Zone VI 8*10??? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hi, is this camera, the Zone VI 8*10 a good camera? Thanks, David

-- david clark (, June 13, 2001


David: It should be a good camera. Are you talking about a new or used one?


-- Doug Paramore (, June 13, 2001.

They are very good, high quality, but they no longer have a lifetime warrenty. Pat

-- pat krentz (, June 13, 2001.

I'm looking at a used one. And I'm wondering if the camera is rigid enough? I'm thinking about field use, so is the weight comparable to others? Does if have enough extension? Thanks

-- david clark (, June 13, 2001.

Based on Ron Wisner's design of the 4 X 5. Relatively light, adequately flexible. Plenty good for what you have been shooting. Some accessories available - reduction backs, fresnel, lensboard reducer (which, for some reason, is also an extension, rather than a recessed board). Comes with a bail opening back which is nice on an 8 X 10. 30" + bellows draw if you cantilever the front out. They say you can squash it down to 90mm. Don't know about Calumet's service though. You're looking at used, right David? Wood, you could fix most of it yourself if it broke.

-- Sean Yates (, June 13, 2001.

Marv likes his,

drop him a line

-- Sean yates (, June 13, 2001.

David: I've had a couple of these. (First one taken in a burglary.) It is a well made and solid camera. I find it plenty rigid with a 360 mm Nikkor in Copal 3, which is a pretty big hunk of glass. It will also handle a big 480 mm Nikkor process lense with a Packard Shutter hanging on the front of it. They aren't light, but then most people don't take up 8X10 photography in order to pack light. I have an old Zone VI catalog (1992) and will send you a jpeg of the description which covers bellows draw and weight and all other specs. Though there is nothing wrong with this camera, if I had to do it over again I'd probably go with a Deardorff model with front swings, which I think is several pounds lighter. I just like DD cameras and didn't know anything about them when I got my Zone VI. (Check the info I send you with someone who knows on the DD weight to make sure it is really lighter.)

-- Kevin Crisp (, June 13, 2001.

They ('dorff vs. Zone VI) should be pretty close in weight - the 'dorf goes ~12 - 13 lbs. and the Calumet catalog I have lists the Zone VI at 13.75 lbs.

-- Sean yates (, June 13, 2001.

Lioe Sean say's....yes I do like mine! (Haven't forgot about you Sean, it's just been a busy spring!)I can't attest to 90mm, haven't tried it, but I have shot a good few with a 121mm Super Angulon and it...almost...covers...8X10. Takes a little tilting back of the front standard, but is easy to do. Make it 7 1/2 by 9 1/2, with a really neat perspective but not much movement (I haven't need much with that wide an angle lens). There may be lighter 8X10's, but when comparing the weight of elephants it is just relative, they all are heavy.

It handles a 19 and 25 inch lens quite well, longer and you do run out of bellows closer than infinity. The movements at 10" to 15" are very good and the controls all work smoothly. Like a previous poster said, wood can generally be fixed, I haven't had to yet thank goodness. I don't know what you are shooting now, but the switch to 8X10 is a bit daunting. Aside from the camera itsself I just found the transition from 4X5 to be more than I expected. Everything is in the same place but the places are further apart. Try to stop down a 19 or 25" lens from behind the camera! All in all though I found it to worth the work, there is nothing quite like that big negative!

-- Marv (, June 14, 2001.

As for repairs or more info on the camera talk to Richard Ritter, He worked at Zone VI for 15 years and knows more about this camera them anyone around. He now specilizes in the repair of collectable cameras from the 1800's and large format cameras. I have seem his shops he can make almost any thing from wood to metal parts. He also does an impressive job of restorting Deardorffs.

-- Todd Katz (, June 15, 2001.

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