View Full Version : Reducing back ease of use

Henri Lourdelet
3-May-2005, 09:25

I plan to buy a 5x7 camera to do 6x17 and 4x5 work because it looks to be a good solution to work with the two formats without the need to carry 2 dedicated cameras. So I'll use reducing backs.

However I understand base tilt on the back is going to be an issue as the tilt axis will be very far from the film.

I wanted to know how feel the reducing backs users ? Is the camera more painful to operate
with a reducing back?



Gem Singer
3-May-2005, 10:51

The answer to your question is "not at all". I use a 5X7 camera with a 4X5 reducing back (Canham Traditional), and when either back is placed onto the camera, the ground glass is in the same position. I also found the same ease of use when I formerly used a 4X5 or 5X7 reducing back on an 8X10 camera (Tachihara).

The only difficulty I have experienced is when I needed to carry more than one reducing back in my kit and protect the unused back(s) from damage.

Scott Rosenberg
3-May-2005, 11:03
henri, consider how much of your work will really be differing from the native format of the camera. if you're only occasionally going to shoot 5x7 or 6x17 then it doesn't make a lot of sense to carry around a 5x7 sized camera to shoot predominately 4x5 images. however, if you're going to be doing a healthy mix, then reducing backs is a great solution.

Jon Wilson
3-May-2005, 11:48
Another alternative would be a Tachihara 4x5 with a 5x7 extension back. Food for thought. ;)

Ernest Purdum
3-May-2005, 11:57
I have a 4x5 Graflok reducing back for a 5x7 Deardorff. I purposely made a spacer to put it back far enough to allow the use of the Polaroid 545 holder with its bulge in front. Yes, the image will shift a little when using tilt or swing, but I don't think its anything worth worrying much about.

If you don't want to use the Polaroid holder, as Eugene indicates, you can mount the reducer groundglass in exactly the same plane as the original.

Brian J Nelson
3-May-2005, 16:32

I have a 5x7 linhof and carry the 5x7 back, 4x5 reducing back and canham 6x17 back. I also have a 4x5 Linhof that I don't carry anymore because I use the 5x7 for everything. With the extra bellows draw on the 5x7 I can shoot with a 600mm and do macro with more stability. So to answer your question I have no added pain using the reducing back.

Henri Lourdelet
4-May-2005, 00:51
Brian and all,

Many thanks for your feedbacks. The hint about polaroid back is certainly useful.
Before taking the plunge and buy a 5x7 Arca Swiss I have found your feedbacks very valuable.