Thursday 25 November 2010


Thomas said...

Andrew, I really enjoyed this review, especially for your thoughtful discussion of the universe of 8x10 cameras.

I'm curious, though, what is the tripod head you are using in these photos.

I have a massive metal head that is totally overkill for my 8x10 set-up [wehman + 300mm]. I have never found a head that's big enough without being too big.

Call me goldilocks

Andrew Bruce said...

Hello, I'm glad you liked the post..
I wish I could have read something like this a year or so ago!
Very jealous about the Wehman - if anything ever happens to my 10x8 then the Wehman will be my first choice replacement..

I have similar overkill porblems - I have an old metal Gitzo with a geared centre-column, and what is the most basic Manfrotto three-way head... In India I used the camera with the most lightweight manfrotto and my results were fine, although I was of course much more careful with the camera..
Personally I'm looking to get a Feisol carbon tripod (a bit cheaper than a gitzo.. without a centre column) and I' always on the lookout for used Arca B1 ballheads - this gitzo/arca combo seems to be the most popular set-up for 8x10 shooters, just the right mix of lightweight with stability... though pricey!

Thomas said...


Thanks for the comment. For my 4x5in camera I use a Manfrotto 056 3D tripod head which costs a ridiculously cheap U$S 40 and supports 3 kg. I wish there were something just a little bigger and a little sturdier.

I can't for the life of me get both axis simultaneously level with a ball head.

The feisol is good and light as a feather.

Still, I spent two months in California photographing with a Toyo Monorail and a cheap, heavy tripod [Benro, I think]. The truly key accessory is... a car!

Andrew Bruce said...

and there lies my problem - I don't drive!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the review Andrew. I realize that you couldn't be exhaustively complete in your list of other 8x10 cameras. So allow me to add that the Kodak Master 8x10 would have been another great choice.


Andrew Bruce said...

Hi Elliot
The Kodak master is a great camera, so thankyou for your contribution.
The older kodak view cameras seem to come up for sale very rarely in the UK, and I suppose I was mainly focusing on contemporary models, and the real classic cameras such as the Deardorff's and Gandolfi's which are most common (and most sought-after also!)

Anonymous said...

Great article Bruce and thank you. It has helped with my research into getting an 8x10 which I can carry - I currently use a Toyo 810G.


ndg said...

Does the Shen Hao FCL 810-A come wit a fresnel lens on the GG?

Andrew Bruce said...

I'm afraid it does not.
Having said that, the ground glass is of the standard, exact 8x10" size, unlike cambo's where the glass is an annoying size like 8.45x10.2", so finding a fresnel that will fit should be easy.
Last time I used a fresnel lens on a friends camera I ended up taking it off as we were finding it made focusing tricky, so I don't miss it.

Ferenc said...

Thank you for the review.
Has anyone tried installing a Sinar shutter between the front standard and the bellows?

Andrew Bruce said...

Hello Ferenc
I don't know of anyone who has installed a sinar shutter on the shen-hao.
Of course all the sinar shutter requires to fit is that you have a camera that takes sinar-fit lensboards - however, looking at the shen-hao, the wood that surrounds the lens board juts out about 1/2 a centimetre in front of the lens board, so this could possibly get in the way of where the shutter dial sticks out to the side.
Having said that, it doesn't look like the wood that surrounds the lens board juts out any more than on a deardorff

Unknown said...

I keep finding these pictures when looking for "shen hao" but not the review itself. Where is it ?


Unknown said...

I keep finding these pictures but not the review itself. Where is it ?


Andrew Bruce said...

Hi Stefan
Afraid I took the review off this blog several years ago.. I still have it as a word doc though.
Drop me an email (see my website for address) and I will send it to you.