The Refined 8×10 Gibellini ACN810

A few years ago, I used the tagline “The Art of Engineering” and blogged about the Gibellini ACN45 4×5. Since then, I have purchased a lighter Gibellini TCN45 for when I need the portability. Gibellini also overhauled my ACN45, making it a practically new camera.

Recently I took delivery of an ACN810 from Gibellini. This is their mid-range 8×10 model, sitting between the mostly 3-D printed Bellatrix 810 and their GP810 professional model. While nominally not their “pro” model, I was assured by Alessandro Gibellini that it will be able to handle my large barrel lens, including the 3+ lbs Pinkham & Smith Visual Quality IV lens. The ACN810 is less expensive than the GP810, and at a couple pounds lighter than the GP810, I thought that this would be a good alternative to older wooden cameras. Let’s see how it is working out.

What a gorgeous machine

The ACN810 is rock solid. I have taken it out to the California Pacific Coast Highway, and with normal coastal wind, I did not have to worry about it being affected.

Garrapata State Park area. taken with the 12″ Gold Dot Dagor

“Anything more than 500 yds from the car just isn’t photogenic.” – Brett Weston

At over 8 pounds, I can carry the ACN810 with the tripod, and other equipment for a couple hundred feet. As a small person, farther than that would be a strain.

How does the ACN810 handle the 3+ lbs Pinkham & Smith Visual Quality IV Series 2 lens? In a word: wonderfully.

A modern classic (2013 Mini Cooper S) photographed using another modern classic Gibellini ACN810 using a 100 years old classic portrait lens, the Pinkham & Smith VQ IV 2

The controls and operations of the ACN810 are similar to the smaller ACN45 camera, but “mo’ better”. The focusing is smooth and precise, and the camera provides ample movements, including front shift. I have used a Tachihara 8×10 for a few months and the lack of the front shift was a dealmaker for me. In addition, the front standard of the ACN810 can move back over an inch, allowing a distance of as short as ~7 inches between the front and back standards. While using an 8×10 is more than twice as difficult as using a 4×5 (4 times? in proportion with the negative areas? 🙂 ), using the ACN810 is an absolute joy.

Awkward self-portrait, taken with the Fujinon 210 W with “inside lettering”

I may try to take some more photos of the camera later, but you can get some photos at the Gibellini site.

“Street Photography” using an 8×10 camera