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Thread: 5x7 camere advice needed

  1. #1

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    5x7 camere advice needed

    I am thinking of selling my both 4x5 Tahichara and 5x7 Century Grand to repleace them with one 5x7 camera that I could add reducing back to. I think I need some advice and opinion form experts/users.
    I need a camera which would be portable enough for a day hikes but on the other hand would be flexible for studio work and close-ups.
    I think of two: the new 5x7 Shen-hao and Gowland 5x7 monorail. The latter is, as far as I know, no longer in production so it might be pretty hard to get one. I am also not sure if there is a reducing back for Gowland. I think I prefer Shen-hao over Tachihara for more movements it gives. Maybe some of you could share an opinion, or may be there is another camera out there I did not think of. I am limited to some 1200-1300 budget.

    Jan

  2. #2
    Scott Davis
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    Re: 5x7 camere advice needed

    I would recommend the Shen-Hao, based on my (very satisfied) experience with their 4x5. The Shens are very rugged, very pretty, and thoughtfully designed. The little 4x5 has more movements than some monorails, folds up nicely, and can even keep a lens mounted when closed, depending on the lens. Mine has been taken to some pretty rugged places and held up extremely well. Another good feature about the Shens is the accessories - they are very inexpensive, and well made. The bag bellows is quite cheap, and is made of real leather. They take the Linhof/Wista lensboards, so odds are you already have lensboards to fit.

    I would also keep my eye out (and make a few phonecalls to Midwest Photo and the like) for a used Canham woodfield 5x7. I got my Canham Woodfield 5x7 with 4x5 reducing back for $1500, which is a little more than your stated budget, but would be worth the extra if you can. The Canham 5x7 weighs about the same as my Shen-Hao 4x5 (6 lbs). Having a camera so light to haul around makes a big difference.

  3. #3
    C. D. Keth's Avatar
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    Re: 5x7 camere advice needed

    Scott's is very good advice for your budget range. I thought of a Gowland and they seem very unstable for most shooting conditions. I think a Shen Hao would make you happy. I'm very happy with my 4x5 shen.

  4. #4

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    Re: 5x7 camere advice needed

    Does the 5x7 Shen come with a Fresnel screen?
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  5. #5
    C. D. Keth's Avatar
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    Re: 5x7 camere advice needed

    I don't believe so, my 4x5 didn't. The gg is quite fine and bright and if you want a fresnel, it's simple enough to get one. I wouldn't hinge your decision on an accessory that can be added so easily.

  6. #6

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    Re: 5x7 camere advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill_1856 View Post
    Does the 5x7 Shen come with a Fresnel screen?
    I asked Jeff at Badger Graphics and no, it does not

    Jan

  7. #7

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    Re: 5x7 camere advice needed

    The Shen Hao looks like a nice camera but I'll second the vote for a used Canham 5x7.

  8. #8
    Ted Harris's Avatar
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    Re: 5x7 camere advice needed

    The Canham Wood 5x7 is my everyday 5x7. I've been using mine day in an day out for 11 years. Highly recommend same. I also own and use a Gowland PocketView 5x7; if you want ultimate lightweight this is it. Yes, if you find one Peter does
    have a reducing back.

  9. #9

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    Re: 5x7 camere advice needed

    I recently purchased a used 5x7 Tachihara with an exceptionally long (likely special order) extension rail. After letting it sit around being a few days (it's pretty, and looks quite fragile, so I was a bit reluctant to use it.), I found it to be an exceptionally nice camera to use. Adapter board was $99, and allows use of Technika lensboards. Movements are limited, but it is quite a tough little camera. Only weighs about 7-8 lbs. If I had the chance to do it all over again, I'd still buy the Tachi. No complaints, other than it is a bit on the pretty side...

  10. #10

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    Re: 5x7 camere advice needed

    A Deardorff Special will do what you want.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.

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