View Full Version : 5x7 cameras

Jonathan Simmons
6-Dec-1999, 22:28
I had considered extensively an 8x10 camera, but after much deliberation, have decided upon a 5x7 camera. I would appreciate any thoughts or input regarding c hoices-I have a busch pressman 4x5 which I love. I would be using it for portra its and landscapes. I have minimal movement requirements for my camera, but wan t something relatively sturdy and portable. If busch pressman made a 5x7, I wou ld have no hesitation buying it. I am leaning towards a deardorff with nfs, tho ugh a kodak 2d also grabs my attention (so much cheaper). Thanks in advance. Jonathan

Tony Brent
6-Dec-1999, 22:40
Probably need to look for a good cutter, as there isn't much out there in 5x7 that I know of. You will likely spend a lot of time cutting down 8x10.

Natha Congdon
7-Dec-1999, 00:12
As for film for 5 X 7, it's already been mentioned recently on another thread that View Camera magazine January issue will have an article on all films available for 5 X 7. If you're not already familiar with this, might want to look at their web site (I think it's just viewcamera.com) for info on getting ahold of that issue.


Jan erala
7-Dec-1999, 13:16
Tachihara makes a 5x7 in mahogany/rosewood that is very sturdy with smooth adjustments. This camera is very different that the 4x5 or 8x10 valnut fields which I consider as lightweight cameras. I assume it's a little bit heavier than a 5x7 Dorff, though I've never has had one. Instantly, I have both the 5x7 and 8x10 Tachiis.

About film availability, I've understand that Kodak no more makes film in the 5x7 mode, but continues to manufacture the 13x18 cm format. So maybe it's better to buy 13x18 cassettes. Anyway, the 13x18/5x7 is a great format, bringing together good film size with a relative small and handsome camera, fast and simple to use in any place.

Adam D. DeKraker
7-Dec-1999, 14:46

I own a 5x7 Kodak 2D and have been quite impressed with it. It's very sturdy an d has more than enough bellows extension (even without the rear rail attached) to acccomidate normal/long lenses. As far as I know, Kodak only manufactures Tmax 400 in 5x7 sheets (and it only comes in 100 sheet boxes!).....Ilford also makes FP4+ (iso 125) and HP5+ (iso 400) in 5x7 as well. Thankfully, those emulsions come in 25 sheet boxes. You may want to check out Freestyle Camera Co ., as I believe they may carry Arista film in 5x7, as well as Bergger (never tried either, but I hear they're good). As for color, last I knew Kodak made VPS (which has now been changed, however) in 5x7, and possibly some of the older transparency (EPN, EPP, etc) in that size. Don't worry about getting film, there are plenty of sources. Another camera you may want to consider is a Burke and James Orbit 5x7 monorail. They're great cameras, especially if you cut down the rail length to make it more portable. J ust an idea. :)

Mike Kravit
7-Dec-1999, 18:05
Doing a search today between Calumet, B&H, Darkroom Innovations and Bostick and Sullivan I have found the following 5x7 sheet film available.

Bostick & Sullivan - Lotus Bergger BPF-200 5x7-25

Darkroom Innovations - 5X7-DELTA 400 FILM 5X7-FP4+ FILM 5X7-HP5+ FILM 5X7-TMAX 400

Calumet- EPP 5x7 EPY 6118 5x7 Ektachrome Duplicating Film 5x7 25 sheet 6121 HP5+ 5x7 FP4+ 5x7 TXP 5x7 Kodalith 5x7 TMX 5x7 4052 T-Max 100 TMY 5x7 4053 T-Max 400

Seems to me that the selection is limited for color, but there are plenty of B+W emulsions available.

I own a Canham MQC-57 w/ a 4x5 reducing back. I shoot 5x7 Lotus Bergger BPF-200 in B+W and Fuji Astia for 4x5 chromes, and Kodak Portra for 4x5 color negative. This way I get the best of all worlds. I love the Canham. It is light, portable and gives me plenty of movements for my work.

Good luck.

Jim McD
7-Dec-1999, 18:19
Keep an eye out for a Burke & James 5X7 Field/View camera. They are as sturdy as the Kodak, and usually less expensive because they are painted an ugly gray (which can be stripped off to show the white maple frame, if desired). I have one with 4X5 and 5X7 backs and I love it, it has all movements possible. Film is not a problem. Kodak and Ilford make enough 5X7 to keep me going without trouble. It's a great, underutilized format. Enjoy it.

neil poulsen
20-Dec-1999, 03:22
I've had an NFS 5x7 Deardorff for years, and I've enjoyed using it. For it's size, it's "relatively" light, something between 6 and 7 pounds. Of course, there's the bellows problem on short lenses. But since you don't need much in the way of movements, the rising falling front of 1" (on mine) may be enough. And, you can beat that a little with the minimum bellows rise and by off-setting your lens on the lens board by a quarter of an inch or so. (If it's not a large lens.) By turning the board sideways, you can also achieve limited shift.

20-Dec-1999, 11:17
I love the 5x7 format,too, but since you already have satisfactory 4x5 equipment, it would be counter productive to change so little. The negative is less than 2x the size, and the costs and effort really multiply. Technilogically you are pi**ing into the wind. You should rethink: either stick with 4x5 or go all the way up to 8x10.

Brian Ellis
1-Oct-2000, 11:16
I'm sure the original questioner has long since done whatever he decided to do, but for the benefit of others who might later look:

(1) I bought an Agfa Ansco 5x7 and like it a lot. Although they were excellent cameras, top of the line next to Deardorff in their time, they've never caught on as "cult" cameras so they're still inexpensive - $300 or so. Mine is very sturdy, all movements are secure, everything stays in place once it's set, it has a "quality" feel to it, etc. The only thing I dont' care for is the "tailboard" rather than the "clam shell" design. The folding tailboard makes the camera quite thick and bulky compared to the clam shell design. However, for the price and build quality, it's an excellent way to get into 5x7 (but see the next paragraph).

(2) If I had it to do over (as I do and will), I would go from 4x5 to 8x10 as someone else suggested unless perhaps I had a 5x7 enlarger. Too many times 5x7 prints have for me just looked too small, even though I like the aspect ratio better than 8x10.