5x7 Field Cameras : a round-up
by Q.-Tuan Luong for
the Large Format Page
Summary: This document surveys all the 5x7 cameras that I am aware of.
Some of the cameras described here are just scaled-up version of a
4x5, so look also at the 4x5 round-up.
There are a few monorail view
cameras in current production which are available in 5x7. I don't know
too much about this category of cameras.
were made in 5x7 with a 4x5 reducing back.
Except the B&J, they have
very limited movements, bellows, and are quite bulky.
is quite comparable to some contemporary wood cameras.
It weights 8 lbs and has 22 inches of bellows, and the standard
range of movements (ie all front, swings and tilts at rear).
The Linhof Technika 5x7 came in models
III (1950 - 1956) IV,
V (1964 - 1986), comparable to
their 4x5 counterparts, and are discontinued.
They are solid and precise metal cameras, but are quite heavy
(V: 12lbs, III: 10.5lbs). An earlier model, the Medizin,
which was made from 1936 to the early 1940's, was available in many sizes
including 6x9cm, 8 x 10.5cm, 9 x 12 cm, 10 x 15cm, 12 x 16.5 cm, 13 x 18 cm
(5x7") and, in the Technika Standard 18 x 24cm (8x10").
The 5x7 model weighed 2.9 Kg (6.4 Lbs).
is 3.5 lbs, about the same weight than a 4x5 Tachihara, which,
under is already one of the lightest 4x5 ! It is quite thin (
size folded is 8.25" X 9" X 2.5"), but reasonnably well built.
The maximum bellows extension with the 5X7 Nagaoka is
385mm, minimum is 70mm. Lenses from 75mm on up to the Nikkor 500 tele
work fine. The rear standard can be moved forward, making
it good for wide-angle use.
The Anba Ikeda is quite similar. I have seen them used for as
low as $500. Actually, if you have one for sale, please contact me.
Tachihara is also available in 5x7. Available from
mpex.com for $1300. This is a true 5x7, not to be confused with the
4x5 with 5x7 extension back. The extension/weight ratio is not as
favorable as the 4x5 model, since it weights 8.5 lbs for 18 inches.
- Gandolfi makes 5x7 cameras in a variety of configurations.
Peter Gowland can make a custom 5x7 based on his 8x10
"backpack" camera for $1400. It would have front moves, 20 inches of
bellows, and weight an astonishing 3 lbs.
Toho is also available in 5x7, but
unlike the 4x5, it's
not an ultralight at 2.5kg (5.5b lbs)
- The Wisner Traditional field ($2250), has all movements
on front, tilt and swing on rear.
It is 7 lbs, but I believe it is the same size than
the Technical, which is significantly more bulky than a Canham.
Lotus view rapid field camera ($2400) has
all movements except rear rise
(rear axis tilt and fall/rise optional)
680mm of bellows with lots of focusing tracks in
Delrin. Cherrywood, black anodized alumnium. 6 lbs.
It's Lotus best selling camera.
Canham KBC (wood)
($2500). all movements, except rear rise and front shift. 700mm
the back standard can be moved forward (good for wide-angle). Modern
and black anodized alumnium). 6lbs. Folds small.
Canham MQC (all metal)
($2500). based on the design of the DLC metal field. 600mm
of universal bellows. Modern look (swiss cheese anodized alumnium).
5.7lbs. Folds small. 4x5 graflock back available.
- The Wisner Technical field ($2650)
has additional movements (geared axis tilt, and gear
fall/rise), and even longer bellows.
The operation looked smoother
than the wood Canham, and it seemed also a sturdier and more rigid
camera, but might not be good with wide angle lenses.
It's main drawback is its weight (10 lbs) and size. Classical look
(mahogany and round knobs in brass)
- The Wisner Pocket Expedition ($3000)
is more versatile than the technical, thanks to the geared sliding top
rear focus which makes it easier to use wide-angle lenses. adds also
geared front axis tilt and rise. The down-side of the additional
features is complexity of operation and set up. It's remarkably light
for its features (advertised at less than 5lbs).
- The Ebony SV57
"no compromise" cameras offer large
range of usable lenses (65-680mm), all movements except rear
shift, good rigidity. made of mahogany
and titanium. 6.5 lbs. No authorized distributors in
the USA at the moment, so their products may be ordered directly from
the factory in Japan. (well over $3000).
My first 5x7 camera was a
4x5 Tachihara with an extension back.
This is a cheap ($900) and easy way to get started in
5x7, but has a number of limitations.
Such backs are available for several other cameras, including the
Wista. As I got hooked into 5x7, I tried two "true" 5x7 cameras (
early Toyo metal field (bought from Midwest for $700, they
let me return it after a month without any problem)
and looked at many of them. I finally settled down for a
Canham, which is what I found
works best for me.
Sinar makes a 5x7 version of the P2 (15 lbs, $6875, what else needs to
be said ?). The cheaper route with Sinar would be to go with a 5x7
format changing kit ($2280) and add that to a Sinar 4x5 camera. The
Norma (no longer in production) might be a better choice for field use
(less than $2000 used).
- Arca-Swiss sells for all their camera lines
(F- classic, F- metric and monolith) a 5x7" version.
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