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Thread: 4x5" to 5x7"... is it worth changing?

  1. #51
    Alberto Bregani's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5" to 5x7"... is it worth changing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Y View Post
    Roger, 5x7 enlargers are out there. I had a Durst 138 w/ a colorhead fall into my lap about 5 years ago, & got a beautiful 70s 210 Rodagon off ebay for $40. Love those modest 16x20' enlargements. Alberto I was wondering how you have dificulties with the screen on a 4x5 coming from a Rolleiflex? The Rollei & the 5x7 Deardorff are my standards & I love them both. Good luck with your decision. Your mountain work is very beautiful. I'm a professional mountain & ski guide from Canada & have always appreciated the opportunity to climb on either side of the Swiss/Italian border. I hope you are able to resolve your focusing issues.
    Greg, cool I'm a ski teacher too: maybe one day we'll go skiing together in Alberta ( if i come to) or here in the Dolomites ( if you come to) ;-)
    due to my difficulties, with Rolleiflex i usually use the prism. No eyeglasses, just contact lenses and i'm happy with it. With the hasselblad i use a metered prism too

    Thanks for remarks :-)
    ciao!
    A:-)
    Alberto Bregani | Mountain Photographer
    My starting page
    http://about.me/albertobregani

  2. #52

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    Re: 4x5" to 5x7"... is it worth changing?

    I use to shoot 4x5"; I have a very good 5x7" lightweight camera, and a 8x10" as well. Almost exclusively b&w.

    I don`t use to shoot 5x7" for several reasons... I like to develop with the small Jobo tank... only accept 4x5" sheets (4509?). My 5x7" enlarger head is not as good as my 4x5" one, and there isn`t a huge difference in the sizes I like to print.
    Other "secondary" reasons are my preference for the 4x5" compactness, my current lens setup (optimal for 4x5"), price and camera quality (Canham, Sinar, Linhof).

    If you give me a few expensive lenses, a top 5x7" modern enlarger, and some Jobo 3000 series drums (processor included), I`d shoot 5x7" more often. Maybe. I`d probably need a larger darkroom, too.

    Right now, when I need more, I prefer to shoot 8x10", instead of 5x7". The processing pain is the same, but the difference with 4x5" is bigger.

  3. #53

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    Re: 4x5" to 5x7"... is it worth changing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alberto Bregani View Post
    ...the loupe i usually use ..Hasselblad 6x loupe (i feel very confortable looking into it ) is too big for a 4x5 GG - Without it I just see nothing. Fog

    I have a standard +4.5 hypermetropia so i daily use contact lenses BUT when i have to read something ( books, documents, ...shutter speed..) i have to wear the red glasses you see in the picture since I have a little presbyopia too ( +1.5) . So when i look into the GG i have to use glasses, when i have to see into the loope i have to take them off... then i have to use them again to see aperture and speed.. UFF just tiring :-))

    Maybe with a 5x7" i could have less problems ; i could work withoup a loupe ( or now and again ) and feel much confortable in terms of composing the scene
    I say it again: to go for 5x7 format is not a bigger negative issue for me. Just a more confortable way to take photographs

    Could it be the right choice for me?...
    Your +4.5 diopter distance prescription puts you in the opposite situation from me. There's probably no way for you to avoid using a loupe. However, 5x7 still seems like a good idea to increase your comfort when photographing.

    Here's what I suggest. Have a pair of eyeglasses made that you will wear continuously (over your contact lenses) when hiking/climbing/photographing. There should be bifocal lenses in these frames; the top clear (0 diopters) and the bottom your +1.5 -- or more as presbyopia increases over the years -- reading prescription. A 5x7 screen is large enough that you'll be able to comfortably compose under the dark cloth by tilting your head back a bit to look through the +1.5 area; bring camera and tripod to your optometrist's office so an optimum height can be found for the bifocal line. To fine focus, simply level your head and use that Hasselblad loupe through the clear eyeglass area.

    The only thing you'll have to do that I don't is use the loupe, since their -6 diopter distance prescription means looking over the top of my eyeglass lenses is equivalent to using a +6 diopter loupe. We'll both wear eyeglasses continuously and give our neck muscles as much exercise as our legs and arms get.

  4. #54

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    Re: 4x5" to 5x7"... is it worth changing?

    For what it is worth and not wanting to upset anyone, no insults implied or anything, but the 5x7 Tachihara ultralight camera I owned for a week was so flimsy compared to what I am used to - metal cameras - that I am surprised anyone can enjoy using it, much less shoot successfully. It's dainty and I am clumsy.

  5. #55
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    Re: 4x5" to 5x7"... is it worth changing?

    I didn't keep my 57 Tachihara for very long, either. It was not up to my standards.

    Replaced it with a 5x7 Canham Traditional (wood) camera, and there was a huge improvement.

    Moral of the story: don't judge all 5x7 wooden cameras by the 5x7 Tachihara.

  6. #56

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    Re: 4x5" to 5x7"... is it worth changing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Petronio View Post
    ...the 5x7 Tachihara ultralight camera I owned for a week was so flimsy compared to what I am used to - metal cameras - that I am surprised anyone can enjoy using it, much less shoot successfully...
    Quote Originally Posted by Gem Singer View Post
    I didn't keep my 57 Tachihara for very long, either. It was not up to my standards.

    Replaced it with a 5x7 Canham Traditional (wood) camera, and there was a huge improvement...
    I've never seen any size Tachihara, so can't comment on it, but did once make a 130-mile round trip to Samy's in LA for some hands-on experience with the 5x7 Canham Traditional. Although it is, in my opinion, the most beautiful wood camera made, and Keith Canham's reputation is sterling, I found opening/closing it to be fiddly and rigidity lacking.

    Eventually I acquired and still use an Ebony SV57. While lacking the extreme precision of a metal 5x7 Arca F-line, it's only 10 oz. heavier than the Canham, but 2 lb. 10 oz. lighter than the Arca. Ebony's SV57 has been the best overall compromise for me.

  7. #57

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    Re: 4x5" to 5x7"... is it worth changing?

    I wouldn't expect a quality Canham, Ebony, Chamonix or even a Shen-Hao to be as loose. I wouldn't expect anything to be as rigid as a studio camera but for most work the better wooden cameras will do great.

  8. #58

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    Re: 4x5" to 5x7"... is it worth changing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Petronio View Post
    For what it is worth and not wanting to upset anyone, no insults implied or anything, but the 5x7 Tachihara ultralight camera I owned for a week was so flimsy compared to what I am used to - metal cameras - that I am surprised anyone can enjoy using it, much less shoot successfully. It's dainty and I am clumsy.
    I lent my 4x5 Gowland PocketView to a friend and he quickly returned it -- he could not put up with its lightweight squirreliness and lack of zeroing indents. But I used the camera for years (5-month bike trip in NZ, in Costa Rica, backpacking in the Grand Canyon, years in the redwoods, etc) and love it. Can't recall ever losing a negative to camera shake.

  9. #59
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    Re: 4x5" to 5x7"... is it worth changing?

    J B Harlin, a fellow Texan from the the DFW area, who designs and builds large format cameras (as large as 11x14), once told me that

    the only time a camera needs to remain extremely rigid is while the shutter is open during an exposure.


    The best advice I can offer someone who is contemplating the purchase of a 5x7 camera: purchase a

    4x5 reducing back for the camera. If possible, one that is equipped with Graflok-type sliders.

  10. #60

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    Re: 4x5" to 5x7"... is it worth changing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gem Singer View Post
    ...the only time a camera needs to remain extremely rigid is while the shutter is open during an exposure...
    If strong, gusty winds are blowing (and I suspect they do quite often where Alberto photographs), only a rigid camera will remain stable during that brief period of time. It's a matter of what conditions the instrument will be used in...

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