Recently I bought myself an 8×10 large format field camera. I have been shooting 4×5 for quite a while, but I always wanted to go bigger so I sold my Linhof Master Technica.
After a lot of searching on the web for 8×10 field cameras my choice fell on a Svedovsky from Poland. There’s a lot of different models out there and it’s a very expensive world.
I was looking at cameras such as Chamonix, Canham, Ebony etc. Beautiful and fantastic cameras for sure, but way too expensive, for a box of wood, for my budget. The prices for these cameras are $3.300 – $6.000 + tax.
One day I came across some very interesting photos from a polish photographer Filip Pielesiak and read that he was shooting the Svedovsky. I started reading everything I could find online about this camera.
I wrote Filip an email with some basic questions and he send me a video about the camera showing me every little part of this beautiful and handmade piece of craftsmanship.
I compared the camera to the chamonix which I have seen and tried and it looked even more sturdy and just as well build.
When I compared the prices the Svedovsky was $ 2.000 and was made in Poland where I could actually get a hold of the sales manager (piotr), who was very customer minded and friendly. He quickly answered all my questions and helped me a lot picking the right camera.
Chamonix is build in China and when it’s shipped to Denmark it’s even more expensive due to taxes and VAT. The Svedovsky cost nothing to import when living in EU.
I have now been shooting the camera for 3 weeks and have had it with me to both Germany and Sweden and I love it so much already.
It’s light weight. Around 5 kg. and it’s sturdy and beautiful build. The ground glass is bright and it has a focus knob for fine adjustment. The camera is very easy to fold and unfold. Same system as all the other field cameras.
It comes with a protector for the ground glass. The details of the camera is really beautiful. The wood is well picked and the craftsmanship is outstanding. Stanislaw Szwedowski build the camera with love you can tell. It’s a camera that is build to last a life time.
The camera has great movements and when fully extended it goes all the way to 800 mm. and is still really sturdy – It’s even longer than chamonix.
I will update this review soon with a lot more photos of the camera and some video too. Please write me if you have questions about my experience with the the Svedovsky.
Here’s my first photos. All the 8×10’s is shot on fomapan and developed in id-11.