Have you always wanted to try your hand at 8×10 large format film photography… underwater? If you have $5,800 to spend, now’s your chance to jump in. An underwater 8×10 camera has just popped up on eBay that purports to be the “first successful underwater 8×10 ever made.”
The seller, based in Florida, writes that the camera is crafted from aircraft aluminum that was welded without warping metal. Everything was designed around a Schneider Super-Symmar 150mm f/5.6 XL Aspheric MC lens with a Copal No. 1 shutter and No. 2 close-up lens by Century Optics. On the side of the camera are two ports for strobe connections.
The dome and rear element were purportedly built by Jim Bailey, a man who created camera systems for the likes of National Geographic, Sports Illustrated, and Surfer Magazine.
“The system was created for fine art film photography as many serious galleries will not accept digital photography,” the seller writes in the listing description. “This is the first successful underwater 8×10 ever made. Produced in 2005.”
When being used in fresh water, you’ll need 60 pounds (~27kg) of dive weights to keep the camera down and give it about 10 pounds of negative buoyancy.
The seller has tips for how to operate the camera as well:
“Set focus at five feet underwater (subject to film plane is five feet for tack-sharp resolution),” they write. “Additionally, the full frame subject coverage on the 8×10 negative at five feet in front of the film plane is about 6 feet horizontally and about five feet vertically. Depth of field at f11 – f16 for tack sharpness is around 3 feet.”
If you’re interested in snagging this rare camera for yourself, you can get it for $5,800 if you do Buy It Now on the eBay Listing. If you do end up purchasing it, you can either pick it up yourself in Sarasota, Florida, or work out a shipping method (and cost) with the seller.
Image credits: Photographs via swfloridagirl941/eBay