Question for Owners of BTZS 8x10 Tubes : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

This isn't a big deal but I ordered three 8x10 BTZS tubes from The View Camera Store a week or so ago at a cost of about $180 (got tired of the occasional scratch from tray developing). They arrived yesterday and I was surprised to see that they look nothing like the 4x5 BTZS tubes. They look like someone went to Home Depot or Lowes, bought some ABS tubing and caps, and put them together. They have industrial electrical or plumbing coding on the sides, no place to number them as you can the 4x5 tubes, and also are quite scratched up as though they've been used. The caps do screw on, which is a big improvement over the tubes I tried to make myself, and they certainly seem to be funcitonal but I'm just curous whether this is what the 8x10 BTZS tubes normally look like or whether I was sent someone's home made used tubes.

-- Brian Ellis (, March 17, 2002


Yes, it is normal.

Mine are the same

-- C.J. wong (, March 17, 2002.

And people pay $180 for those? - geez sounds like a rip to me. I made a set of 4x5 BTZS type tubes out of ABS tubing with screw in ends and stuff for about $3.00 a tube I think - they worked fine, I just got fed up of rolling em all around in a tray in the end.

I'm sure I could run you up some ones for 8x10 for an awful lot less than $180 a set...


-- Tim Atherton (, March 17, 2002.

Interesting. I was curious about these things, and you people have saved me some money. If that's all they are, then mine will come from Home Depot.

-- Steve Gangi (, March 17, 2002.

Can you say "Refund Please".

-- Michael Kadillak (, March 17, 2002.

As I understand the situation, until a few years ago, all BTZS were made by machining and gluing off-the-shelf plastic. The 4x5 versions were improved several years ago be by changing the manufacturing method to moulding them in custom moulds. The sales of the other sizes probably aren't high enough to justify having the moulds made. Even the old style 4x5 BTZS tubes were better made than most do-it-yourselfers could implement. Each person will have to judge the value of the quality differences, and the merits of spending money or time.

-- Michael Briggs (, March 17, 2002.

Brian, I purchased the 8X10 tubes directly from The View Camera store also. Mine arrived in a similar condition and are functional. I also bought only one about 3 years ago and it certainly appeared to be constructed more professionally more akin to the 4x5. But they all do the job just fine for me. Cheers, Chet

-- Chet Kwapisinski (, March 18, 2002.

I bought mine years ago when they were first available and they are spittin' images of my older 4x5 models. They have glued in bottoms (not caps) and screw tops with o-rings. I guess not enough people were buying larger sizes. My 12x20 and 7x17 tubes are also made the same way as the 4x5, though the 12x20 is so big and heavy that it is a real trial to use. (and float). I would imagine a description of material and construction type, enough to set the mind to rest but not give it all up, should be included in their catalog to avoid potential thoughts of misrepresentation.

-- Rob Tucher (, March 18, 2002.

Thanks for the responses. To those who mentioned making their own 8x10 tubes, I'll say that I tried it and it was much more difficult to make workable 8x10s than 4x5s. The 8x10 tubes are obviously much larger than 4x5 and I was never able to devise a system under which the caps would fit tightly enough to prevent developer from seeping out but loose enough to be easily and quickly removable. The ones from The View Camea Store do screw on and there is a gasket to prevent leakage so they seem to solve that problem, they're just not very pretty and certainly are very expensive.

-- Brian Ellis (, March 18, 2002.

Hi Brian, Sorry I missed you at the last meeting. Any way check out the tubes at web site. They look great. I've been thinking about ordering 3 of them.

-- Tim Kimbler (, March 21, 2002.

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