Budget 8x10 Camera

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JADoss23

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Hey gang,

Been shooting 4x5 for a little while with a Speed Graphic and was wondering if there are any budget options for an 8x10 camera? Not looking for anything fancy. Would be just a hobby camera looking to get my feet wet. Thanks
 

Alan9940

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The Intrepid 8x10 is a way good deal in today's marketplace! I own one and have been very happy with it. You would probably be hard-pressed to find even a used 8x10 at the Intrepid price point.
 
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Another thing you might want to think about is a lens that will cover 8x10. If you're on a budget, cheaper lenses have smaller image circles which will limit your swings, shifts and tilts. I started out using my Rodenstock 210mm that I used with my 4x5 because I couldn't afford a 300mm lens. Works great.
 

pdeeh

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'budget' doesn't mean anything.
What's the maximum you want to spend?
 

grahamp

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Yeah, the camera is nothing compared to at least one lens for the format, film investment (it's at least four times the price of 4x5 :cool: ), any darkroom/scanning upgrades/lab costs.
 
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Another vote for the Intrepid. I have the 4x5 Intrepid and its a fine camera. I like it enough that I have the 8x10 on order too.
As for lenses, you don't need to spend an outrageous sum to acquire "the perfect lens", when there are many, many excellent lenses available for $200-$300. I've seen the Kodak Ektar 12" f6.3 (which I own) sell for about $250 and it has optics that even today are hard to beat. Not everybody is a fan of these 1940s-1950s Kodak lenses, but I find it to be exceptional.

Paul
 

Alan9940

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The issue with the older lenses, especially the Ektars that are typically in Ilex shutters, and plasmat designed lenses is the weight. The two lenses I use on my 8x10 Intrepid are Fuji A series which are small and lightweight. My vote for an excellent starter lens for the Intrepid would be the 300mm Nikkor-M; though, I doubt you'd find one of these in the $200 - $300 range.
 

ransel

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Once you decide on a camera, a great "modern'ish" lens is the Fuji W 250mm f/6.7 - single coated in a Copal shutter, sharp, slightly wide for the format - I got mine a couple years ago in like new condition shipped from a seller in Japan - I paid about $170 total.
 

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On the used market, $500 is about the entry point. Sometimes, though, that includes everything -- camera, shutter, lens, and if you're lucky, a tripod and/or holders (which aren't cheap). Look for a Calumet C1 -- not the prettiest thing, but known to be a workhorse. The Burke & James models (easily recognized by their red bellows) also often go for between $500 and $1000.
 

Alan9940

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Once you decide on a camera, a great "modern'ish" lens is the Fuji W 250mm f/6.7 - single coated in a Copal shutter, sharp, slightly wide for the format - I got mine a couple years ago in like new condition shipped from a seller in Japan - I paid about $170 total.

+1

An underrated lens, IMO.
 

Alan Gales

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When I started looking, the budget cameras were Burke and James, Kodak 2D, Ansco, Calumet C1, etcetera. I ended up upping my budget quite a bit to get my pre owned Wehman. I agree with the Intrepid recommendations. I've never owned one but I have heard good things.

+2 on the Fuji W 250mm F/6.7 lens. I've got one myself. It's an often overlooked gem!
 
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TheFlyingCamera

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On the used market, $500 is about the entry point. Sometimes, though, that includes everything -- camera, shutter, lens, and if you're lucky, a tripod and/or holders (which aren't cheap). Look for a Calumet C1 -- not the prettiest thing, but known to be a workhorse. The Burke & James models (easily recognized by their red bellows) also often go for between $500 and $1000.
The Calumet C1 is a beast. Solid workhorse, but an absolute beast, weight-wise. Even the "lightweight" magnesium Green Monster was 14 lbs no lens or holder. The black ones are IIRC aluminum and weigh in at 16-18 lbs. If you look for one, make sure it has the sliding mounting block. Without it, the camera is easy to get unbalanced when mounted on the tripod, and therefore prone to vibration. Try to get one that has a lens already - they take a proprietary lens board that is no longer made, so boards that fit are hard to come by. You can always kluge your own with plywood if you know your way around a table saw and a router.
 

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Intrepid! WOW! I can see big trouble for my savings account on the horizon! That 4 x 5 looks like an incredible deal.
 

Alan Gales

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The Calumet C1 is a beast. Solid workhorse, but an absolute beast, weight-wise. Even the "lightweight" magnesium Green Monster was 14 lbs no lens or holder. The black ones are IIRC aluminum and weigh in at 16-18 lbs. If you look for one, make sure it has the sliding mounting block. Without it, the camera is easy to get unbalanced when mounted on the tripod, and therefore prone to vibration. Try to get one that has a lens already - they take a proprietary lens board that is no longer made, so boards that fit are hard to come by. You can always kluge your own with plywood if you know your way around a table saw and a router.

Yep, even the lighter weight green monster is a beast. Everything I looked at had something I didn't like about it so I sold my Contax Zeiss 35mm lenses and upped my budget to $1,500.

Later, when the Intrepid people came on this forum asking about what we wanted in an inexpensive 4x5, I told them that there was not many options for 8x10 for people on a budget. If I were looking today and had a low budget, the Intrepid is what I would buy.
 

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Intrepid! WOW! I can see big trouble for my savings account on the horizon! That 4 x 5 looks like an incredible deal.

In my opinion, it IS an incredible deal. I'm enjoying working with the 4x5 a lot, and I have an 8x10 on order now too. I have a Kodak Anastigmat (uncoated) 5.5" on it most of the time, which I shoot wet plate with.

27264616907_be53b7ce34_c.jpg
 
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JADoss23

JADoss23

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Thanks for all of the replies. Has been very helpful. Those Intrepid cameras are certainly beautiful. Have been considering replacing my 4x5 with one too.
Does anyone have any experience with 8x10 pinholes? Any worthwhile designs or models out there worth looking into or building?
 
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Alan Gales

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Thanks for all of the replies. Has been very helpful. Those Intrepid cameras are certainly beautiful. Have been considering replacing my 4x5 with one too.
Does anyone have any experience with 8x10 pinholes? Any worthwhile designs or models out there worth looking into or building?

A lot of people will probably disagree with me but why spend the money for 8x10 film and shoot pinhole? Maybe if you are shooting X-ray film. I just don't get it myself.
 

DWThomas

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A lot of people will probably disagree with me but why spend the money for 8x10 film and shoot pinhole? Maybe if you are shooting X-ray film. I just don't get it myself.
Well --- those of us who don't have a 4x5 enlarger can make 8x10 contact prints from an 8x10 pinhole camera. And the perceived sharpness of the larger formats is actually pretty impressive. I'm not trying to say pinhole is the be all and end all, but I have made myself an 8x10 pinhole camera. I've gotten shots from it in at least one juried exhibition!
 
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