Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Canham DLC45

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Location
    Seattle, Washington
    Posts
    67

    Canham DLC45

    Hi,

    I've read the online and printed reviews, but I'd like to hear from others. Wha t are peoples opinions of the Canham DLC45? Likes and Dislikes?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 1998
    Posts
    1,973

    Canham DLC45

    I have been using my DLC (w/ a Technika adapter) for just over a week with lens ranging from 65mm to 300mm. I am pretty happy with it. Very bright viewing scree n; the controls are easy to use. almost intuitive even from beneath the dark clo th (actually I am using the Darkroom Innovations viewing "bag") i have noticed t wo things I might change or add; A.) nuts on the end of the base tilt screws on the front and rear standards. so they can't work themselves off when the camera is folded up and transported, mi ne haven't i just fear it might happen someday. B.) my groundglass frame sometimes doesn't seat flat in the lower left hand qua rter but hangs up on the edge of the graflock frame. (this is easier to see than to explain.) It only happens after I use a thick holder like the Fuji Quickload . THIS HAS NO BEARING ON MAKING PICTURES. I just catch it doing it sometimes. My previous large format experience has been with monorail cameras like the Arca Swiss F-Line, which replaced a Sinar C, which succeeded a Sinar P. Between the sinar and the Arca I frequently rented a Horseman monorail, which I never trusted. If you are looking at the DLC the only thing to really compare it to is the Toyo VX125 and the Linhof Technikarden. The DLC is much simpler than the Linhof and I suspect more stable at long extentions and basically more versatile out of the box (no need for a w/a bellows). I like it a lot but I am still getting use to it. It is a very tight camera when tightened down. one last notes that I haven't seen mentioned elsewhere: The Shift and Swing cont rols on both the front & rear are not only independent of each other but also lo ckout the other. In other words you can't shift and swing at the same time. You shift and then swing, or vice versa. To quote Martha Stewart: "It's a good thing ." Finally, using as much rise as my 65mm f/4.5 Grandagon will allow puts no strain on the bellows.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 1998
    Posts
    1,973

    Canham DLC45

    Hi Robert, I am here to amend my original answer to your question about the Canham DLC. It is possible to have the the shift and swing movements both loose at the same tim e. Possible but not neccessary (as with the Sinar F (although i think Sinar fixe d this with the F2 camera. The one one thing that has taken some getting used to is setting up the camera a t chest height so that I can see the levels rather than at head height where I c annot. IMHO even at US$2150 I think it's only real competitition is the Linhof T echnikarden which cost about at least US$1000 more. I really like the simplicity of the design.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 1998
    Posts
    1,973

    Canham DLC45

    After a month with the DLC I am glad I made the leap. I can't say that it has ma de a better photographer out of me but it has made me a more active LF photograp her. Part of this activity may be attributable to the newness of the camera, and part might be attributable to my wanting to justify the cost of the camera; but I think a larger part is due to the portability of the camera. It is no longer a job lugging a LF camera around. I am still testing the range of the cameras m ovements. Yesterday, on the spur of the moment i made some shots of a local mus eums exterior for my stock files. To get the photo composed the way I thought it should appear, I ended up swinging both standards in parallel to somewhat correct for the natur ally occuring distortion (the dreaded prow effect), as well as also shifting the lens standard to the upper left quite a bit for compositional purposes. This wa s with a 90mm f/4.5 Grandagon, and I noticed no binding from the bellows. The ca mera was as solid as a rock. The one complaint I do have is that I would like to see an improved graflock mechanism.

  5. #5

    Canham DLC45

    I've been unable to find a source of information about the Canham DLC. Can anyon e point me to the manufacturer, dealer, or other source?

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Location
    Seattle, Washington
    Posts
    67

    Canham DLC45

    I took the plunge and bought one for myself. It's really nice and the controls are intuitive.

    To get more information on the Canham, call KB Canham directly at: (602) 964-862 4.

    On recommendation from others, it's worth getting the frensel lens and glass pro tector when you buy the camera. It's really well built and fairly light for tra velling...

  7. #7

    Canham DLC45

    robert: I had one of the first dlc's and don't have it any longer. a couple of things that I found worked against me. Using a loop on the glass and tilting, front or rear, was tough. The rear standard was not rigid enough for my hand. Seemed that the rear was sensitive to the touch of the loop, causing a focus shift when I removed the loop. Also, it is real hard to keep the dust off! A real problem. Seemed allmost mag natized. On the plus side, handled my 75mm-450mm lens w/ ease. As mentioned, level bubbles were impossible to use. art

  8. #8

    Canham DLC45

    I have owned and shot with Canham QVC57/45 (Metal 5x7, same design as DLC45, but bigger, with 4x5 reducing back), and here are my findings:

    1) Keith Canham is a true gentleman and a great person to deal with -- I called him three times on the phone regarding different aspects of the camera, and he extensively talked to me each time;

    2) The camera is very quick to set-up (but see below) on a tripod, and quite convenient to operate (but see below). Also very light, and has tremendous movements;

    3) The lack of good zero detents on front and real tilts, and lack of useful levels on the camera, made the line-up of the camera to have its base parallel to the plane of the ground, and to have the front and rear standards perpendicular to that plane _extremely_ difficult and painstaking operation (to me), and I had to use a carpenter's level to do it. Call me picky, but this fact drove me absolutely nuts. I ended up returning the camera, and switching to Arca Swiss. Since I still did not receive the Arca, I can't comment on it.

    4) The front and rear standard were not exactly aligned, but were rotated with respect to each other around the axis passing through their centers by several degrees. I found this very annoying, though it might not effect the picture. I saw another comment by someone else to the same extent, so this might be a design flaw.

    5) The controls ranged from very convenient, to quite inconvenient. The tilts and shifts and swings were OK, but the movement of the standards on the rails were not convenient, and became a pain when using wide lenses, since it would be very difficult to reach in and move the locking lever when the standards were close to each other. Sometimes it was impossible, so the camera had to be moved out of focus, just to unlock one of the levers. I have not used any other field camera, so I can't comment here, but this design seemed to work well for me only with lenses longer than 150mm.

    6) The back of the bellows would fall out almost every time I would rotate the back (from horizontal to vertical and visa-versa). This was more annoying than dangerous, but still...

    7) Overall, I think this camera will appeal to people who prefer kitchen knife to a Swiss Army knife, and a shot gun to a sniper rifle. Also, it most likely will work best for someone who has enough experience to know why their shots are unsharp (was it wind, was it tripod shake, was it the loupe, was I tired, or was it the bloody non-lined-up standards on the Canham DLC?), i.e, to an experienced photographer, rather than to an amature like me. To me, it was important to eliminate as many variables as I could, and camera precision is one I am fortunate to have control over.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 1999
    Posts
    94

    Canham DLC45

    Sergey, is there a reason why you didn't want to stick your own bubble levels on the front and rear standards to help get them level?

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Mar 1998
    Posts
    1,973

    Canham DLC45

    Sergey, I have owned and shot with Canham QVC57/45 (Metal 5x7, same design as DLC45, but bigger, with 4x5 reducing back), and here are my findings:

    1) Keith Canham is a true gentleman and a great person to deal with -- I called him three times on the phone regarding different aspects of the camera, and he e xtensively talked to me each time;


    Yes this is one of the nicer aspects of buying a camera from Canham, you get co- operation instead of attitude. One of the first things that Keith will admit is the DLC and MQC cameras are not for everyone. (By the way if "QVC" is your idea of being a smartass insult, then you might want to think twice, the camera is na med one of Keith's sons.)



    2) The camera is very quick to set-up (but see below) on a tripod, and quite convenient to operate (but see below). Also very light, and has tremendous movem ents;

    Yep.

    3) The lack of good zero detents on front and real tilts, and lack of useful levels on the camera, made the line-up of the camera to have its base parallel t o the plane of the ground, and to have the front and rear standards perpendicula r to that plane _extremely_ difficult and painstaking operation (to me), and I h ad to use a carpenter's level to do it. Call me picky, but this fact drove me ab solutely nuts. I ended up returning the camera, and switching to Arca Swiss. Sin ce I still did not receive the Arca, I can't comment on it.

    See my comme nts above about the camera not being for everyone. I also use the Arca Swiss F-l ine, so I know about precision. I don't like the recessed bullseye levels on the DLC camera either. But I don't have near the problems you had with yours. Maybe it is because I have never felt the need to level the base of the camera. With my camera set up and the standards locked at the detents, If I level the rear st andard I have not, in the past year of heavy use, had any problems with the fron t standard being out of parallel with the rear standard. I use both small two-wa y bubble levels and a device that indicates the degree of tilt from the vertical .



    4) The front and rear standard were not exactly aligned, but were rotated wit h respect to each other around the axis passing through their centers by several degrees. I found this very annoying, though it might not effect the picture. I saw another comment by someone else to the same extent, so this might be a desig n flaw.

    I am confused by this remark. My technique to check side to side alignment with the DLC is to loosen the standard's swing lock and pinch the car riage and bottom of the standard frame between my thumb and forefinger and pull my fingers lightly along the intersection of where they meet and then lock the m echanism. I repeat for the other standard. This takes maybe 8 seconds total. As long as you have locked the rails to the base, you are are in alignment. At leas t this is what works for me.



    5) The controls ranged from very convenient, to quite inconvenient. The tilts and shifts and swings were OK, but the movement of the standards on the rails w ere not convenient, and became a pain when using wide lenses, since it would be very difficult to reach in and move the locking lever when the standards were cl ose to each other. Sometimes it was impossible, so the camera had to be moved ou t of focus, just to unlock one of the levers. I have not used any other field ca mera, so I can't comment here, but this design seemed to work well for me only w ith lenses longer than 150mm.

    If I am going to work with a normal or shor t focal length lens (shorter than 210mm), when setting up the camera I rack the rear rail back and move the rear standard half way up the rail (or more if the l ens is shorter than 90mm), tighten, and rack the rail back to the normal positio n. Now mind you most of what I shoot with this camera is architecture, portraits , and landscapes so I am naturally (or maybe through stylistic choice...) not us ing a lot of complicated movements. I conceed that occasionally the need to do w hat you found confounding has arisen, but not so often as to frustate me.



    6) The back of the bellows would fall out almost every time I would rotate th e back (from horizontal to vertical and visa-versa). This was more annoying than dangerous, but still...

    Yes this is annoying, especially if the camera is pointing even slightly upwards . My guess is that in the effort to save weight Keith didn't feel there was a ne ed to add bellows locks.

    7) Overall, I think this camera will appeal to people who prefer kitchen knif e to a Swiss Army knife, and a shot gun to a sniper rifle. Also, it most likely will work best for someone who has enough experience to know why their shots are unsharp (was it wind, was it tripod shake, was it the loupe, was I tired, or wa s it the bloody non-lined-up standards on the Canham DLC?), i.e, to an experienc ed photographer, rather than to an amature like me. To me, it was important to e liminate as many variables as I could, and camera precision is one I am fortunat e to have control over.

    To carry your tool/weapon analogy forward, I think a DLC cameras is more like a jackknife or an AK-47 or an M1. Which ever butch metaphor you like, the real ans wer is that a tool is only as good as it's user, and as in all things, practice makes closer to perfect. I think yours are very thoughtful criticisms and I'll forward them on to Keith i f you don't mind. I don't advise that newcomers to 4x5 get a DLC or an MQC., but I wouldn't recommend a Linhof Technikardan camera either; I would recommend eit her the ArcaSwiss Discovery, The Arca F-Line, or the Sinar F2. The metal Canham cameras are in my estimation the most versatile of the folding field cameras wit h capabilities far beyond the simplified press camera designs without the necess ary underlying mechanical complexities of the Linhof TK cameras or the Arca F ca meras (and of these two very fine cameras I am more inclined to use the Arca as a true field camera) If I had any sway with Canham cameras there certainly are t hings I would change but these are more in the nature of modifications, rather t han wholescale changes.

Similar Threads

  1. Lensboard adapter Canham DLC45 to 8x10 Wehman
    By Juergen Sattler in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 5-May-2005, 07:13
  2. Adjusting tilt on a Canham DLC45
    By David Mark in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-Mar-2005, 07:21
  3. Reason of a threaded hole in the Canham DLC45 ?
    By jose angel in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 20-Jun-1999, 23:45
  4. Seeking advice on 47mm lens w/ Canham DLC45
    By Larry Huppert in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-Mar-1999, 00:27
  5. Advice for Horseman HD vs Canham DLC45 in the field
    By Harry Wan in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 7-Sep-1998, 09:57

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •