View Full Version : Canham wood 8x10

Austin Space
28-Feb-2005, 20:18
Hey, I am in the market for a wood Canham camera and I was wodering what you guys think of it

Bobby Sandstrom
28-Feb-2005, 20:45
Check out my post... the one right after your. Wehman Camera. You'll LOVE IT!


Gem Singer
1-Mar-2005, 08:08

Canham makes two versions of the "Traditional" 8X10 wood field camera. They both use the same basic chassis, but the "Light Weight" has a smaller front end and a more taper to the bellows. It is, of course, slightly lighter in weight than the standard 8X10 version. Both can be adapted to take Linhof Tech type lensboards, so I would recommend the "lightweight" version.

The 8X10 Traditionals appear to use the same type of chassis and are built out of the same materials as the Canham 4X10 wood field that I recently purchased. It seems to be a very carefully thought out design, with excellent construction. I can highly recommend it.

Ted Harris
1-Mar-2005, 08:11

I can't answer your question directly but I can partially answer it. I use a Canham wood 5x7 (as does Kerry Thalmann so he may chime in). Since the Canham Traditional cameras are all modular there are a lot of the parts on the 5x7 that are the same and, from looking at pictures of the 8x10, the design seems very similar. I find the 5x7 to be sturdy, rock solid, even at long extensions, and much more precise in operation than most wood field camaeras. Using a Canham takes some getting used to, especially remembering which rail locks to loosen and lock down as you are focusing and setting up; further it can be a bit fiddly to setup and pack away until you are used to it, after that it will tak eyou no longer to deal with than any other folding wood field. If I have any negative comment it is the fact that you put the camera away with all the controls loosened so that you need to be very careful to make sure they are all tightened down in a zero position when you setup. Even after all the time I have used the camera I still forget to tighten down the swings and shifts every once in a whil ewhen I am in a hurry. Bottom line, you should not be disappointed.

If you have any specific questiosn ask, or better yet call Keith and ask him ... he is always willing to assist ... one of the real gentlemen in the business.

Christian Marquess
1-Mar-2005, 09:11
I too am the proud owner of the Canham 5x7 Wood field and can second the comments listed above. It's beautifully made and functions well. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Andrew O'Neill
1-Mar-2005, 14:09
I have the 8x10 Light Weight. I've been using it for four years. It's beautifully crafted. They only thing that bothered me when I first set it up was how much movement there was with the camera back when locked down. Once I put a stabilizer on it, problem solved. It's easy to set up and use, not finnicky at all but then I've never tried other 8x10s. I like how the rear slides up allowing the use of wide lenses. The widest lens I have is a 90 (I have a 4x5 reducing back). I use a 120mm lens as my widest lens for 8x10. Having the bag bellows really helps as far as movements go. The heaviest lens I use on it is a Nikkor 240....it's heavy! No problem for the front holding it in any tilt, etc. I also appreciate the long bellows draw. I don't know what else to say...

Diane Maher
1-Mar-2005, 17:52
What kind of stabilizer are you talking about? I am wondering as I've been looking at (and saving for) the 8x10 Canham traditional. At the moment, I'm shooting with an 8x10 Ansco.

Michael Whiting
3-Mar-2005, 18:47

I own both the 5x7 (with 4x5 back) and the 8x10 (with 4x10) back. I have had the 8x10 for over a decade now - can't remember for sure.

First, the 5x7 is a truly great camera. It is wonderfully solid even when compared to a metal technical camera which are bricks. I just love working with the 5x7.

I do love the 8x10, too, but I don't find it as solid as the 5x7. It could use a stabilizer, but I have lived without it for these years. Comments about fumbling with the levers are true. I love the amount of movements on the rear, there is no end to the rear shift - you can literally shift the rear standard right off the camera. The only thing it does not has is rear risefall, which I don't miss. I have only had one mishap in all these years. When I first got the 4x10 back, it did not fit snugly on the back and one of the sliding levers that locks the back in place slipped open and the 4x10 fell off and hit the ground. I was one of the first in the US to get one and I'm sure Keith has fixed that by now<g>.

I have used large heavy lenses on the front (14" Red Dot Artar in Copal #3, Nikkor-W 360mm, Symmar-S 480mm) and it handles the weight of these lenses very well. My old Kodak Masterview front standard would sag even after being locked down as hard as I could. No problem with the Canham. I put it all in a f64 backpack. Now that I have the Cooke XVa, I can have one Copal #3, the Cooke and a 240mm Zeiss Dagor so 4 focal lengths, 2 lenses and one shutter. Now there is room in my backpack for food and water.


-Mike Whiting