View Full Version : Camera to explore 5x7

28-Feb-2007, 19:09
I use an Arca 4x5 and a Mamiya 7 and want to explore 5x7. I'd appreciate suggestions for a camera and lens.

I plan to use the camera mounted on a tripod, but would like it to be as compact as possible. I don't need any movements. The camera should be reasonably modern/in good shape, not something that I have to spend a few months "fixing", because the reality is that I won't get around to it. Something like a Fotoman 5x7 would probably work, but such an animal doesn't exist. I'd consider a 5x7 format set for my Arca, but that would set me back US$2500+.

I want to use one lens, probably 210mm give or take 30mm. Does anyone know what focal length(s) Paul Strand used for his photographs of people?

I'm not looking for a bargain, but I do plan to buy the camera and lens second hand.

Suggestions appreciated.

Scott Davis
28-Feb-2007, 19:25
well, it will be very hard to find something with no movements that isn't a pinhole. If you want something Strand-esque, look for a Graflex 5x7 SLR. They do show up on fleaBay from time to time, or you can call Lens & Repro and see if they have a reconditioned one. For 5x7, you're probably looking at something in the 180-240 range for a lens.

Walter Calahan
28-Feb-2007, 20:32
You can't have my Graflex 5x7 SLR I got last month on eBay.

Scott, what's the URL for fleaBay? Ha ha ha.

Wayne R. Scott
28-Feb-2007, 21:03
Here is an inexpensive one:


I have no connection to seller, yada, yada, etc.


Oren Grad
28-Feb-2007, 21:53
For close to the same weight as a 5x7 Arca-Swiss and about half the price of a new format set, you can have a new 5x7 Tachihara. If you want something that's both modern, and more compact/lightweight, your best bet may be holding out for a used Canham, wood or metal version depending on your taste.

If you truly want zero movements and the utmost in simplicity, give Peter Gowland a call and see whether he still has parts to make you a 5x7 Aerial. (Go to this page (http://www.petergowland.com/camera/index.html) and scroll down.)

The 5x7 Graflex is huge.

Jim Noel
1-Mar-2007, 08:40
There is currently a 5x7 Speed Graphic up for bids.

Christopher Perez
1-Mar-2007, 09:53
Is this the one you're talking about?

If so, it's not 5x7.

There is currently a 5x7 Speed Graphic up for bids.

1-Mar-2007, 11:09
Thanks all, I'm going to contact Mr. Gowland.

1-Mar-2007, 11:32
Peter Gowland is very nice to deal with. I spoke with him about 1 1/2 years ago when I was considering the Gowland instead of the Toho FC-45C. He is/or was still quite sharp and will be 91 years old next month. :eek: :D

If you are unfamiliar, Peter is one of the cornerstone figures in glamour and "Cheesecake" Photography. He is quite knowledable and designed cameras for his own usage when none were available.


Michael Alpert
1-Mar-2007, 15:38
I read somewhere that Strand used the same lens for his 8x10 and for his 5x7 Graflex (which he masked to about 5x6). I cannot remember the length; but it was a long lens, much longer than 210mm. Someone can correct me if I am wrong, but I think it was somewhere around 360mm, which would be, in effect, a little longer than the 150mm lens used on your Mamiya 7. I suggest that for portraits without camera movements, you stick to your Mamiya or find another medium-format camera that will work at closer range. Or a Fotoman 45PS with a long lens, rangefinder, viewfinder, and quickloads might be right, except perhaps for the price.