david clark , Jan 26, 2002; 06:30 p.m.
Hi Theo,I've got a C1. It's kind of the John Deere tractor of 8*10s. On the one hand it is stout, and it has bellows, lots of bellows. I think it will extend near 30". On the other hand, it's made of metal, metal's heavy you know. With the weight, I don't know if you can really call it a "field" camera. I've hiked a short distance so far with mine. It gets heavy fast. The focusing is done from the front standard back. All the focusing is on the rear standard, and so if you are using a 250mm/10" lens, then you have to lean over the rear rail to see the g-glass; this can become a pain. Before you buy one, look it over good. These cameras were the work horses of studios, and they saw a lot of use. Everyone I've seen was being dumped by a studio only after they got their last dime out of it. You have to make sure the threads aren't stripped on the rear standard/8*10 frame tilt movement. You want to make sure the knobs haven't been lost, especially the assembly which the front standard swings on. All of the C1's I've seen (not all that many really) have had some repair jury-rigged on them. Finally, you have to look over the bellows very carefully, they are thin and - since they were studio cameras - the bellows are by now old and well used, sometimes you can have them taped, but a new bellows is going to cost you $150+ (I think?). It is probably over-kill for the field. Depends if you need real stability and lots of extension. For "views", you might look at something in wood. I've never seen a 8*10 Wista. Best, David