View Full Version : What do you think of Canham JMC 810

20-Sep-2003, 06:11
All is in the answer. Thanks

Ernest Purdum
20-Sep-2003, 08:01
The $900 saving over the "Traditional" is nice. The extension range is good and his construction has resulted in very reasonable weight for the extension available. As a field camera, I would have to think a lot about how to protect it during transport. The very limited swing and shift movements would be a handicap in architectural or product work but of no consequence for landscapes.

Kevin Crisp
20-Sep-2003, 13:33
Ernest: Cameras I've used in the past (just to give this some context) are the Zone VI 4X5 and 8X10, the Ansco 8X10, Seneca 5X7, a Rajah 8X10, the Deardorff special, the B&J 8X10 and 5X7, the Canham MQC, Speed and Crown Graphics and the Tachihara 4X5 and Ikeda 5X7. I've been using the 8X10 Canham since it first came out, and I have very few complaints about it. The weight is nice, you can move up to an 8X10 without experiencing a quantum leap in size and weight and inconvenience. It sets up reasonably quickly once you learn how to do it. The camera at first seemed to drag a bit when focused and the effort on the relatively small knob seemed excessive. I returned it and it was immediately remedied. The camera is rigid and Keith C has clearly gotten the message on the "inadequate detent" and "not enough levels" issues since the detents are very pronounced and there are levels all over the camera. The camera, like my 5X7 from Canham, is very well made. I haven't missed the lack of back shift (a movement I don't remember ever using) and I can live with the trade off of weight and rigidity for no rear swing. It has back tilt and front swing, of course, and the adjustments it does have are quite generous, including a ton of front rise which I do use and need. My initial and probably my only real complaint of substance about it is the size and position of the left side knobs. In very close proximity you have a lock knob for sliding the rear track, the focusing knob, and the focus lock knob. For reasons I don't comprehend, the focus adjust knob is in front of the focus lock knob, so you are reaching around the lock to get to the small focus knob. With certain focal length lenses, there are three knobs all in very close proximity to each other when you are focusing. It took me some time to realize the the focus and the rear track will lock down VERY tightly with just the slightest tension on their knobs. Once that dawned on me, the difficulty of getting my big hands to work with those three knobs became much less of an issue. It also took me some time to realize that by eyeballing the ground glass while sliding the front or rear standard out for set up, I could get the camera very close to being basically in focus, requiring only slight use of the small focus knob. I firmly believe there is no perfect camera since we all look for and want different things, and by mentioning the situation with the knobs I don't mean to get the impression that this is a huge issue, since it isn't. You can take it as something just slightly annoying about a product I am very happy with. Once Keith made a minor adjustment to the drag on the focus it became an even smaller "con" to the design. The bellows is very nice, like the one on the MQC, by the way, and the price point for this camera is very competitive. It takes the big 6" Sinar/Horseman lens boards, which certainly add to bulk when you're trying to carry it around, so I had the late, great Mr. Grimes make me an adapter which allows me to use the smaller Canham boards on this camera. I've tried a number of cameras in 5X7, and when I got the Canham MQC I stopped looking and felt like this was the camera I would settle on in that format, period. I think the JMC will similarly be something which will be quite satisfactory for a long, long time.

Andre Noble
21-Sep-2003, 05:16
Does the software on this new forum alow for paragraph breaks? It's murder on the eyes to read last post because paragraph breaks are absent. Somebody Please Help! :>)

Bjorn Nilsson
21-Sep-2003, 05:35
About the paragraph breaks, yes, it allows for them. You have to post the message as HTML, which you choose below the message body text box. Then it's a matter of typing in

or for the breaks. All of it should be explained in the "HTML Quick Reference" which is just below the HTML choice.

21-Sep-2003, 05:55
And what is it for the portrait?

Ernest Purdum
23-Sep-2003, 07:10
Roger, the #1 requirement for portrait use is adequate bellows extension. The 34" (863mm) extension of the Canham meets this need. A large and well-supported lensboard is desirable, since many lenses used in portrait work are large and front-heavy. Here again, the Canham lensboard is large enough and the support looks adequate. Other factors are mostly matters of convenience, and here monorails have advantages over field cameras if they are not to be carried around.

A big question is whether or not the 8" X 10" format is desirable for portrait work. You would probably get widely differing opinions on this one. I would get a reducing back for this purpose. Not only would the expenses be greatly reduced, you would also have a good selection of new lenses - no longer the case with 8" X 10".