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Thread: Landscape 5x7: Chamonix 57N3 or 45H-1 ?

  1. #11

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    Re: Landscape 5x7: Chamonix 57N3 or 45H-1 ?

    Keep in mind…if you go the 5x7 route - that two of the three lenses you’ve mentioned (the 90 and the 150) will have a somewhat restricted image circle for this format. (They would offer generous movements for 4x5, however.)

    Not the end of the world by any means, especially for the landscape work you mention as being a priority…as this, at least when compared to photographing more architectural/geometric subjects, will typically be less demanding of parallel/lateral movements of lens and/or film position - where the image circle itself is moving in direct relation to the actual, measured amount of your shift(s) and rises/falls.

    The exception in your case, assuming that tilts will be more important than shifts, would be in making front axial (on the optical axis) tilts…as doing this will directly move the image circle at the same rate as your tilt - which can quickly jeopardize your film area coverage. However, if you can accompany this axial tilt with a front shift (in the direction of the tilt) you can essentially “follow” the image circle, at least to some degree…to help ensure that you maintain coverage.

    Another ally in using limited (for chosen format) coverage lenses will be rear rotational movements in general (both axial and and base tilts), as these can accomplished, for the most part, while still making full use of whatever image circle might be available. This is because rear rotational movements do not move the image circle as does those of the front. This is due to the simple fact that the front is where the lens is located…rotate the lens, and that circle rotates with it, around its optical axis (thus the possible need for a compensatory, lateral movement to maintain coverage).

    At any rate…just to suggest that if you choose to go to the 5x7 (wonderful format!) route, at least with the lenses you've mentioned with landscape being your priority...that your choice of camera is based as much on its available rear movements as those on the front.

    Just some food for thought!

  2. #12

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    Re: Landscape 5x7: Chamonix 57N3 or 45H-1 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Layton View Post
    Keep in mind…if you go the 5x7 route - that two of the three lenses you’ve mentioned (the 90 and the 150) will have a somewhat restricted image circle for this format. (They would offer generous movements for 4x5, however.)

    Not the end of the world by any means, especially for the landscape work you mention as being a priority…as this, at least when compared to photographing more architectural/geometric subjects, will typically be less demanding of parallel/lateral movements of lens and/or film position - where the image circle itself is moving in direct relation to the actual, measured amount of your shift(s) and rises/falls.

    The exception in your case, assuming that tilts will be more important than shifts, would be in making front axial (on the optical axis) tilts…as doing this will directly move the image circle at the same rate as your tilt - which can quickly jeopardize your film area coverage. However, if you can accompany this axial tilt with a front shift (in the direction of the tilt) you can essentially “follow” the image circle, at least to some degree…to help ensure that you maintain coverage.

    Another ally in using limited (for chosen format) coverage lenses will be rear rotational movements in general (both axial and and base tilts), as these can accomplished, for the most part, while still making full use of whatever image circle might be available. This is because rear rotational movements do not move the image circle as does those of the front. This is due to the simple fact that the front is where the lens is located…rotate the lens, and that circle rotates with it, around its optical axis (thus the possible need for a compensatory, lateral movement to maintain coverage).

    At any rate…just to suggest that if you choose to go to the 5x7 (wonderful format!) route, at least with the lenses you've mentioned with landscape being your priority...that your choice of camera is based as much on its available rear movements as those on the front.

    Just some food for thought!

    Dear John and of course all others,

    many thanks for all the good suggestions and recommendations, highly appreciated.

    Indeed I want to stick to available lenses for some time, but might later on especially add another 150mm lens which allows more movements, e.g. the "W" version of of the Apo-Sironar. It is a good point that back movements could be of importance because of my current lens availibility. This would exclude the Walker 57 XL system, which otherwise looks very promising to me (stability, price!, overall look, coming from Europe as I do) and was already quite high on my list. Alternative will be the nice Canham 57, which is to my understanding currently at $3299 ($4.000 with import taxes, nearly double the costs of the Walker). Have to think about this...

    Best,
    Tom

  3. #13

    Re: Landscape 5x7: Chamonix 57N3 or 45H-1 ?

    Of course if you go with the Walker you could translate your 90/4.5 into an 110/5.6 SSXL and actually **make** money.

    At any rate, if you're new to the 5x7 format I think it's possible that going from the relatively stubby 1:1.25 aspect ratio to the longer 1:1.4 might complicate your lens choices, especially in their "spacing." I definitely wouldn't get locked into your old kit, especially with the IC issues.

  4. #14

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    Re: Landscape 5x7: Chamonix 57N3 or 45H-1 ?

    Long time owner/user of the 110mm SSXL and have used many of the last version offerings of APO plasmats.. They are higher contrast, but NOT higher resolution. f22 is a wonderful lens performance equalizer.

    There is a distinct difference here. Beyond that IMO, they are simply not worth the extra cost.

    First few years and few hundred sheets of 4x5 & 5x7 film using the 110mm SSXL was fun and exciting, very snappy film images.. With the passage of time that initial perk wore off. Now the 110mm SSXL sits after being replaced by a 115mm f6.8 Grandagon which was the WA it replaced. The Grandagon is lower contrast and in ways produces a more pleasant overall image.

    Have the 150mm SSXL too, excellent lens.. use the 165mm Angulon in barrel more on 5x7 than the 150mm SSXL. Ponder why?

    Point being, newest is not always better and it really does come down to preferences. That said, the snappiest ~Best~ performance optic will NEVER alone produce the best images. There are SO many other factors involved that results in a expressive image.

    Lighting, composition, and all those other factors other than simple lens sharpness or contrast are more often than not far lower on the list of importance that makes an outstanding expressive image.


    Save your $, figure out what image goals are and how to achieve them with what tools are needed. IMO, the obsession over the latest and greater is never going to result in expressive image excellence.


    Bernice



    Quote Originally Posted by tom43 View Post
    Dear John and of course all others,

    many thanks for all the good suggestions and recommendations, highly appreciated.

    Indeed I want to stick to available lenses for some time, but might later on especially add another 150mm lens which allows more movements, e.g. the "W" version of of the Apo-Sironar. It is a good point that back movements could be of importance because of my current lens availibility. This would exclude the Walker 57 XL system, which otherwise looks very promising to me (stability, price!, overall look, coming from Europe as I do) and was already quite high on my list. Alternative will be the nice Canham 57, which is to my understanding currently at $3299 ($4.000 with import taxes, nearly double the costs of the Walker). Have to think about this...

    Best,
    Tom

  5. #15

    Re: Landscape 5x7: Chamonix 57N3 or 45H-1 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    IMO, the obsession over the latest and greater is never going to result in expressive image excellence.
    Ha, I'm afraid my own lens bag is sadly bereft of wunderwaffen--the two lenses I use most for 5x7 are the Fuji 180/9 A and 240/9 G-claron, which should tell you where I'm coming from. The 115 Grandagon would certainly be on the list if I ever started to shoot that wide (or felt the need to have something along to chuck at a bear.)

  6. #16

    Re: Landscape 5x7: Chamonix 57N3 or 45H-1 ?

    My 5x7 lens kit makes a very good 4x5 kit and transitions perfectly to 8x10. 120/8 Super Angulon which has a mountain of coverage, then all Caltar 180/5.6, 240/5.6, and 300/5.6. The performance of all these is absolutely stunning.

  7. #17

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    Re: Landscape 5x7: Chamonix 57N3 or 45H-1 ?

    Have you considered just making the jump to 8x10? Every step costs money.... unless it’s very clear to you that you won’t go there....

  8. #18

    Re: Landscape 5x7: Chamonix 57N3 or 45H-1 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi7475 View Post
    Have you considered just making the jump to 8x10?.
    That's the fork in the path I reached once I decided on contact printing as my primary output, especially since a splitter gives you two 5x8/4x10's per sheet either to contact print or scan. (I also love how the 8x10 lends itself as a "primal cut" for other aspect ratios (8x8, 6x10, WP) that look good on 8 1/2 x 11 paper.)

    The catch of course is that no 8x10 is going to be as compact as the 57N3, which might be a determining factor depending on how long you plan to be out, or high you go up the hill.

  9. #19

    Re: Landscape 5x7: Chamonix 57N3 or 45H-1 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by sperdynamite View Post
    My 5x7 lens kit makes a very good 4x5 kit and transitions perfectly to 8x10... then all Caltar 180/5.6
    That's very interesting about the 180/5.6--love the focal length, but had just about ruled it out for 8x10 based on published IC's. Do you think it's a case of G-claron syndrome, where stopped-down performance is (literally) off the charts?

  10. #20
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    Re: Landscape 5x7: Chamonix 57N3 or 45H-1 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by tom43 View Post
    I want to take the next step upwards coming from an Intrepid 4x5 Mark II: My goal is to combine a more precise instrument with the option for higher image quality with existing lenses (Grandagon-N 90 4.5, Apo-Sironar S 150, Apo-Sironar S 210). I‘m 99% doing landscape photography and shoot 80% in landscape orientation. The new camera should combine stability and precision with acceptable weight for hiking trips.

    Going through the portfolios of the known companies especially the Chamonix 57N3 (together with an additional 4x5 back) seems to fulfill most of the criteria. Another option could be the 45H-1 with an optional 5x7 back. Both configurations should allow 5x7 landscape and 4x5 landscape&portrait orientation. Any opinions on pros and cons for both options? Any other models I missed? Many thanks in advance.
    Many good points here already made. And after reading, re-reading your OP, my observation is why move to 5x7 from 4x5?
    This is a little "out of my box" as I am a devoted 5x7 user. But my reason for 5x7 is based entirely on its use for contact printing. I love both the size and the aspect ratio of the 5x7 image. But for enlarging I feel there is little to be said for "upgrading" to 5x7 from 4x5. An excellent 4x5 negative is going to give you an excellent image as many capable and well-know photographers have shown. Look at Alan Ross' work. Or John Sexton's.
    Consider your overall process.

    You already have a 4x5 camera. Exchanging it for a 5x7 is going to complicate that process. Beyond the camera itself are the lenses as already discussed. Your 210mm, excellent portrait length for 4x5 becomes a "normal" focal length for 5x7. You can see where this is going...

    Consider the cost also of acquiring film holders for 5x7 at approximately US$50 apiece for clean used ones unless you find a "deal".
    Film is more expensive and with fewer available emulsions.
    Your overall kit weight will be substantially more than that of the 4x5 kit regardless of the camera weight alone. And you did mention hiking, so that seems like it would be a consideration.

    So, as you can see, you're buying into a whole game change. And if your goal is to make high quality enlargements, I personally fail to see any advantage in changing to 5x7.
    If you want to make 5x7 prints, then that's another thing.

    For your goal stated, you may well do better by buying a lightweight 4x5 field camera from one of the aforementioned suppliers and benefit from its light weight and superior precision. That way your lenses retain their function, your film holders don't need to be replaced and your overall kit weight remains about the same, or possibly a bit less.
    That's my take and 2-cents worth - with change!

    Having said all that, I do want to add that Keith Canham's wood 4x5 becomes a 5x7 with only the simple change of adding a 5x7 back.
    At one time I had a Canham wood 5x7 camera and will forever kick myself for selling it. While the camera controls are a bit different from other, more conventional cameras, it is really merely a matter of "muscle memory". The camera itself was a delight to use. I found it quick to set up and to adjust for framing and focusing. Compare its weight with your other candidates and give it due consideration. Keith makes great cameras and is a totally top-shelf individual to work with.

    I wish you luck in your search. Whatever path you choose, you will learn by doing. And it's a great education!

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