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Thread: 5X7 and 4X5 Cameras or 5X7 w/4X5 back?

  1. #1

    5X7 and 4X5 Cameras or 5X7 w/4X5 back?

    I'm asking this as I have found myself with a 5X7 (Deardorff) AND a 4X5 (Tachihara Hope) camera. Both cameras are in really nice shape, in fact stellar condition (not that it would affect the quality of my images). I am really trying to streamline my photographic existence as I have, IMHO too much stuff. Basically, do you think its a viable option to have one camera with two backs and be practical? Not just a main camera with a accessory back to kind of use another format but rather a separate back used as a viable legitimate format (4X5 in my case). I love both formats terribly and enjoy the availability of vanity of film in 4X5. As always, thank you in advance for to the community for great insightfulness.

  2. #2

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    Re: 5X7 and 4X5 Cameras or 5X7 w/4X5 back?

    Isn't the 4x5 Deardorff just the 5x7 model with a 4x5 back? That way you could have both, legitimately.
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

  3. #3

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    Re: 5X7 and 4X5 Cameras or 5X7 w/4X5 back?

    I have a 5x7 Technika and the 4x5 back (and a 56x72 back) and I have three cameras in one with only one set of lens boards

  4. #4

    Re: 5X7 and 4X5 Cameras or 5X7 w/4X5 back?

    It is. Cant find a back anywhere so I was contemplating making one. Before I did that I wanted to get some feedback from the membership as far as 2 cameras in one.
    Quote Originally Posted by mdarnton View Post
    Isn't the 4x5 Deardorff just the 5x7 model with a 4x5 back? That way you could have both, legitimately.

  5. #5

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    Re: 5X7 and 4X5 Cameras or 5X7 w/4X5 back?

    The 5x7 Deardorff with both backs will do the job well. Unless you really want a separate dedicated 4x5 only, it will do the job well.
    You might find yourself where my Uncle did a few years ago when I moved to where he lives and asked him to teach me to use the Large Format camera. He had a bunch of 4x5 film he was not using and said I could learn with it as he shot mainly 5x7 and 8x10. In checking he found the 4x5 had gone out of date almost 10 years previous. He threw it away and bought a box of new film for me. Figured learning on sub standard film that may not be reliable was not worth it. It had been that long or longer since he has exposed a sheet of 4x5. So, I got to use his 5x7 Deardorff with the 4x5 back til i got a 4x5 camera. He would then switch to the 5x7 back if he saw a composition he wanted to explore. At times we shot closely when he was teaching some specific things and I got to see the real difference in 4x5 and 5x7. As a result, and after using 4x5 for a couple years I am mainly5x7.

    The Deardorff will do the job for you. Just changet the back, not put an "add on" that can give vignetting problems with some lenses like the 5x7 extension backs for 4x5.
    I tend to procrastinate on stuff. One of these days I'll do something about it.

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    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: 5X7 and 4X5 Cameras or 5X7 w/4X5 back?

    I used 5x7 Burke & James flatbeds and monorails, sometimes with a 4x5 back, until a darkroom fire destroyed the 5x7 Elwood enlarger. The camera was perhaps no heavier than many 4x5s. Back then 5x7 film was cheap enough, and film holders and hangers were a glut on the market.

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    Re: 5X7 and 4X5 Cameras or 5X7 w/4X5 back?

    One downside with some reduction backs is that the holder seats close to the back, and there is little room for holders to be inserted, and you need magic fingers to reach inside and pull the darkslides... And I did see one back where when on the camera, you couldn't pull the slide if the back was tilted or swung, so look carefully at the back if buying or making...

    Steve K

  8. #8

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    Re: 5X7 and 4X5 Cameras or 5X7 w/4X5 back?

    Keep the Deardorff

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    Re: 5X7 and 4X5 Cameras or 5X7 w/4X5 back?

    I might have a 4x5 back (revolving) for the Deardorff...only it is a knock-off copy from India. Not fancy, but it does the job -- I'll look for it.

    Edited to add: The Deardorf Special and its 4x5 back was designed together, sold and meant to be used together. No problem loading holders. Quite nice. I had an exact copy of one (made in India) and I traveled with a photographer who used one for 4x5...though she went to a lighter camera eventually.
    Last edited by Vaughn; 4-Aug-2018 at 21:44.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  10. #10

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    Re: 5X7 and 4X5 Cameras or 5X7 w/4X5 back?

    I guess I am going to be the odd man out.

    Although those who said their 5x7 weights the same or less than their 4x5 are absolutely right the reason I pull out my 4x5 is to reduce the amount of bulk for a trip.

    I do have reduction backs for my larger formats but rarely take them out of storage for that reason alone.

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