Re: 8x10 camera

From: Richard Knoppow ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 08/02/04-05:49:45 PM Z
Message-id: <005601c478eb$6670c250$73fe5142@VALUED20606295>

----- Original Message -----
From: "Adam. Waterson" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, August 02, 2004 9:59 AM
Subject: Re: 8x10 camera

This is what the guy originally wrote describing the camera
and the
lens... Is 700 too much?

The 8x10 view camera is a Burke and James - not sure what
the model
number or type is. It has a 30-inch bellows draw, a
back (horizontal and vertical), and features full movements
front and
back - shift, tilt, swing, rise, and fall. It has the
extension rail for the full 30-inch bellows draw. It also
comes with a
5x7 reduction back. I'm also including nine 8x10 film
holders and two
packs of 8x10 film - 23 sheets of Kodak Ektachrome 64T
(tungsten), and
23 sheets of Ilford Delta 100.

The camera is complete and restored. I stripped all the old
factory finish paint, cleaned, sanded, and re-stained the
wood a
beautiful red mahogany. The bellows is light tight. I used a
spray dye to change the shade of the bellows from the
factory bright
red to a maroon to better complement the wood finish. I also
the missing carrying handle with a new luggage-quality
leather handle.

The lens is a Bausch and Lomb 8x10 Tessar Ic, 11-13/16-inch
focal length, f4.5 to f45, in a Wollensak Betax Number 5
(speeds of T, B, 1/2, 1/5, 1/10, 1/25, and 1/50. Shutter
works properly
at all speeds. Glass is very clean and clear for an optic
this old. It
makes clear, sharp shots.

   I've seen some other refinished B&J's, they are made of
Maple, the natural color is quite beautiful. B&J supplied
the cameras in ugly industrial gray.
   The lens is a B&L version of a Zeiss Tessar but B&L had a
patent on a modification that is supposed to improve the
correction for coma. I have this lens and a "5x7" version.
The 8x10 lens is a good one, the 5x7 is very good. I think
B&L's Tessars were probably as good as the original Zeiss
ones. The Wollensak shutter should be OK. Wollensak made
mediocre lenses but good shutters. I don't know what this
lens is currently worth. If its in very good condition
perhaps $200. B&L made a few after WW-2, these were coated
but most of this series will not be.
   I have some info on B&L seriall numbers after about 1940
when they started using a two letter prefix but have never
been able to get anything on dating the older lenses. I
think they must have used separate serial number sequences
for each type of lens. Presumably, the lens is on a lens
   B&J used all standard stuff. The lensboards are
interchangible with the Kokdak 2D and with wartime
Agfa/Ansco cameras (earlier Agfa/Ansco uses 7-1/2" square
boards). Backs are also interchangible with the Kodak 2D.
   I am bothered by the saggy bellows.
   B&J cameras have a reputation for being floppy but
usually that's due to the parts that fit onto the bed rails
wearing a little, they can be squeezed to make them more
   The B&J has more movements than most flat-bed view
cameras, its the only one (I think) with a rising-falling
back. This can be useful when working at close distances.
   Someone mentioned a hinged extention bed. I've seen
pictures of cameras with folding extensions, they look very
inconvenient and I always thought the photographer had
modified the camera. I've never seen one on an actual
   These are good workhorse cameras. They were relatively
low priced when new and were pretty widely used. Among
famous photographers who used them were Peter Gowland and
Bunny Yeager.
   The value of film holders varies with age. older ones in
good condition are around $20 locally. Newer ones (I mean
ten years or less) go for more. The best of the old ones are
the Kodak holders made by Graflex. The film is worth
nothing. The camera is probably worth $300, the lens maybe
$200, the holders maybe another $200 and the reducing back
maybe $20 to $50. Ground glass will cost about $20 for each
   The seller does not say if there is a case for the
camera. If so thats another $50 or so.

Richard Knoppow
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Received on Mon Aug 2 17:50:01 2004

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : 09/14/04-09:17:57 AM Z CST