Renting an 8x10 for a week. : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I want to give 8x10 a try. This will be my first attempt at LF, I know shoot mostly MF. I shoot mostly outdoors and will ultimatly use 8x10 for contact printing, both color and B&W.

I was wondering were I can rent a full system for a 3-7 days. I know it's expensive, but for this first try at LF, I'd like to shoot polaroid. Does anyone know of a store that can set me up? I'd need the camera, lens, holder, and processer. Or is it better to first try sheets? I have access to two good labs, one for color, the other B&W.

Any feedback would be great.


-- Jeff Rivera (, December 23, 1999


Try lens & Repro in New York City, Helix in Chicago, Light Tec in Dallas and Houston, or Irena's P.R.S in Los Angeles.

-- Ellis Vener (, December 23, 1999.

Where do you live?

others are Gassers, Keeble & Schuchat, Glazers, PPR, Aperture, Pro Set, pro Camera, City Photo, etc. There are lots of rental houses but a location would help to direct you to one.

you might also check the PDN web site. they regularly publish rental house info in their magazine.

-- Bob Salomon (, December 23, 1999.

Sorry, I'm in San Diego, CA.


-- Jeff Rivera (, December 23, 1999.

Have you asked at georges or Bob Davis?

-- Bob Salomon (, December 23, 1999.

For the record, should someone be curious about this question in the future, here are typical rental rates in Chicago for an 8x10 kit (these prices are from Helix at 312.421.2806).

A "kit" includes the camera, a normal lens (300mm or 360mm), 5 film holders, focus cloth, and case (large changing bag supplied on request at no charge). All you have to supply is the film and the tripod (they'll rent those too, charging $10-12 per day/ 30-36 per week for Gitzo 4's and 5's). Kit prices (per day/week/month) for various 8x10's:

Sinar P2 - 80/240/720 Sinar P - 60/180/540 Sinar F1 - 50/150/450 Horseman LX/C - 55/165/495 Deardorff - 40/120/360

A weekend is one day if you pick it up after 4:00 Friday and return it by 9 a.m. on Monday (that's at Helix; at Calumet, you have until Tuesday at 9, but they don't rent any 8x10's except Cambos and Zone 6's, not that those are bad). Since a week at most rental places is three times the day rate, if you're going to keep it three days you might as well keep it for seven.

Oh yes; at Helix a Polaroid film processor is $20/day, $60 per week.

It really isn't THAT expensive to rent before you buy, but note: you will have to prove credit for the total value of the equipment (ranges from $3210 for the Deardorff kit to $10,470 for the P2). Better have ample balance on the old credit card. Helix makes you set up an account, while I THINK Calumet (312.440.8209) only requires an imprint of your credit card. FWIW...

-- Simon (, December 23, 1999.

Jeff: Have you considered giving 4x5 a try before 8x10? Since this is your first attempt at large format, 4x5 will give you a feel for LF a lot easier and cheaper. Even the Poloroid for 4x5 is a lot cheaper. An 8x10 camera is a lot heavier, the film holders are heavier, tripod and lenses a lot heavier. The whole outfit is more cumbersome to set up and can be quite difficult to shoot with without some experience in LF. I certainly don't knock 8x10 and use one myself, but it can be a pain in the old tush to use. Jumping from medium format to 4x5 takes some getting used to, as well a a major shift in the thinking process while shooting. On the plus side, there is little in photography more satisfying than looking through an 8x10 ground glass and watching a scene come together. Few things in photography are as satisfying as an 8x10 contact print with wire sharpness and brilliance that most photographers never get to enjoy. I certainly am not trying to discourage you from using an 8x10, but I sincerely think a little experience in large format would be helpful before tackling one of the monsters to keep you from getting discouraged. Good luck and welcome to your entry into large format. You will not be disappointed. Doug

-- Doug Paramore (, December 23, 1999.

Hi Jeff,

Doug offers some real good advice. Years ago I went from 35 to MF, no big deal, then I went to 4x5, a much bigger deal. After using 4x5 for a few years I gave 8x10 a try and it's a lot different. I consider using my 4x5 like using a 35 comapred to 8x10. If this really is your first time with LF you may not like it if you just try 8x10. OTOH, once you see a contact print from 8x10, you'll love it!

Regards & Happy Holidays!

-- Pete Caluori (, December 24, 1999.

My conclusion after trying 8x10 (vs. 4x5) is that it's cumbersome, slow, and expensive compared to 4x5, and it's really only necessary if you want to make contact prints or for shots containing lots of small details. One thing you might consider if you decide to go w/ 4x5 is to get some lenses that cover 8x10 (e.g., Schneider 150XL works great as a superwide) and have them mounted in a universal board (e.g., Linhof), so if you decide to rent a 8x10, the brand of rental camera will likely have a Linhof adapter.

-- James Chow (, December 24, 1999.

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