8 x 10 Field camera

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by bob haight, Jul 14, 2003.

  1. I am looking for a lightweight 8 x 10 field camera. The Toyo is
    great but pricey, any ideas on this? Thanks
  2. You could wait and try for a Kodak Masterview, but the prices for this seem to have been driven up. The Wehman is a great, rugged camera - perfect for field work (www.wehmancamera.com). There are wooden cameras also such as the Tachihara. Cheers, DJ
  3. The Toyo 'aint light weight... (Toho)?

    Cheap and LW in 8x10 don't generally go too closely togehter unless you either go for one of the older simpler cameras (that I know little about)

    Or something light the Canham 8x10 (metal or wood), Phillips Compact II or Gandolfi Variant 8x10 - all weighing between 8 and 9 1/2lbs and costing between $2500 and $3500

    Or there are two others of somewhat unque design - the Wehman and the Gowland LW (the latter must be about the lightest 8x10 field at 4.5lbs, along with the Toho and the Phillips Expedition) - both are somewhat lighter and cheaper. But also make more compromises than the list above, in order to acheive both.
  4. Kodak Master, the Zone VI or the Burke and James are a few that are lighter than the Toyo and would work great or you. Price will be a function of condition, but there are deals to be had. I would also recommend looking at a 5x7 back for your 8x10 as it is a great way to explore this marvelous format for a nominal incremental investment as it is large enough to also be contact printed. Good Luck
  5. The only 8x10 Toyo lists is an 810MII and at 15 lbs, is one of the heaviest 8x10 field cameras. It has good specifications and seems highly thought of in terms of being solid and smooth. If you're shooting near the car, I think it would be an excellent choice, but if you ever even think about putting it in a pack and walking more than a quarter mile, I'd think again.

    One problem with a heavy camera is that it takes a heavier tripod to keep it from getting tipsy by being top heavy. I thought a Deardorff was too heavy at 13 lbs. Suggest looking at Canham, Phillips, or Wehman if you really want lightweight. But none of these will be as smooth and rigid as a metal camera.


  6. cxc


    I am pleased with my new(ish) Wehman, for a number of reasons:

    1. It is bomb-proof

    2. It is reasonably priced.

    3. It is reasonably light, around 9 pounds, and if you are shooting wide (who doesn't, in the field?), say 240mm or less, you can remove the metal extension board thing and then it is quite light.

    4. It is readily available on short notice; no unexpected one-year waiting periods.

    5. By reversing the lensboard, the camera may be folded up with a smallish lens right in it. This is pretty handy.

    Be warned that you will need a pretty sturdy tripod to go with it; mine weighs about the same as the camera!

    If all I cared about was lightness, I would go with a Gowland (I already have a 4x5). I don't mind using a monorail in the field, and the extra fussiness a Gowland requires is within my personal threshhold. And you could get by with a much lighter tripod.

  7. I don't have tons of experience in this and I can't comment on the really high end 8x10s because I could never afford one. However, in my research, the Kodak Master View looked really good. They usually go for about a grand but from what I have heard, they are a good deal (Jock Sturgess has a pair of them). I just bought a Ansco, the kind used by Weston, and it is great. It is a little less portable than the really spiffy ones but it is not terribly heavy and the price was right (less than $600). BTW, I am NOT a backpacker.

    Don Wallace
  8. I just purchased a Kodak 2D that I'm looking forward to using. It was reasonable, under $400. The bellows is in excellent shape and the wood is in quite good condition. It's also fairly light weight.

    The total extension with the extra rail is about 25 inches on mine, although there's room for about 28" on the rails. I suspect my bellows isn't original. The camera has about 3.5" of front rise, about 1 inch of drop, rear tilt and swing. It has no shift on either the front or back, nor does it have front tilt. But, there's enough rise that I can tilt the camera down and raise the front to achieve an effective front tilt that will meet some needs.

    Again, my bellows aren't original, and I have a problem in that past about a 2 inch rise, the top of the bellows interferes with about the top 3/8" or so of film with the back in vertical orientation. But, by raising the bellows from below, I can control this. I don't know if that would be a problem with the original bellows. If you're interested in a Kodak 2D, also watch that the gears or the rails into which the gears fit aren't stripped.

    As for lensboards, I've made my own by using 1/8" 6" plywood purchased in a hobby store. They're 6" square lensboards; Deardorff 8x10 lensboards won't work with this camera.
  9. Bob,

    According to a very recent email exchange with Robert White, an Ebony RW8x10 (as well as an RW5x7) is on the drawing board, but no specs or prices as yet. Some time ago, both were advertized as coming soon on the Badger website. Not sure what's up or how long it'll be, but I personally plan to wait to see the new Ebonys before contemplating moving up from my Tachihara 8x10 triple extension (which, at around 12 lbs, has its limitations but has got the job done for me).
  10. christopher hole-punch,

    i didn't know you had a wehman... i've got a few questions. how do you like it? have you shot it with wide angles? i know the extension bed drops, but does it come off the cam completely? give me summa yer impressions of the cam after having worked with it, if you will. i've loved it dearly since it's release in '98 and want one badly but worry about it's ability to shoot say a 120mm @ inf. also, do you know anyone who uses wehman's daylight tank?


  11. -- Steve Hamley suggested that the Wehman isn't rigid. I
    disagree with this. Mine is very rigid - it's the main reason I
    bought it. I shoot with a 1200 most of the time. I also use 120
    with it. I can focus at infinity no problem. To keep the bellows
    from getting in the way, I extend them all the way then compress
    them. This shapes the bellows so that they don't interfere.
  12. "Suggest looking at Canham, Phillips, or Wehman if you really want lightweight. But none of these will be as smooth and rigid as a metal camera."

    I'd definately have to disagree... My Phillips Compact II is about as "smooth" to use as any camera I've used. It's also one of the most rigid. I've compared it to a Kodak Master 8x10 and with both locked down it's generally more rigid. I've also compared it to the Sinar f1 we have around here and it's at least as rigid. It's also about 100 times more rigid than my old Deadorff!
  13. Who sells Phillips or Wehman? Thanks
  14. Dick Phillips
    R.H. Phillips & Sons
    2283 Old Pine Trail
    Midland, MI 48642

    T 517-835-7897
    F 517-839-9745

    Email rhphill@concentric.net

    (I think he's in Greenland right now, and there is also a waiting list)

    (review of a slightly different model here)

    and Bruch Wehman


  15. cxc



    I am quite pleased with my Wehman. I have used my 110mm SSXL on it with some movement. No bag bellows is available, so extreme movements with wides are not possible.

    Yes, the front base panel pops off, in about 5 seconds, otherwise the 110mm can see it. I don't need the panel with a 240mm either, making the camera lighter, simpler, and less bulky. With it back on and folded up, the thing is quite rugged. I also find it plenty rigid, but then my longest lens is only 450mm.

    The thing is odd-looking, which together with the way the front panel attaches, one would assume that it is too flexible, but it isn't. This camera was clearly designed by an active photographer, based on his own experience and needs.

    My only complaint is the glass seems darkish to me, but then again it is the only 8x10 I have used in limited light, so maybe it is just part of the game. Other owners, can you comment on the *relative* brightness of the Wehman vs. other 8x10's?

    Off topic, I believe that Phillips' waiting list is so long that he currently is not taking any more waiters.
  16. thanks you two,

    good to know. i lust fer a 8x phillips exped too. but the wehman is looking more suitable all the time.

    some day,

  17. What if you wanted an 8x10 field camera, but you did not want ANY movements at all? I have two priorities:
    1. To minimize the amount of time from when I take it out of the car, until it's on the tripod and ready for shoot a frame. I want everything square, all the time, no movements at all. Just throw it on a tripod, and shoot a picture. Quick and easy.
    2. I want the spring mechanism in the back, where the film holder drops into, to be super easy to pull back and insert the holder. Not stiff. Many times, the older beat up Deardorffs are better than the newer one, because they're kinda worn out in that way. Like butter.
    Any thoughts? Thank you.
  18. Chamonix? But I am very happy with my Tachihara!

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