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Thread: Best screen in 5x7

  1. #1

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    Best screen in 5x7

    Whether it is Shen Hao or something else beats me. However, I get nowhere with the standard screen fitted on my SH HZX57. The image is dim at best, focussing a chore. I shoot various 4X5 systems and never had the urge to replace a screen so far. Whether it be the standard Wista screen, the screen used by Walker or the Sinar fresnel, all work great. As such, I never looked into alternatives. I am not looking to spend a fortune on the screen as I am quite sure I will sell the SH. It is just to heavy and cumbersome to work with. However, I want to give it an honest try. Heck who knows, I may even change my mind if I can see something on the screen...

    Maxwell? Boss? Asian knock-off?

  2. #2

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    Re: Best screen in 5x7

    Keith Canham has 5x7 screens on sale right now. Not sure it will fit your camera.

  3. #3

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    Re: Best screen in 5x7

    I don't know about most others but I can state without hesitation the factory Toyo and Canham screens are excellent and the Maxwell screens are fabulous.

  4. #4

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    Re: Best screen in 5x7

    It is surprising how much of a difference a good screen makes. I think the trick is really in the evenness and fineness of the grain in the ground glass. The finer the grind, the finer the detail and the easier it is to focus on, but there tends to be a greater hot spot. Attempts to deal with the hot spots include fresnels, Maxwell screens etc. but they often complicate the relationship of GG position and film position and some report annoyances and difficulty due to the pattern on the fresnel itself.

    Try a good ground glass first - you may find you do not need other complications. The Hopf ground glass screens are superb. Very nice balance between fineness and evenness. I've used as wide as 125mm on 5x8 (no typo there, 5x8) and not had any trouble with a hot spot.

    Cheers, DJ

  5. #5

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    Re: Best screen in 5x7

    Yanke screens are also excellent quality.

  6. #6
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    Re: Best screen in 5x7

    i just made an 11x14 screen out of plexiglass and sand paper, it seeems to work just fine at the moment ...
    i have an asymetrical sander that i will make a second one with if / when i need it, i think that one will work even better ..
    plexi was cheap, sand paper was cheap too, and works as well as waxed paper, which is what i have also used ...

  7. #7

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    Re: Best screen in 5x7

    Thanks for the suggestions all Great to get so much feedback so quick. Looking around at the glasses of the other manufacturers suggested, I must admit I get really greedy by the canham 57 camera itself... Seems like a great package, albeit a little expensive in comparison to a good piece of glass for the SH.

  8. #8

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    Re: Best screen in 5x7

    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    i just made an 11x14 screen out of plexiglass and sand paper, it seeems to work just fine at the moment ...
    i have an asymetrical sander that i will make a second one with if / when i need it, i think that one will work even better ..
    plexi was cheap, sand paper was cheap too, and works as well as waxed paper, which is what i have also used ...
    I've considered trying to grind my own screen, but as much as I like tinkering with my cameras and everything related to them, I struggle with time as is. At this stage, grinding a screen means time not spend in the field or developing pictures. I'm afraid this means that for now, I will just go with what I can find. One day, when I find the time, I will certainly give grinding my own a go. It would be awesome to build a camera that has no prefabricated pieces on it whatsoever! Not because it makes sense, just because every picture you take with it gives you the additional satisfaction of knowing it was created with a tool you built yourself...

  9. #9
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    Re: Best screen in 5x7

    Quote Originally Posted by kleinbatavia View Post
    I've considered trying to grind my own screen, but as much as I like tinkering with my cameras and everything related to them, I struggle with time as is. At this stage, grinding a screen means time not spend in the field or developing pictures. I'm afraid this means that for now, I will just go with what I can find. One day, when I find the time, I will certainly give grinding my own a go. It would be awesome to build a camera that has no prefabricated pieces on it whatsoever! Not because it makes sense, just because every picture you take with it gives you the additional satisfaction of knowing it was created with a tool you built yourself...

    i know what you mean ...
    and i wouldn't have believed it was as easy adn took as little time as it did ..
    i was already at the home improvement store at the time, the guy cut my sheet of plexiglass
    down to 11x14 so that didn't really take much time ...
    i cut the corners off myself, that took about 1 min .. and sanding down the plexi took less than 5 mins ..
    granted, it isn't as nice as pre-made glass, but it took about 4 mins of effort and as much as the plexiglass cost me ..
    waxed paper has worked fine on a few other cameras that i own, that cost pennies and took no effort at all ..
    i've a 11x14, 4x5, 20x8 and a few other sized cameras i've used waxed paper on .. ..

    good luck finding what you need !
    john

  10. #10

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    Re: Best screen in 5x7

    Then again...you could just ante up and purchase the last screen/fresnel you will ever need - from Bill Maxwell. His screen/fresnel combos have completely changed the game for me. Breathtakingly bright but with no sacrifice to both sharpness and "naturalness," and offering very accurate renditions of a given lens's focus transitions from sharp to soft (evaluate different screens, and you will see that they are all over the place with respect to this very critical aspect).

    Bill Maxwell's screen/fresnel combos continue to provide me with perhaps the best tools I know of to help take the physical aspect of the camera out of the equation (at least to the extent possible), so that I can truly feel myself as being part of the evolving continuum which exists between that which I see and feel as I begin to consider a given subject...and that subject's final presentation as a framed and mounted print. Pardon my grasping language...but maybe you get the idea.

    Thing is, Bill Maxwell understands all of this (I believe he has a PHD in optical physics) - and he can speak and respond knowledgeably to whatever questions and concerns are most important to a given individual...and then provide that individual with a product which definitely meet and often exceed all expectations. So...maybe give him a call!

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