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Value of a Century #8 Studio Camera.

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Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3714
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[ This Message was edited by: 45PSS on 2005-12-26 18:10 ]
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Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


On 2004-05-23 18:18, 45PSS wrote:
I cam across this post on the ebay photo chat board and thought it worthy of input from the qualifed users here.

Quick question from someone that know more than I do. I recently found a Century No. 8 studio camera ******* locally. It is in exc+++ condition, and includes the original crank and tilt hubacious stand with it. It has an 8x10 sliding adapter back that allows 2, 8x10 shots on a single sheet. Now for the question. They are asking 800.00 for the camera, 450.00 for the stand. Is this a fair price, a great price, or overpriced. I am looking at moving into 8x10 or larger format. I have made the moves from 35 to 120 to 4x5 to 5x7, and just recently gave up my 5x7 field. I just hate to spend that kind of money on a "whim". Know-whut-I-mean? Thanks for any input. Randy

I may not be in the "qualified user" category, but I'm usually happy to spew out an opinion anyway

Those huge studio view cameras are beautiful. There were a couple I thought seriously of buying myself. But there's a few problems...

They are HUGE and heavy. Forget about shipping...

They usually have no movement, except rise & fall for portrait work.

You need a great area to use or store them.

For strictly studio work, what they are designed for, they would be great to own and use. But they really can't be used for anything else...

The few I've seen on ebay didn't sell. Very few people want them, have the room for them, or can pick them up if they did buy them...

If one goes up within driving distance of me, watch out
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Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you've got a loft, a beemer, and at least 3 fortune 500 companies as clients, they make great decor.

since it only has a split back, all you can really do is shoot 5x7 on an 8x10 camera (okay 5x8).

Here's a camera that is as much at home out doors as a cello player in a marching band, and you won't look nearly as funny as Woody Allen.

I had an Ansco of the same size. They lady had it in her antique store for years at $600, I got it for $250, with a lens (lousy) but no stand. 5 years later was glad to get rid of it for $150.

First get the studio
Then get the F500 clients
then the Beemer

Then you can think about one of these. But by then you'll realize they really aren't any fun.

You gave up the 5x7 field. Why? Want to move to 8x10? that 5x7 field would do more, do it faster and easier than this camera would

Mckeown's in his 11th edition
"they haunt the basements and attics of old studios, too larger to haul away easily, too combersome form most of today's studio work. But some collectors with unlimited display space, and some users requiring a large format but only limited movements will pay $250-$300 for such an outfit"

Now I was about to say the value may be in the lens. Common lenses like a tessar or even an Wolley Portait lens won't command much more than $100 or so, But a B&L Unar, a Heliar, or better yet a Pinkham and Smith lens might be more than the value of the camera and stand.

I said about, but then I looked at the total price. For $$1250 you can get a nice Deardorff and a 10" WF ektar and your pictures will drop the jaws of all of your friends for miles around.

[ This Message was edited by: Les on 2004-05-24 09:14 ]
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Thomas Evans

Joined: 05 Jul 2004
Posts: 10
Location: Northern California

PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2004 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have and use a Century #8, and love it. Besides being a handsome and fine piece of hand-crafted woodwork, it is a capable piece of photographic equipment, with good rear tilts and swings. It is not very portable! With the stand you described, it's about the size of a small horse, but with a good set of wheels you can get it outside and set off down the sidewalk. With a long lens (a 42" Artar) and a 5x7 back, I can wheel it out onto my front porch and take a 'close-up' of Mt. Lassen 30 miles away. Bellows draw is about five feet. This one cost me $100 on Ebay plus another $100 for shipping (via Greyhound bus. These cameras were made in a time when one would drive the wagon down to the train station to pick it up.)And the stand came with another purchase costing about the same. I adapted another make of 11x14" back, and have just taken my first 11x14's with it. What an eye-opener an 11x14 contact print is!
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