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Thread: Advice on 4x5 compatible 5x7 field camera

  1. #1

    Advice on 4x5 compatible 5x7 field camera

    Hi folks, just joined the forum today as recently I've been super interested in large format photomaking. Ive started absorbing the literature online, and wanted to poll this forum for some recommendations for a 5x7 camera that can occasionally, but still effectively, be used with 4x5 sheet film, and one that takes readily available lens boards and film holders.

    I believe the Wista DX 45 iii has an adapting back for 5x7 image making, are there any others I should look into?
    Please keep in mind that I'm trying very hard to stave off the Linhoff Master Technika lust (I'm not even sure if their 5x7 cameras can use modern lens boards)

    I'm so very excited to get started on the LF journey, and am very grateful for any help!

  2. #2
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on 4x5 compatible 5x7 field camera

    If an older wood field camera would suit your purposes, the Deardorf Special would be a great tool. It does not need the extended back the Wista DX 45 iii needs for 5x7. I used a Rajah...a Indian knock off of the Deardorf...for 5x7 for several years.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  3. #3

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    Re: Advice on 4x5 compatible 5x7 field camera

    Go for a 5x7 with the additional 4x5 back rather than a 4x5 with the add on 5x7 extender/adapter back.
    Deardorff is excellent and available. In newer bodies look at Canham. Keith Canham makes very good cameras and if you have questions you often get to talk with the maker.

    Most any 5x7 will take a 4x5 back - if the back is removable. From Tachihara to Sinar - the field is pretty much wide open.
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  4. #4
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on 4x5 compatible 5x7 field camera

    Years back, I had a Burk and James 5x7 that I regularly shot 4x5 with a reducing back. It is a rugged wood field camera, not too expensive and has all the movements you will want.. Lens boards are often available on line as are reducing backs. Both ca be made in an at home garage work shop if you lean towards DIY.

    Painted grey, the B&J cameras don't look elegant, but I refinished mine in its natural wood and it did look nice.

    The same is true for Kodak2Ds in 5x7. These cameras lack front swing and tilt, but are finished in a nice dark natural wood. I have one in 8x10 and like it.
    Drew Bedo
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    Re: Advice on 4x5 compatible 5x7 field camera

    Quote Originally Posted by RoboRepublic View Post
    Hi folks, just joined the forum today as recently I've been super interested in large format photomaking. Ive started absorbing the literature online, and wanted to poll this forum for some recommendations for a 5x7 camera that can occasionally, but still effectively, be used with 4x5 sheet film, and one that takes readily available lens boards and film holders.

    I believe the Wista DX 45 iii has an adapting back for 5x7 image making, are there any others I should look into?
    Please keep in mind that I'm trying very hard to stave off the Linhoff Master Technika lust (I'm not even sure if their 5x7 cameras can use modern lens boards)

    I'm so very excited to get started on the LF journey, and am very grateful for any help!
    Hi

    And welcome to the Forum

    I've always understood that the extra 5 x 7 back is pretty hard to find

    Good luck and regards

    Andrew

  6. #6

    Re: Advice on 4x5 compatible 5x7 field camera

    Like you have been hearing, I also think that it is better to have a 5x7 and use a 4x5 back on it when needed. That being said, I got tired of carrying the heavier camera around and ended up getting a good lighter weight 4x5 and haven’t used the 4x5 back on my 5x7 for years. Anyway, welcome to large format photography......it’s a blast.

  7. #7

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    Re: Advice on 4x5 compatible 5x7 field camera

    Putting a 4x5 adapter on the back of a 5x7 may impact your use of super wide angle lenses (the focal plane is moved back). Some 5x7 cameras basically replace the 5x7 back with a 4x5 back and have minimal impact on super wide lenses.

    5x7 cameras often have a longer bellows enabling you to use longer lenses.

    I like the Canham MQC 5x7 because the bellows are especially flexible allowing a wide range of lenses with movements. I've had good luck with it down to a Super Angulon XL 72mm with a 4x5 adapter.

    A 5x7 camera will also allow you to use panoramic roll fill holders such as the Canham 6x17.

    Good luck,
    Jeff

  8. #8
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on 4x5 compatible 5x7 field camera

    I agree with Drew Bedo in post #4. My most often used view camera for many years was a B&J tailboard 5x7 with the original back and an improvised 4x5 back. You'll need a recessed lens board to use a 90mm wide angle. and even then front rise will be limited.

  9. #9
    Foamer
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    Re: Advice on 4x5 compatible 5x7 field camera

    My 5x7 Gundlach Korona also has a 4x5 back. It's a beautiful camera.


    Kent in SD
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    miserere nobis.

  10. #10
    Jim Sidinger
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    Re: Advice on 4x5 compatible 5x7 field camera

    Take a look at the Chamonix 45H-1. While it has some limitations, it can be a 4x5; a 5x7;a 4x10; or a 6x17.

    It is well made and light for its capabilities. Also fairly affordable.

    +1 on the welcome, Jim

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