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Thread: Combining 4x5 and 6x17 in one camera, wide angle is important

  1. #1

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    Combining 4x5 and 6x17 in one camera, wide angle is important

    I know I posted a similar question a few months back but I want to ask this question again in an other way. There were a lot of suggestions, that a 6x17 back is not as good as a dedicated 6x17 camera, because it canīt be handheld and there were also other reasons. Others told me to not take both cameras with me...But I use my setup not handheld, because with the 75mm on 6x17 I have to stop down to 22 to get sharpness on the edges and I want to have both possibiities in the field!

    So far I was quite happy with a Tachihara 4x5, 75mm Lens, 150mm Lens, 210mm Lens, and a FOTOMAN 6x17 camera with 75mm Lens. Both are absolutely beautiful cameras and Iīm very pleased with the results, at least after sorting out a good 75mm Lens for the Fotoman amongst a whole bunch of lenses.

    BUT!

    With all this stuff and the accessories I have to carry a lot of weight! AND I have 2 75mm lenses with me. AND if I want an other focal length for 6x17 I have to pay a lot of money for ANOTHER xtra lens and the matching lens cone.
    So I thought by myself, why donīt you combine 4x5 and 6x17? Are you stupid? there are these chinese 6x17 backs out there. You will save a lot of weight, AND money, AND you could use every lens you want on 6x17. Isnīt this a great idea and arenīt you a very smart guy?

    BUT!

    The Tachihara hasnīt got an international back. AND can you still use 75mm or at least 80mm (Super-Symmar XL) because of the 6x17 back that sets the focal plane back?

    And this is the most important point for me. I love these wide lenses with 6x17. I want it shorter than 90mm. So here are my questions:

    - Wich is the best 4x5 leightweight field camera that has an international back and has the possibility of a very short focal-flange-distance (or can use 75mm with a 6x17 back)? I read somwhere that Chamonix is possible, what would also suit my Linhof lensboards (and I already own a recessed one).
    - Wich 6x17 back to use?
    - If I solve the problem of the ffd, is it possible to reach the same quality like I have with the Fotoman? I think this will be a function of exact alignment of the standards. Is it possible to find an exact alignment by tryal and error and then marking the exact adjustment points on the camera?
    - I could also imagine to trade off both of my 75mm lenses for an 80mm Super-Symmar because of the bigger image circle and as a compromise for both systems.

    So many ideas!

    Iīm very interested in every suggestion you have!

    Best regards, Sebastian

  2. #2

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    Re: Combining 4x5 and 6x17 in one camera, wide angle is important

    If I was shooting 4x5in and 6x17cm often then I'd buy a Canham 5x7 wood field plus the matching 4x5 reducing back and the Canham 6x17 motorized roll film back. The 5x7 back is Graflok style which the 6x17cm roll film back attaches to. The 4x5 back is also Graflok style so you can use Graflok compatible accessories. If you decide to shoot 4x10in later then you can buy a conversion kit. It's a beautiful system. I much prefer Canham's traditional wood cameras vs. his metal ones.

    CAMERA

    MOTORIZED FILM HOLDER

    The lenses I would choose if money was no concern are...

    47 SAXL
    72 SAXL
    110 SSXL
    150 Apo Sym L
    210 Apo Sym L
    300 Fuji-C
    450 Fuji-C

  3. #3

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    Re: Combining 4x5 and 6x17 in one camera, wide angle is important

    Quote Originally Posted by Old-N-Feeble View Post
    If I was shooting 4x5in and 6x17cm often then I'd buy a Canham 5x7 wood field plus the matching 4x5 reducing back and the Canham 6x17 motorized roll film back. The 5x7 back is Graflok style which the 6x17cm roll film back attaches to. The 4x5 back is also Graflok style so you can use Graflok compatible accessories. If you decide to shoot 4x10in later then you can buy a conversion kit. It's a beautiful system. I much prefer Canham's traditional wood cameras vs. his metal ones.

    CAMERA

    MOTORIZED FILM HOLDER
    Almost. The 5x7 wood field (traditional) camera does not have a Graflok style back, only the Canham all-metal 5x7 MQC does. You can still use the Canham roll film back on the wood field camera by keeping the groundglass protector on and just sliding the roll film back between the ground glass and the camera back. On the Canham MQC, you can either remove the gg back and use the Graflok-style latches, or keep the back and gg protector on and just slide the roll film back in there. I have both cameras and the roll film back, and it is generally easier to just keep the gg protector on and slide the roll film back in there, rather than removing the gg back and using the Graflok-style latches on the MQC.

  4. #4

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    Re: Combining 4x5 and 6x17 in one camera, wide angle is important

    WOW, thank you four These answers! But unfortunately These cameras are way too expensive even if I sell my existing gear for a very good price. What would be the advantage of an 5x7 camera over 4x5? That it can take longer lenses with 6x17?

  5. #5

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    Re: Combining 4x5 and 6x17 in one camera, wide angle is important

    Quote Originally Posted by sdzsdz View Post
    WOW, thank you four These answers! But unfortunately These cameras are way too expensive even if I sell my existing gear for a very good price. What would be the advantage of an 5x7 camera over 4x5? That it can take longer lenses with 6x17?
    Well, first off, the Canham 6x17 roll film back will not fit on a 4x5 camera. But with just one camera - the Canham 5x7 traditional with the additional 4x5 reducing back, I can shoot 5x7 or 4x5 sheets and 6x17 images (on 120 film). Just one camera needed, not 2 or 3. The bellows on a 5x7 will generally give you a lot longer focal length options than many 4x5 cameras too.

  6. #6
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Re: Combining 4x5 and 6x17 in one camera, wide angle is important

    How much 6x17 do you actually shoot in comparison to 4x5? If you want both without the cumbersome 617 extension back or the costly motorized back, then just shoot 5x7" with a half-darkslide mask (or without and crop after the fact) and use a reduction back for 4x5". Some 4x5" cameras, like the Deardorff 4x5" Special, are really 5x7" cameras with reduction backs anyway. Alternately, you could just shoot 5x7" for everything and crop or use the half-darkslide mask when you want the panoramic aspect ratio.

  7. #7

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    Re: Combining 4x5 and 6x17 in one camera, wide angle is important

    thank you for this Suggestion. But I'm absolutely a slide Film shooter, so 5x7 with cropping is NO alternative. By the way its about 60% 4x5 and 40% 6x17.

    180mm is absolutely enough for 6x17 and 300mm for 4x5. I'm defently a wide angle guy so this is the Main interest. This has to work!

    So wy is a rollfilm back so cumbersome? At the moment I.have to remove the whole 4x5 camera from the tripod to mount the 6x17 camera and other way round. What could be more cumbersome?

  8. #8
    IanG's Avatar
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    Re: Combining 4x5 and 6x17 in one camera, wide angle is important

    The only downside is 7x5 field cameras and DDS (film holders) are harder to find in Europe as it wasn't a size available until recently, the UK used Half plate and Continental Europe 13x18.

    Factor in import costs for a US camera it adds nearly 35% to the cost of a camera and shipping - which isn't that cheap either.

    David was talking about the 5x4 extension backs for 6x17 - they are cumbersome,

    Ian

  9. #9
    Angus Parker angusparker's Avatar
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    Re: Combining 4x5 and 6x17 in one camera, wide angle is important


  10. #10

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    Re: Combining 4x5 and 6x17 in one camera, wide angle is important

    Quote Originally Posted by djdister View Post
    Almost. The 5x7 wood field (traditional) camera does not have a Graflok style back, only the Canham all-metal 5x7 MQC does. You can still use the Canham roll film back on the wood field camera by keeping the groundglass protector on and just sliding the roll film back between the ground glass and the camera back. On the Canham MQC, you can either remove the gg back and use the Graflok-style latches, or keep the back and gg protector on and just slide the roll film back in there. I have both cameras and the roll film back, and it is generally easier to just keep the gg protector on and slide the roll film back in there, rather than removing the gg back and using the Graflok-style latches on the MQC.
    Oh, that's right. My darned brain...

    Even so, it's a good option. FWIW, I prefer Canham's wood field cameras vs. the metal varieties. The latter seem a little more finicky to me.

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