View Full Version : 5x7 holder compatability / Canham

Don Dudenbostel
16-Apr-2008, 14:54
A couple of months ago i purchased a used Canham 5x7 with both the 4x5 and 5x7 backs. First let me say it's a fantastic camera. Over the past 4 decades i've used my Sinar Norma and Deardorff 5x7's with no issues concerning compatability of holders. Now with the Canham I can no longer use the older Eastman and a couple of other brand holders that I used with the other cameras. Today I discovered the raised light rib on these holders is as much as 3/32" closer to the top of the holder in one brand and about 1/16" in the Eastman. I looked closely and the groove in the back where the rib seats is too narrow and the tolerences are so tight that some of my Lisco and Fidelity plastic holders won't seat either. In the Sinar back the groove is much wider and allows all the holders to seat properly. I was wondering if it's just my Canham back or if others have had this problem. To solve this I'm going to take it to my brother that is an acoustic musical instrument builder and have him remove about a 16th of an inch of wood which should solve the problem.


Ted Harris
16-Apr-2008, 15:19
I have used virtually all of the plastic holders available in my Canham, never a problem. Can't speak for older wooden or all metal holders.

Kevin Crisp
16-Apr-2008, 15:36
I use holders of all vintages in mine, including many wooden ones from the usual long-ago manufacturers. I have (with one exception I'll get to) only had a problem when I replaced the hinge tape with gaffers tape instead of the more appropriate thinner material. The clearance is tight, and just that little extra prevents it from seating properly. When I replaced the tape the problem went away. I have one holder that won't seat properly unless I push it down into the groove in the camera back. With the old ones I usually eyeball it anyway before pulling the slide to make sure it is fully seated. I am sure I could file the film trap slightly on this one holder to file the problem, but it isn't much of a problem so I have not worried about it. All plastic ones work fine.

Don Dudenbostel
16-Apr-2008, 17:38
Thanks for the information. None of my holders have been retaped and like I mentioned they're 1/16 to 3/16 of an inch out. It may be that my back is just a little on the minus side of tolerences. I'm concerned that this summer when the humidity in my area gets up to 90% and the temp is 90% my holders won't fit due to expansion. I may give Keith a call tomorrow and discuss the problem. Other than this I really love the camera. The negatives I heard regarding the lever locks have actually become a plus for me. I'm finding I like the design of the Canham better than any of the other folding wood cameras I've used.

Rick Moore
16-Apr-2008, 18:35
I highly recommend giving Keith a call before making any modifications to your back.

Andrew Eschbacher
16-Apr-2008, 21:09
Why don't you modify the holders rather than the back?

Don Dudenbostel
17-Apr-2008, 06:05
Why don't you modify the holders rather than the back?

Modifying the holders would require grinding off the ridge that goes in the trap. I will give keith a call but looking at my Sinar the trap is about twice as wide as in the Canham.