View Full Version : Canham woodfield wide lens usage. Tuan?

20-Jul-2004, 19:55
So the time has come that I am now shopping for a new camera. I am partial to wooden field cameras. One of the cameras that I am considering is a Canham woodfield. I've fondled one once; however, I didn't get to mount a wide lens on it to answer my question. I know that the bellows are long enough to handle my Fuji 450mm C; however, will the bellows handle a 75mm Nikkor? From what I have gathered this is the limit of the bellows.

I know that Tuan uses this camera. How well does the camera deal with wide lenses? Are the bellows the same super-bellows as on the Canham metal cameras?

Thanks for your time,

20-Jul-2004, 19:59
I answered my own question by reading Tuans review. Why didn't I notice it the first time? Oh well, if you use this camera I would still welcome your thoughts.

Gem Singer
20-Jul-2004, 21:42
Hi DrPhil,

I'm sure you're aware that the Canham woodfield is designed to be a 5X7 camera and is available with either a 5X7 or a 4X5 back. It is larger than the average 4X5 wooden folding field camera. Also, The Canham woodfield is not really a true wooden field camera. It is has metal (black anodized aluminum) rails, and merely folds into an attractive oiled walnut box. It is a fine camera when used with the 5X7 back. I'm not certain that it uses the same supple bellows that the metal DLC uses, or if it is capable of racking the front and back close enough together to handle a 75 wide angle lens.

For only a few dollars more than the Canham, take a look at the Ebony SV45Ti/Te (the Te is made of ebony wood and the Ti is made of lighter weight mahogany). I use the Fuji 450C on my Te, utilizing the 34mm Ebony extension lensboard and the standard bellows. I also use my Fuji 75SWD on a flat lensboard with the standard bellows. There capability is there to get even more front rise if the optional wide angle bellows is used with the 75. However, extended front rise soon exceeds the covering ability of the 75 wide angle lens. The standard bellows is quite flexible, although the optional universal bellows is much more flexible for wide angle lenses.(See: www. ebonycamera.com).

As always, I recommend calling Jim, at Midwest Photo Exchange for the best price and immediate delivery of Ebony cameras and accessories.

Gem Singer
20-Jul-2004, 21:46
P.S. Jim also sells new, and previously owned, Canham cameras in all format sizes.

20-Jul-2004, 22:16

The ebony SV45TI is the other camera that I am currently looking at. Both have some advantages. Since the Canham is really a 5x7 and has bellows that extend to 600mm. I doubt that it will have any problems at 450. The SV45TI will be close to max with the 450mm lens. In addition, the Canham wood field will open wide enough for the canham rool film back. This could be fun too!.

I already have another camera for hiking. This would be my camera for close to thecar. Thus, I am really not worried about the weight.

Gem Singer
21-Jul-2004, 06:25
Hello again, Dr Phil,

In that case, don't hesitate to choose the Canham. Jim has a previously owned Canham woodfield, in 9+ condition, listed on his website (www.mpex.com) at $2195. A call to Jim (and only Jim) at Midwest Photo Exchange would be worth while. He can also be reached by e-mail at jim@mpex.com. Jim is very knowledgeable and helpful with all things large format. Good luck on your search

Brian Ellis
21-Jul-2004, 07:05
Another nice thing about Jim is that he's very very flexible with returning things. If you ask he'll usually let you keep the camera for more than just a few days and still return it if you don't like it. Much better than B&H, which stuck me with a defective $1,000 scanner because it took longer than 7 days for me and the scanner tech support people to figure out that the scanner had a problem.

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
21-Jul-2004, 07:42
I have been using a Canham 5x7 Wooden camera for quite a few years, and have been very happy with it. I use it for both 5x7 and 4x5, and find it to be light, solid, and well designed. That said, the camera is designed as a 5x7. This means that while it is very wide-angle friendly, it is intended to be used with 5x7 lenses. So, the camera will work very well with lenses 90mm and longer, providing good movements and solidity. However, unless you can find one of the discontinued 25mm deep Toyo Field recessed boards, you will have to play with the front standard to get a 75mm lens to focus at infinity.

And yes, the newer cameras have the same bellows as on the Canham metal cameras. If you but an older Canham, like I did, you will have to buy a new "super-bellows" from Keith. I think I spent ~$300 on them. They are certainly worth the price, but keep this in mind when buying a used camera.