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Christopher Barrett
28-Aug-2014, 06:27
I remember wanting a Canham 4x10 since before I'd ever even heard of Phase One. Something about that format, any panoramic format, that has always pulled at my guts... in a good way. They're so immersive and married with inkjet printing, you have this huge advantage of big printers using roll paper, so the width of the image can be massive... if, ya know, you're into massive.

Anyhow, I've been looking at cameras lately. My assistant owns a Chamonix 4x5 and though I just had a glance at it, I was pretty impressed with the design. So, I think it's probably between the Chamonix and the Canham. I'm pretty sure I'm stuck on 4x10. I never cared for the 8x10 format. I like squares and I like elongated rectangles. In betweens just don't do it for me.

You guys have a ton more experience than I with both brands, so I'd appreciate any thoughts you might have. I just have to decide in time for November's Death Valley trip with Kirk and the gang.

And here are a few images to show why I like long horizontals so much:

Shot on my 4x5 Arca F-Line with a 6x12 back:
http://christopherbarrett.net/forum_images/ExitAmericana_001.jpg

http://christopherbarrett.net/forum_images/ExitAmericana_002.jpg


Stills from a short film of mine, shot on the RED Epic:
http://christopherbarrett.net/forum_images/HC_forPres_001.jpg

http://christopherbarrett.net/forum_images/HC_forPres_008.jpg

Cheers,
CB

vinny
28-Aug-2014, 06:45
I shoot a lot of 4x10 using a splitter board on my 8x10. The large ground glass is a joy to shoot with. I hardly ever shoot panos when using my 4x5. I probably should have just built a 4x10 camera but having installed a 10x10 enlarger in my 2nd floor darkroom, I felt obligated to make some suitable negs for it. I recently bought some 4x10 holders and plan to build a 4x10 back to use on my 8x10. I'm a little nervous about cutting down film since dust has always been a killer on my best negs. Ilford sells 4x10 but besides that, you'll be on your own for cutting down color emulsions. Canham makes nice cameras but I've never used one. Chamonix's are a nice design and very intuitive to operate, part of the reason I modeled my camera after the Philips/chamonix.

Darin Boville
28-Aug-2014, 08:09
Cool photos.

--Darin

Jim Galli
28-Aug-2014, 08:25
I like the Chamonix design at the rear. It lends itself to pano's with nearly unlimited swing adjustment available. Since I had 5" X 200 + foot rolls of aerial recon imaging film available I had Cham build me a 5X14 inch camera. Just roll out 14" of film and chop and load. You can see some of the results at my web pages. Ultimately I "settled" on a 5X12 Korona banquet camera in the end. The reason was I could do 4 of the 5X12's at a time in a JOBO 3004 tank instead of 1 at a time 5X14 in a tray. I suck at doing more than 1 film at a time in tray. Just a recipe for scratches and unusable film.

So, a 5X12 costs me about .33 cents in film. Haven't shot any lately. My bad.

andreios
28-Aug-2014, 08:34
What about 5x12? I don't know if you are going to scan or contact print, but when it comes to (contact) prints I find 5x12 much much nicer...

vinny
28-Aug-2014, 09:48
What about 5x12? I don't know if you are going to scan or contact print, but when it comes to (contact) prints I find 5x12 much much nicer...
Since all the examples he posted are color images and talk of inkjets, my guess is he plans on scanning color film which is readily available in 8x10 sheets.

andreios
28-Aug-2014, 09:53
Sorry, even though it is almost evening I somehow still haven't recovered from "morning dementia", despite many a coffee... :)

StoneNYC
28-Aug-2014, 10:00
Since all the examples he posted are color images and talk of inkjets, my guess is he plans on scanning color film which is readily available in 8x10 sheets.

This is a big point, I just recently cut my dark slide (which was easy as heck!) into a half slide and made 5x10 images on each sheet, much more convenient and realistic to just scan 2 images on an 8x10 sheet... (Excuse the poorly exposed example).

120684

120685120686

8x10 cameras are much more readily available, holders are cheaper and if you ever get "board" you can sell the 8x10 a lot easier and not wait for someone who really needs a specialist format camera, and more expensive sheet film cut, and color film in 4x10... Forget it!??

That's my advice/suggestion.

I love my Chamonix 8x10

But the 4x5 version with a cut slide would work just as well.

I like the 6x12 back I have and roll film is great but they are heavy and bulky, I've been thinking of just cutting slides for that too. And less weight to carry.

Christopher Barrett
28-Aug-2014, 10:30
Thanks for all that. I guess I would like the ability to shoot color. I suppose I could cut down 8x10 color neg, but I hate handling film more than I need to. I have to admit, too, I think I'm a little obsessed with the 4x10 as a rare beast (for better or worse).

Kodachrome25
28-Aug-2014, 10:45
But the 4x5 version with a cut slide would work just as well.

I like the 6x12 back I have and roll film is great but they are heavy and bulky, I've been thinking of just cutting slides for that too. And less weight to carry.

Not the Horseman, it is noticeably lighter, smaller and easier to work with than my Dayi backs. I love 6x12 backs, far less dust to contend with and easily reloaded in the field in subdued light under a dark cloth even in blazing sun. If I bring 6 cut film holders and a pair of 6x12 backs, I can stay out all day since not every shot lends it self to each aspect ratio and I can load roll after roll in the backs.

Oren Grad
28-Aug-2014, 10:47
So, I think it's probably between the Chamonix and the Canham.

That's the nub of the matter. FWIW, I had a 5x12 Canham for a while; also, I've had extensive experience with Phillips cameras in various formats and with one Chamonix.

The Canham was beautifully made, and Keith Canham has a fine track record of customer support. But I was never comfortable with it. For my taste the controls were too complex and fiddly, and I had to re-learn everything whenever I set the camera aside for a while. I'm more comfortable with the Phillips-type controls, and also with the more rigid front and especially rear standards of Phillips-type cameras.

But if you read through the archives here, you'll find that there are very satisfied owners of Canham cameras, too. So it's not so much a question of which is better in any absolute sense as of figuring out which suits you better. Unfortunately, that's hard to do just from reading about them. The ideal would be if you could find people within hailing distance who own one or the other type and would be willing to let you come and have a look.

Bruce Watson
28-Aug-2014, 10:59
I remember wanting a Canham 4x10 since before I'd ever even heard of Phase One. Something about that format, any panoramic format, that has always pulled at my guts... in a good way.

I'm going to suggest something you may not want to consider. If that's the case, feel free to discard what I'm going to say out of hand, no hard feelings. ;)

You might want to consider the Chamonix 8x5.

Why? It's in the middle. You can mask off the top and bottom to get your 1:2.5 (10x4) ratio when you need it. And you can mask off the sides to get shorter ratios when you need them. And the "full size" ratio is very nearly the golden ratio, which is beautiful in its own right. All of these let you keep a healthy film area, unlike when I was masking off 5x4 to get a 1:2.5 ratio. All that, plus it saves weight (camera, lenses, tripod, etc.) over 10x8, and is nearly the same weight as 10x4 (the camera is bigger, but the lenses can be smaller, etc.). All that, and it makes a nice contact print size too should you ever decide to go that route (which it doesn't sound like you would, but still).

The only reason I bring this up is because I found that I can't really control what aspect ratios I see images in. So I interchangeably use 1:1.25, 1:1.618 (golden ratio), and 1:2.25 (sqrt(5)) which I like that just a little more than the full 1:2.5. Anyway, just a thought. Do with it what you will.

Christopher Barrett
28-Aug-2014, 11:54
Ha! Bruce I was totally looking at that 5x8 just this morning. You have some good points there. Actually, a 5x8 (even with a 4.5x7.5 crop) cropped to 2:1 and scanned at 4000dpi will yield a 50" x 100" print. I think that's big enough!

Also, my Horseman 6x12 back only feels as heavy as maybe 3-4x5 holders. I have had some issues in the past with areas going out of focus... which I'm pretty sure is the result of the film popping as it acclimates to humidity once the slide is drawn (only on long night exposures).

So many choices in LF!!!

Oren Grad
28-Aug-2014, 12:09
Ha! Bruce I was totally looking at that 5x8 just this morning.

One quirk to watch out for with the convertible version of the Chamonix 5x8 is that the minimum bellows draw is relatively long at 110mm. Whether that matters, of course, depends on what lenses you have in mind.


Also, my Horseman 6x12 back only feels as heavy as maybe 3-4x5 holders. I have had some issues in the past with areas going out of focus... which I'm pretty sure is the result of the film popping as it acclimates to humidity once the slide is drawn (only on long night exposures).

In rollholders with a reverse-curl film path, like the Horseman holders, the film base can take on a curl just from sitting for any substantial length of time bent around the rollers. The pressure plate isn't strong enough to flatten that out once the film is advanced into the exposure gate. This is a topic that has had some discussion here.

David A. Goldfarb
28-Aug-2014, 12:13
If you want to shoot color, scan, and print inkjet, 6x17cm is a more practical format, since color rollfilm is readily available, and you won't need to deal with hard-to-find filmholders or cutting down 8x10" film. In the space of 2 4x10" filmholders, enough for 4 exposures, you could carry at least 10 rolls of 120, enough for 40 exposures. It's still pretty large and you can go reallly big with a scan from a 6x17 neg or transparency.

I've used both formats, 6x17 with an extension back on a 4x5" camera and 4x10" with a half darkslide mask on an 8x10" camera, and they felt virtually interchangeable in terms of what I could do with the neg or transparency. In my case, I decided to stay with 4x10", because the half-darkslide mask is less of a hassle to deal with on an 8x10" camera than the extension back (which also requires an extension viewer, separate from the back and just as bulky) on a 4x5" camera, and I shoot more B&W than color, but in your case, where you're looking for a dedicated panoramic camera to shoot color, I think it makes sense to go 617 rather than 4x10".

StoneNYC
28-Aug-2014, 12:45
Thanks for all that. I guess I would like the ability to shoot color. I suppose I could cut down 8x10 color neg, but I hate handling film more than I need to. I have to admit, too, I think I'm a little obsessed with the 4x10 as a rare beast (for better or worse).

I must have misspoken ... I never actually CUT the 8x10, I just leave the sheet as is and scan the two images separately, or print them separately I guess you might have to cut them, but for scanning and storing, I just leave them together. It keeps them clean and storage is good with the standard Printfile 8x10 sleeves.

Make sense?

cgrab
29-Aug-2014, 02:39
I have a Canham 4x10, which I use with a 6x17 back exclusively. I bought it as an addition to a Fuji GX617, for the possibility to use shorter and longer lenses, to e able to focus closer and to shift. It takes lenses from 75mm to 800mm (personal experience, I do not have lenses beyond that, so it might be possible that this is not all). Coming from fixed-body cameras, I found the set-up a bit fiddly, probably also a trade-off with the lightweight construction, setting it up and taking it down takes a long time compared to the Fuji,so I use it less than I had originally thought. But as you already use a lf-camera, this consideration will probably not bother you. Buid quality is first class, I got a very good deal on it, and for my purposes I consider it future-proof, inasmuch as it should be enough camera for all my purposes, once i get to grips with it.

It is nice to read from other people, who also like the panoramic format.
Best regards
Christoph

cdavis324
29-Aug-2014, 07:18
Having owned both, I'd take the chamonix over the canham if you want to do long exposures. The canham is a very versatile camera, but it flexes a lot and is not nearly as rigid as a chamonix. A lot of the stuff I shoot is long exposure - 30 min to 2 hrs.+, and I'm incredibly happy with my 8x10 chamonix - Other than a real Phillips, I can't imagine a better camera. Remember to consider all the other pieces for long exposures with a big camera. I use a majestic head on a gitzo 5 series aluminum tripod(ries tripod and head may be better), and have made adhesive holders to prevent film pop. With the heavy tripod and adhesive holders I can get sharp negs in anything other than a stiff wind - all without using sandbags.

Kimberly Anderson
29-Aug-2014, 07:54
I shoot 4x10 almost exclusively. A little 4x5 and 5x7 thrown in occasionally, and 8x10 for portraits.

This site is almost all shot with 4x10 film. My main camera is an 8x10 Canham with a 4x10 reducing back. I've got 14 4x10 film holders and I process in a JOBO with PMK.

http://www.utahbigfoot.blogspot.com/

Christopher Barrett
30-Aug-2014, 15:16
Ok, I'm leaning towards the Chamonix 4x10 (which they have in stock). Hugo answered my email quickly and was very informative, even though he's traveling. I want to start with some really wide glass, so I was thinking of the Rodie 115 or maybe the Nikkor 120. I believe both should cover. Any other advice as I progress?

Thanks for all the input!

CB

Jim Noel
30-Aug-2014, 16:41
I remember wanting a Canham 4x10 since before I'd ever even heard of Phase One. Something about that format, any panoramic format, that has always pulled at my guts... in a good way. They're so immersive and married with inkjet printing, you have this huge advantage of big printers using roll paper, so the width of the image can be massive... if, ya know, you're into massive.

Anyhow, I've been looking at cameras lately. My assistant owns a Chamonix 4x5 and though I just had a glance at it, I was pretty impressed with the design. So, I think it's probably between the Chamonix and the Canham. I'm pretty sure I'm stuck on 4x10. I never cared for the 8x10 format. I like squares and I like elongated rectangles. In betweens just don't do it for me.

You guys have a ton more experience than I with both brands, so I'd appreciate any thoughts you might have. I just have to decide in time for November's Death Valley trip with Kirk and the gang.

And here are a few images to show why I like long horizontals so much:

Shot on my 4x5 Arca F-Line with a 6x12 back:
http://christopherbarrett.net/forum_images/ExitAmericana_001.jpg

http://christopherbarrett.net/forum_images/ExitAmericana_002.jpg


Stills from a short film of mine, shot on the RED Epic:
http://christopherbarrett.net/forum_images/HC_forPres_001.jpg

http://christopherbarrett.net/forum_images/HC_forPres_008.jpg

Cheers,
CB

If you want BIG pano get a 7x17 or 8x20. After using one you will think of a 4x10 as tiny.

Jim Fitzgerald
30-Aug-2014, 17:24
I do love my 8 x 20!

Daniel Stone
30-Aug-2014, 18:13
The 110 Super Symmar XL is a great lens, and will cover 4x10. Might want the center filter though, to make sure things are nice and even density-wise, edge to edge.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/126766-REG/Schneider_01_1036503_110mm_f_5_6_Super_Symmar_XL.html

I'm assuming you're ordering film holders with your camera?

welcome (back) to the club :)

Richard Johnson
30-Aug-2014, 18:26
Out from left field... Try a 6x12 Noblex as they will make pictures that look distinctive as opposed to simply being cropped....

Ari
30-Aug-2014, 18:32
I want to start with some really wide glass, so I was thinking of the Rodie 115 or maybe the Nikkor 120. I believe both should cover.

The Grandagon 115 will darken the corners on 8x10, so you won't have any kind of movements possible on the long edge of your shot.
The Nikkor 120 covers 8x10 with a few mm to spare.

Both are bulky, heavy-ish lenses, and both are superb performers.

If you can go a little less wide, the Schneider SS 150XL is a great lens and will give you plenty of movements.

angusparker
30-Aug-2014, 23:32
I second several other posters: look at 6x17 in MF. Easier to scan and do in color. For flexibility and view camera functionality look at the Shen Hao PTB617, for a super wide angle of view look at the Noblex 6x12 or even rarer Noblex 6x17. 4x10 seems to me better achieved by cropping 8x10. If you must have LF image for contact printing consider 7x17 or 8x20 perhaps? Optically enlarging or scanning will be fine with 6x17 in MF for most purposes.

Christopher Barrett
31-Aug-2014, 05:24
Actually, I've thought about a 6x17 solution for a long time (I love my 6x12 back on 4x5)... Smaller, easier, you can carry more film and so many emulsions available! The real impetus for 4x10 is being able to make HUGE prints (inkjet or light jet). I can scan up to 4000 dpi. (Also, 10" is the longest neg I can mount on my drum scanner) So, a 4x10 let's me make a 50" x 133" print... which I actually think I will do for a series I'm working on. 6x17 would yield a 30"x90" print, which is still friggin huge, but not as peripheral-filling immersive as the 50x133.

Again, thanks for all the feedback!

Next Question: Developing... I'll either tray process (which I'm really comfortable with) or possibly get a Jobo drum. How do you guys typically dry your negs? For 4x5 or 8x10, I usually tray processed and then transferred the negs to standard steel holders before they went into the film dryer.

cdavis324
31-Aug-2014, 06:02
Try upsampling the 4000dpi scans or scanning MF at 8000dpi. Going from 30 to 50 inches isn't that big of a deal... Otherwise you could try having 8000dpi scans made from MF and with good noise reduction and sharpening, the prints will look amazing!

Seeing that you're in Chicago, you could try the DIY drum scanning at Latitude. I think they have a scanmate 11K, and their prices are great.

Christopher Barrett
31-Aug-2014, 06:21
Those guys at Lattitude are awesome! I've never printed any of my 6x12 negs bigger than 15x30, I'll have to uprez one and see how far I can take them. At a point, though, you're just enlarging grain, which I feel takes you out of the image somewhat (as a viewer).

cdavis324
31-Aug-2014, 07:24
Yeah, that's why I went to 8x10 - there's something about the tonality that you just can't get from a smaller size. That being said, you can get pretty close with software... and you avoid all the complications of a big camera - which are compounded with long exposures.

I've only talked to the guys at Latitude on the phone - they've helped me get awesome scans from my (now broken) scanmate 11k. If I lived in Chicago, I'd just use their drum scanners... it sure beats having to maintain one myself.

Ari
31-Aug-2014, 10:31
Next Question: Developing... I'll either tray process (which I'm really comfortable with) or possibly get a Jobo drum. How do you guys typically dry your negs? For 4x5 or 8x10, I usually tray processed and then transferred the negs to standard steel holders before they went into the film dryer.

You mean the ones used for holding the film in a tank while processing?
I'd get some good film clips instead; the metal holders can cause some drying marks at the bottom where liquid can pool.
Hang the film diagonally in a film dryer or other dust-free enclosed area.

David A. Goldfarb
31-Aug-2014, 10:48
I like Jobo clips, if you can still find them. They pierce the film to hold any sheet size securely, perpendicular to the drying line, for a maximum number of sheets in minimal space. Costly, but worth it in my opinion.

Richard Wasserman
31-Aug-2014, 11:55
I second the JOBO clips. I've also like stainless steel dental film clips, but I've only used them on film up to 5x7. I think they would be fine on 4x10.

sanking
31-Aug-2014, 12:28
I second several other posters: look at 6x17 in MF. Easier to scan and do in color. For flexibility and view camera functionality look at the Shen Hao PTB617, for a super wide angle of view look at the Noblex 6x12 or even rarer Noblex 6x17. 4x10 seems to me better achieved by cropping 8x10. If you must have LF image for contact printing consider 7x17 or 8x20 perhaps? Optically enlarging or scanning will be fine with 6x17 in MF for most purposes.

The size of a Nobex negative is about 5X12 cm or 5X17 cm. Given that the taking lens is 50mm this is a very wide angle look. However, the image is formed by the lens rotating across the film, which uses only the central sweet spot of the lens, so it is very, very sharp, and even in terms of illumination. With a drum scan of 4000 - 5000 dpi a 5X12 cm a good B&W negative from a Noblex can be printed at 32- 64 inches wide.

Sandy

angusparker
31-Aug-2014, 13:57
The size of a Nobex negative is about 5X12 cm or 5X17 cm. Given that the taking lens is 50mm this is a very wide angle look. However, the image is formed by the lens rotating across the film, which uses only the central sweet spot of the lens, so it is very, very sharp, and even in terms of illumination. With a drum scan of 4000 - 5000 dpi a 5X12 cm a good B&W negative from a Noblex can be printed at 32- 64 inches wide.

Sandy

Yes, actually the 6x12 Noblex has a wider field of view than the 6x17. Either way they are insanely sharp. But not good for windy days or rapid light changes due to the swing lens system. You can use filters which are fine for B&W but grads are a bit winging it because you have only a viewfinder and 5mm shift doesn't make it too easy to guess when the filter kicks in like a groundglass. Still I think the Noblex is an incredible tool for super wide panos.

angusparker
31-Aug-2014, 14:01
Actually, I've thought about a 6x17 solution for a long time (I love my 6x12 back on 4x5)... Smaller, easier, you can carry more film and so many emulsions available! The real impetus for 4x10 is being able to make HUGE prints (inkjet or light jet). I can scan up to 4000 dpi. (Also, 10" is the longest neg I can mount on my drum scanner) So, a 4x10 let's me make a 50" x 133" print... which I actually think I will do for a series I'm working on. 6x17 would yield a 30"x90" print, which is still friggin huge, but not as peripheral-filling immersive as the 50x133.

Again, thanks for all the feedback!

Next Question: Developing... I'll either tray process (which I'm really comfortable with) or possibly get a Jobo drum. How do you guys typically dry your negs? For 4x5 or 8x10, I usually tray processed and then transferred the negs to standard steel holders before they went into the film dryer.

I reckon with a fixed system like Noblex 617 you could go that big with a great drum scan but you'd have to try. Happy to send you a neg to test. As to drying I recommend dental film clips that grab with a single tooth at the corner of the film and then drip dry in a dust free cabinet with not airflow movement and a paper towel in the bottom.

Don Ciccone
31-Aug-2014, 18:04
I routinely shoot with an 8x10 Chamonix fitted with a 4x10 reducing back. If you prefer the Philips-style camera (over the Canham), you should know there is a nice 4x10 back available. I usually carry both backs. I much prefer a dedicated back when composing and am willing to carry a few extra holders. Also, no need to cut film as Ilford offers 4x10 B&W sheet film as part of their yearly ULF order. Right now Fotocare in NYC has 4x10 in stock. I process 4x10 in Expert drums in a JOBO with no problems. Just my 2c.

Greg Y
31-Aug-2014, 21:20
Chris B, I used to have a custom 4x10 box camera with a helical mount (a la Jay Dusard). When you very wide....I used a 90mm super-angulon XL. They cover very nicely

alexn
6-Sep-2014, 20:47
Unless you totally need colour to achieve your work, a 4x10 or 5x12 inch camera is going to cost largely the same as a 7x17 or 8x20 in the used market.. If you want big, go big..

Will Whitaker
6-Sep-2014, 21:56
I've used 7x17 and 6x10. I still use a 12x20. When choosing a lens to use, it sometimes helps me to think of the nearest "conventional" format that the long format could be cut from and then consider the lens in relation to that "conventional format". For example, when using the 12x20, I think of lenses in terms of a 16x20 negative. Similarly for the 6x10 it helped to consider the 8x10 format for the same lens and 14x17 for 7x17. Nothing special; it's just a mental trick to get my mind moving in the right direction for visualizing the field of view and compositional area. Of course, experience is the best teacher...

I've used the Noblex, too. Beautiful camera that takes wonderfully sharp images. Now that's a panoramic camera! If you ever have a chance to look at Macduff Everton's book, The Western Horizon (http://www.amazon.com/The-Western-Horizon-MacDuff-Everton/dp/0810945622), you should. The images are stunning and were done with the Noblex.