8x10 with no rear movements. A question.

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by cameragearforyou, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. cameragearforyou

    cameragearforyou Member

    May 15, 2006
    4x5 Format
    So, I came upon a Gowland 8x10 lite for $500. It does not have rear movements. My question may be a dumb one. If i tilt the camera back on a tripod and leave the front standard parallel to the scene being photographed, do I sort of have a rear tilt arrangement??
  2. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

    Sep 24, 2002
    $500? Neat deal! Welcome to the Gowland family---give Peter a call and tell him you bought one of his cameras---I'm sure he'll give you lots of info about it that will ease your journey.
  3. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

    Dec 13, 2006
    Humboldt Co.
    8x10 Format
    For general landscape, no back movements will present few, if any, insurmountable problems. I have a 4x5 Gowland and since the back moves required the use of an allen wrench, I rarely used any back movements.

    However, now that I use a Zone VI 8x10, I do find myself using back tilt more often...since it is a lot easier.

    Since it does not have a reversable back, you will have to either tilt the camera on its side, or adjust the bellows to go from portrait to landscape orientation(or visa versa). Turning the camera on its side works with a sturdy pod and head -- but there is some confusion caused by having one's tilt and swing controls being switched. If the camera has front shift, you will still have rise/fall when the camera in on its side...but I could not tell if it does from the photo on Gowland's website.

    It will take a few minutes to adjust the bellows (one has to back the rear standard off the rail and remove the two bolts holding the lens stage on the front standard.) Not a difficult thing if you have time -- but beware...I use to do this and ended up dropping one of the screws in the creek. I had to whittle down a twig to replace it until I got home. Carry a couple extra!

    Decide what format you use the most and set it up for that format.

    If you use a lens with plenty of coverage, you'll be able to use front rise/fall and swing to compensate for the lack of back movements. Wide angle lenses with a minimum image circle might be problematic if keeping the back parallel to the subject is desired while needing to point the camera up or down.

    The 8x10 Lite will not be as versatile as a full featured 8x10...but in exchange you will get a 5 pound camera that is well suited for general landscape...and should work well for portraits, also.

    I love my Gowland -- others dislike them. $500 is a great deal! Use it and see if you like the trade-off of features for weight. You might find that a full-featured 8x10 works better for you, but perhaps keep the Gowland for long distances from the automobile...or eventually sell it for at least what you paid for it (but probably more).

    Have fun!

  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Sep 7, 2002
    Honolulu, Ha
    Large Format
    That's a good deal for the lightweight version. I have an older 8x10" PocketView with rear tilts and swings, but I've also had a 4x5" front-moves only version, and it's quite manageable for landscapes and architecture. It's not meant to be a still life camera. There have been occasions where I've exceeded the front rise capability on the camera and needed rear tilts for indirect front rise (point the camera up, keep both standards parallel), but to do that, you need a lens with lots of coverage, so it's only relevant if you've got a lens with more image circle than front rise on the camera, and you like to photograph tall structures from ground level.