View Full Version : 7x11" and 5x12" - what are the options?

Matus Kalisky
18-Mar-2011, 14:00
I am a 4x5 shooter right now. Not too much action over last 6 mont (I am in the process of changing job). Since long time I was attracted by 7x11" and 5x12" formats. While I am not about to jump on the wagon, I might consider trading 4x5 for one of these (what would mean going BW only I guess) in the future. Maybe I would finally learn to do the BW right.

So just to be prepared:

My question would be - what are the 'modern' options in these formats? I would be interested generally in cameras that can still be carried in a back pack, so no super heavy monorails. What about the costs (camera, lens holders, tripod head)? I would be thinking of 2 lens setup - one a bit wider and one a bit longer than 'normal' (what ever that means with panoramic format) - maybe about 250 & 450 or there about.


- Forgot to mention - I would be shooting pretty much everything - landscapes, cityscapes, architecture a bit ...
- I would of course love to hear your experience and opinions about particular cameras

Lachlan 717
18-Mar-2011, 14:29
Before asking any of these questions, I'd start with researching film options/availability. Not colour versus B&W; find out what film can you get ready-cut and how often is it available. Will you need to cut larger sheets to get these sizes? If so, can you live with this hassle?

Matus Kalisky
18-Mar-2011, 15:16
Good point. My impression is that there are large orders here and then from Ilford (HP5+, FP4+) like once a year or so. Special sizes can be ordered from ADOX - 5x12" is one of the sizes available. So - one needs to think ahead, but in general it should possible to get something. I would try to avoid cutting the film myself.

Richard K.
18-Mar-2011, 15:38
Both 7x11 and 5x12 are available in the annual Ilford run. I will be selling a very nice (Chamonix) 7x11 kit in the near future since I ordered a new 10x12 camera which should be ready soon. It will have a 7x11 reducing back. Nice format! :)

Steve Goldstein
18-Mar-2011, 16:03
5x12, 7x11, and 8x10 have virtually the identical diagonal, so any lens that covers 8x10 should do. The options range from antiquities to current production.

If desperate you can cut 11x14 film in half for 7x11. There aren't many options in 11x14 film, either, but possibly more than Ilford.

7x11 has been in my dreams for a couple of years, I like the aspect ratio. I just don't know if I can carry it around. Richard, how much does that Chamonix weigh?

Richard K.
18-Mar-2011, 16:33
Richard, how much does that Chamonix weigh?

Very light 7 lbs 12 oz horizontal only camera.

Steve Goldstein
18-Mar-2011, 16:43
Light is relative, I guess. It's less than my Seneca wholeplate, at least...

Matus Kalisky
19-Mar-2011, 15:58
OK, let me answer partially my own question. I am of course aware about Canham, Ritter, Chamonix, Shen Hao and Lotus (not sure whether they make 5x12, I guess it would be on the heavy side). However I have difficulties to find some more detailed information about Chamonix and Canham as they do not have the specs listed. I am sure we do have some users here - so, c'mon guys - make me a bit more envy and share your numbers ;)

Scott Davis
20-Mar-2011, 17:47
I've got a Canham 5x12. Not sure on the exact weight, but it uses the same chassis as the 5x7, so I'd probably put it under 8 lbs. It has 25" of bellows give or take an inch - same as the Canham 5x7. I have mine with a front standard made to take Linhof Technika boards, but you can also get it with a standard to take Canham 4x4 lensboards. I've had mine several years now and I really like it. The big headache with any 5x12 is the availability of 5x12 holders. I now have 8 - three cherry and five walnut. The three cherry holders don't quite match my camera, so they're off to someone to modify them so they fit. They're all AWB holders. Other than Lotus, I'm not sure who else would make them. Alan Brubaker is back in production from what I've heard, but he's not very regular. That's going to be true for any of these sizes though- it's the same half-dozen folks around the world making holders.

Sanjay Sen
21-Mar-2011, 09:22
S&S makes 5x12 holders, among other sizes.

Scott Davis
22-Mar-2011, 09:35
Last time I talked to S&S they were going through a re-org and didn't know when they would resume production. Check with them to see if that situation has been remedied. It was a while ago, so things could have changed and they're up and running.

22-Mar-2011, 10:10
The issue is that our American woodworker is now semi-retired, with some health issues, so we have had to limit custom orders to what he wil/can do. However, some of our holders are made in China and there is no problem with supply.

At this time we have good stock of both 7X11 and 5X12 holders, in cherry wood.


S&S makes 5x12 holders, among other sizes.

Matus Kalisky
22-Mar-2011, 14:05
- Scott -
thanks - good to know that not all holders necessarily fit all cameras. Are these some "cosmetic" differences or is even the "T" distance different on different holders?

- Sandy -
good to know that there are holders directly available.

In general - I know that (at least some) of Richard Ritters' panoramic LF cameras "support natively" vertical orientation in that the whole rear standard is re-mounted. Do any other (in particular) 5x12 cameras allow for that or is swapping the whole camera on side the only option?

Ed Kelsey
22-Mar-2011, 14:16
It really amazes me that someone would want to shoot such an obscure format.

22-Mar-2011, 14:53
It really amazes me that someone would want to shoot such an obscure format.

It's all in the eye of the photographer and how they envision the end result.
I'm sure the same could be said for "common" formats.

Lachlan 717
22-Mar-2011, 15:15
It really amazes me that someone would want to shoot such an obscure format.

In today's world, isn't shooting ALL film formats obscure?

Richard K.
22-Mar-2011, 15:18
It really amazes me that someone would want to shoot such an obscure format.

Are you talking aesthetics or logistics, which of those formats, or both? :)

I've used both and I like both but currently am using just 7x11 and WP but soon to have 10x12...another obscure format...:D

Ed Kelsey
22-Mar-2011, 15:31
Logistics primarily.

Jim Galli
22-Mar-2011, 18:58
Be a stud. Shoot 5X14 (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=38152&highlight=5X14) :D Very light.