8x10 Eastman Commercial all Metal View Camera

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

I have stumbled across one of these cameras that appears to be in excellent shape, very clean, with only a couple of pin holes in bellows needing repair. All knobs, springs hinges etc are good and work smoothly. Has extra extension rail included. Ground glass is not original but seems to be custom designed with a vareity of grids superimposed. I was curious if anyone knows a little background on this camera. I can pick it up for $200. Did Kodak build these cameras or did someone else? When were they sold and is it worth more than $200? I assume it is from the late 50s early 60s because of the style and aluminum design.

As always, thanks for your responses in advance.

-- James Chinn (JChinn@dellepro.com), April 20, 2002


I have done a little research on my own and all I have been able to find out is that the camera is basically a metal version of a 2D, manufactured in 1937. I don't know if the movements are the same as a 2D. One reason i am curious about the value is that after looking at the camera it looks as if it would be relatively easy to modify the front standard to allow for tilt similar to how the rear standard is set up for tilts.. If the camera is substantially worth more than $200 I might not want to mess with it and destroy any resale value for the future.

-- James Chinn (JChinn@DellEpro.com), April 21, 2002.

It's worth more than $200.

-- Eric (everheul@cnetech.com), April 21, 2002.

I have one and it is a bargain at 200.00, You could modify it but the best characteristics about this camera are the light weight, rigidity and simplicity. I amde several lense boards from .125 aluminum, 6 inches square and I use a Nikkor 120 and Fuji 250 6.7 in it, I do not need a wide bellows and can easily set this camera up. If you try to modify it and mess it up then it breaks you cannot get new parts and you will end up with rubbish, IMHO modify a wooden camera because the repairs are easier.The belllows does not detatch. This summer I plan to use it go ariel photography withthe fuji 250 at 1/500th. this camera is light enough to hand hold. I will just make a light base and simple grip from .125 aluminum and mount the camers with the tripod screw to the grip base. This is the camers to use wher there is no need for rise. Ifyou really want to use rise and tilt then get the camera and tilt the camera side ways on your tripod. It is light nad you can do that, no modifications necesssary.

-- ED (zeke@idirect.com), April 21, 2002.

Ansel Adams used this camera (it's mentioned in his book Examples). I have one that had the front standard modified to allow tilts. When I showed it to John Sexton at a workshop, he told me that Adams' camera was modified in the same way (and that mine looked just like his). Anyway, the modification does not compromise the camera's rigidity. It's really only a convenience, however, since you can duplicate front tilt by using combinations of other movements.

A good example of this camera is definitely worth more than $200. In my opinion, as a working field camera, the Eastman Commercial is superior to many cameras (e.g., Deardorff NFS) that typically sell for far more than that.

If you're interested in more information, I've written a short review of the camera and could email it to you. Send me an email if you want it.

-- Chris Patti (cmpatti@aol.com), April 21, 2002.

A friend of mine once used this camera. IIRC it's made of magnesium, not aluminum. His camera had a lensboard with a bellows attached that allowed front tilt (and maybe swing). Only view camera I've ever seen with two sets of bellows. I believe this camera was discontinued during WWII and replaced after the war by the Kodak 8x10 Master View (aka the metal Deardorff).

-- Mark Sampson (MSampson45@aol.com), April 22, 2002.

$200 is a bargain. The camera is indeed made of magnesium and the production dates were 1937-1940. Anybody know where I can get some of the lensboards? For more info on the camera, check http://www.geh.org/fm/toronto/htmlsrc/mE13000102_ful.html

-- Donald Brewster (dpbrewster@prodigy.net), April 22, 2002.


The camera takes 6x6 inch square-cornered lensboards, which are pretty common. I've bought new ones from Midwest Photo Exchange.

-- Chris Patti (cmpatti@aol.com), April 22, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ