View Full Version : Rittreck 5X7 View Camera

Simon Benton
29-Dec-2008, 11:54
I have just purchased a Rittreck 5X7 View (it is in the mail) and I have a few questions regarding lensboards. Could anyone please tell me the size of lens boards on the 5X7 Rittreck View? Will any other camera brand lensboards fit the Rittreck? Any help greatly appreciated.

Frank Petronio
29-Dec-2008, 12:07
I used to have one, great camera. Get or make or have made a lensboard adapter to Graphic or Technika sized lensboards. They are flat backed so you could fabricate them yourself but the OEM ones are very rare.

David Karp
29-Dec-2008, 12:08
Ahh. Now you will be tempted by the 4x5, whole plate, and 8x10 back adapters for this lovely creature. GAS awaits you!


Oren Grad
29-Dec-2008, 15:25
The Rittreck uses a proprietary metal board. As with the cameras, these boards have started to turn up a bit more frequently here over the last couple of years as sellers in Asia, where the cameras are much more common, have started offering more of them on eBay.

I have a Technika adapter board for mine. Although quite a bit less common than the plain boards, they do turn up now and then on eBay, which is where I got mine. Or, you can have one fabricated from a plain board. If you're going to have one made, be aware that the retaining clips for the "daughter" board have to be placed just so on an adapter board if the adapter is to fit in the camera's front standard. Probably best to copy the design of an existing adapter board.

Not only are there 4x5, WP and 8x10 backs, there's a ~6x10 back too. 'Tis the ultimate multiformat field camera. :) Enjoy!

29-Dec-2008, 18:50
I own the Rittreck 6x10 version. Great camera. Lens boards turn up on Ebay all the time. I got most of mine cheap here in the US from Midwest Photo. The backs tend to be expensive though...I'm still looking for a cheap 5x7 back...

Gene McCluney
30-Dec-2008, 02:27
I have the Rittrek with all the backs from 4x5, 5x7, whole plate, to 8x10. Great metal field camera. I made an adapter board to accept Crown Graphic lens boards. This is the way to go, in my opinion. Crown Graphic lensboards are quite common and easy to acquire.

Frank Petronio
30-Dec-2008, 06:35
If I hadn't sold mine in 1986 I very well could have avoided buying the next twenty view cameras and done perfectly well with it. It is ideal as a 5x7 camera, the back is perfectly sized for it.

When I compared it to my friends 5x7 Technika it was more than half the weight and just as strong, IMHO.

Of course the bellows can wear out and you have to watch the holes in the soft aluminum from wearing oblong.

If someone ever offered a 4x5 and 5x7 backed one I'd seriously consider buying it again.

Simon Benton
30-Dec-2008, 06:50
Thank you for all the replies. I am looking forward to using the camera - now I have to raise some funds to pay for it! I am a retired cabinet maker and am hoping that I can build the various backs that the camera supports.
Happy New Year to all.

Gene McCluney
30-Dec-2008, 13:06
The Whole-plate and 8x10 backs are on extension pieces that place them away from the camera, which is needed for the longer lens extensions required for these larger formats. In other words the front attachment of the Whole-plate and 8x10 backs are flanged to just fit the hole on the back of the camera, and they flare out to a larger size for the film holder ground glass end. The 5x7 and 4x5 backs fit flush with the camera like most backs do.

If you were really creative, you could possibly construct even an 11x14 back attachment, but it would have to be on a larger flared out cone. That would be some camera.

Simon Benton
31-Dec-2008, 09:09
Gene, I wonder if one could use the same approach of an 11X14 back on say an 8X10 Kodak 2D using the flared back approach? If it works on the Rittreck should work on an older 8x10 or even 5X7?

Gene McCluney
31-Dec-2008, 10:39
Gene, I wonder if one could use the same approach of an 11X14 back on say an 8X10 Kodak 2D using the flared back approach? If it works on the Rittreck should work on an older 8x10 or even 5X7?

Aboslutely!! Any camera, such as the 2D, or Rittreck or Agfa/Ansco that has a flat back that "clips" onto the back frame of the camera could take an extension back that flares out to a larger size, if you have the woodworking/metalworking skills to make it. The only drawback is rear movements, which would be "centered" on the original place for the back, not the extension, therefore would have to be used carefully, otherwise vignetting could occur. Another concern would be whether the camera could take the weight of a larger format back on a flared extender without undue stress. The Rittreck, being an all metal camera can withstand the stress of the very lightweight whole plate and 8x10 extenders just fine.

Oren Grad
31-Dec-2008, 11:45
Historical tidbit: Musashino, the company which made the Rittreck and offered the various expansion backs (made for it by Tachihara), was the predecessor of Wista, which later offered 5x7 enlarging backs for both its wooden and metal 4x5 cameras.

More recently, there have been Chinese-made 6x17 roll backs for 4x5 cameras that use a similar tapered adapter.

Of course, there have been many home-brew enlarging backs.

The main issue with enlarging backs is that you usually end up constrained both in the range of movements and in the range of focal lengths and focusing distances that are usable without vignetting. Sometimes the limitations can be pretty severe. How bad the problem is, and which focal lengths, focusing distances and possible movements are affected, depends on the precise geometry of the back - how far it's extended, how steep the taper.