8×10 Photography is for Dorks

December 4, 2008 at 12:41 pm

Ben Anderson shooting an 8x10 Sinar P2 camera
© Stephen Griffin

I’ve finally completed putting together my 8×10 gear. The last bits required to complete the puzzle were a Sinar Pan/Tilt head, a heavy duty Slik Professional 4 tripod, and a big laptop bag (TechAir 5504 – it’s superb), I use the bag for the film holders and general shooting paraphernalia.

Ben Anderson shooting an 8x10 Sinar P2 camera
© Stephen Griffin

So, with the gear all now being in place I’ve been able to get out and shoot on 8×10 film. Careful packing has allowed me to get all the parts of the P2 into my smallish rolling peli case, this has made it so much easier to get the camera to location than when I was lugging the huge peli 1650 about – no more of that!

I recruited my friend Griffleriff (Stephen Griffin) to come along as an assistant/Sherpa but he decided to take these photos of me using the P2 instead – no wages for Griff!

Ben Anderson shooting an 8x10 Sinar P2 camera
© Stephen Griffin

What I hadn’t counted on is how much of a dork I’d look whilst I was shooting with this thing :D Or perhaps I’m just kidding myself and I don’t require the camera to look dorky….

Ben Anderson shooting an 8x10 Sinar P2 camera
© Stephen Griffin

See the results here…

  • http://cjeastwd.blogspot.com Chris


    and I thought I was some kind of numbskull dragging my 4×5 around still.

    keep up the good work!

  • http://benneh.net BennehBoy

    Hi Carlos,

    I wrote an article on here that talks about scheimpflug and offers links to good information: http://benneh.net/blog/index.php/2008/06/29/tips-on-large-format-photography-what-they-dont-tell-you/

    Hope it helps,


  • http://www.caschwartz.com Carlos A. Schwartz

    I don´t know what a dork means, but I do know what using an 8×10 camera means: a very big pleasure. Probably we are only a few now, and each day material is more difficult to get, especially in the Canary Islands, where I live (I am probably the only dork around). But moving with my Philips in the islands cannot be compared to any other photographic pleasure. Can anyone tell me about places in Internet where to learn new things in this format, the Sheimpflug rule in particular? Thank you.

  • http://www.fotambulo.com Hugo

    excellent. thanks for the tips.

  • http://benneh.net BennehBoy

    Afraid not, that’s what the large laptop bag gets used for. With hindsight (and enough cash) I’d have bought a field camera, but sinars are much easier to source it seems.

  • http://www.fotambulo.com Hugo

    cool solution. is there any room left over for a couple film holders, or is that asking too much?

  • http://benneh.net BennehBoy

    A 1440 with padded dividers. I divide the case vertically into 2 main sections, the back and rail sections go in one and the standards in the other – plenty of padding to separate everything. I invert the lift out padded tray to act as a lid, works surprisingly well.

  • http://www.fotambulo.com Hugo

    wondering over here, what peli case did you manage to shoehorn everything into?

  • http://mikestacey.com Mike Stacey

    NIce work. I reckon the look of someone shooting a DSLR more fits the definition of dork.

  • http://www.kpraslowicz.com K. Praslowicz

    I really like the first photo included this post. Really helps that the composition by there being a power pole on the ground glass.

  • Sass Quatch

    Dork or sage? Glad you got that camera. Have a great time with it. I have been using one since 1982. It took a while to learn, without any kind of teacher. If I may be of help (talking, not carrying) please ask.

  • http://benneh.net BennehBoy

    Good luck with your shooting John.

  • http://www.jwileyphoto.com JohnWileyHowington

    Thank you from Portland Oregon. I ran into your “8×10 photography is for Dorks” right after I won an eBay auction for an 8×10. I decided to make the leap without a lot of experience (none at all, really) in large format, you’ve saved me a lot of time and cleared some things up. I think I’ll be looking for an assistant, that thing is heavy.

  • http://mcnallyr.wordpress.com Roger

    Looks like you 2 had a laugh. From my own dorkish perspective, playing with all that gear looks like fun, congratulations on getting the full set of gear for 8 x 10.

    Look forward to seeing more great shots.

    I reckon I’d look for another assistant though ;)

  • http://benneh.net BennehBoy

    Yeah just about.

  • http://text.hmmm.co.za Daniel

    Cheese and rice son, is it big enough? :)

  • http://www.fotomoondo.com Ray

    I would look into investing in alpacas to carry your gear :)

  • http://benneh.net BennehBoy

    Hey Eamon,

    How are ya man? Got a web presence up anywhere??

  • eamon

    there really should be a minimum wage for assistants

  • http://www.stevemphoto.com Steve

    Not just any dork…an ambitious dork.
    A middlin sort of dork, such as myself, only totes around medium format.

    I bow before your superior dorkiness.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/freudus Freudus

    Can’t wait to see the results. And hey, was Ansel Adams a dork? Stephen Shore? Joel Meyerowitz?

    Actually, don’t answer that.


  • Griff

    haha.. nice one Ben.
    I won’t forget the clarity of that caravan on the ground glass in a hurry, can’t wait to see the contacts.
    re: wages… shooting dorks is payment enough for me ;-)