I've been planning on buying a 5x7 for some time now. After this last LF outing in Central Park it struck me that I need something a bit more....say...mobile than the Wisner 11x14 Tech Field. Not willing to part with that format, but rather I want something to supplement it.
At the Central Park outing, I got to have a look at Scott's 5x7 Wood Canham. Gorgeous camera, and super light. Great extension - a winner. So I dumped one of my Rollei SLR lenses in the hope of buying something similar. The lens sold, and now I have a budget of ~$1800 for my 5x7. Mind you, this needs to cover the camera, film holders, a dark cloth that is an appropriate size, and preferably a tripod that doesn't way 25 lbs.
Found a metal Canham (even lighter) for $1700, but that doesn't leave a whole lot for film holders...and I'd be carrying that lovely camera around on a Ries A100 Tripod with the A250 head. That's pretty lame. Found a Wisner Tech Field for about $1350. That's got the 4x5 reducing back and the WA bellows, and leaves some for the accessories. The other advantage is that the lens boards are identical, as are the controls. But it's the heaviest 5x7 field camera on the market at 10lbs. Another option is to go for an older 5x7 like a B&J or a Seneca or something...which would leave plenty of $$$ behind for accessories, but typically a bit "floppier" and more fussy than their modern counterparts.
Lets talk about use:
I shoot architecture (I like rise) and landscapes. I want to be able to throw this thing in a backpack and wander around. I want to be able to take it on trips overseas. Since I have an 11x14, I have longer lenses I'd like to use. A 4x5 reduction back is a nice option. I've been carrying the 11x14 around for a year or so, so I've got decent willpower and tolerance for carrying more.
I'm leaning toward the Wisner because it's the beast I know and the convenience of shooting the same camera is pretty nice. The 4.6 pound difference is significant, but it's meaningless if I'm carrying a 25lb. tripod because I bought the lighter camera and couldn't afford a new tripod. But I'm always interested in others' advice.....so what might you advise?
PS: But if I get one of the older 5x7s, I might be able to also snag that 7x17 Folmer on eBay..... <<WHACK>> No, no, I'm focused now. Need 5x7...