e-Bay.

-- Chuck Richards (ChNR@aol.com), December 07, 1999.

For Deardorff specs go here:


and consult Ken Hough's page:


For Calumet Specs go here:


-- Sean yates (yatescats@yahoo.com), December 07, 1999.

I'm sorry that should read http://www.cs/berkeley.edu/~qtluong/photography/lf/deardorff3.jpeg

-- Sean yates (yatescats@yahoo.com), December 07, 1999.

grrrr One last time http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~qtluong/photography/lf/deardorff3.jpeg

-- Sean yates (yatescats@yahoo.com), December 07, 1999.

SEAN, from what I understand from your previous post (http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=000ZgX) it sounds like the C1, C2 and C3 are essentially the same camera. Is this an accurate conclusion?


-- Eric Johnson (ericj@lisco.net), December 07, 1999.

No. There seems to be some misinformation floating around and I haven't been able to sort it all out yet. I am guilty of sucumbing to it and helping to perpetuate it. The C-2 is Calumet's roll-film holder for 4 X 5 cameras. Where the C-3 came from I don't know.

Orbit was making or at least marketing Calumet C-1 style cameras as late as '84 as was Calumet. The 4 variations on this theme that I have persoanlly seen included an older Orbit model which was brown- ish and seemed to be the same functionally if not in apperance. More recently Orbit versions of the black C-1 have appeared on E-bay. The standard green and black models with the materials variation mentioned, are fairly common. Then there was a wide-angle model that looked as if a very competant machinist might have made it in his spare time by adapting an existing C-1. It focused on the front, rather than the rear, and gave up some movements.

-- Sean yates (yatescats@yahoo.com), December 07, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ