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Thread: 5x7 Canham - More Questions

  1. #1
    alec4444's Avatar
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    5x7 Canham - More Questions

    I did my homework, I read some prior posts first, like this one. But I still have a few questions about the metal vs the wood offerings from Canham.

    I saw the 5x7 wood field this weekend when Scott came up from DC. This is the type of field camera I know and love: Folds up into a protective "clamshell" and opens and operates like other "field cameras" of it's type. Man, and that thing weighed nothing!

    I've seen photos of the metal one - but never really collapsed. Perhaps it doesn't really collapse? See the attached pic courtesy of Quality Camera.... It looks like the 5x7 metal field "folds" more like a rail camera. Is this the case?

    The dilemma is that I want a lightweight 5x7 camera for travel. The metal field is lighter, but if it doesn't collapse into some kind of protected state I'd be worried about it. The fact that a lovely padded case is included seems to support the idea that it won't fold into itself.

    If anyone has a pic of it folded (or can describe it well) I'd appreciate it. And if you're considering selling your Canham 5x7 (wood or metal) please send me a PM.

    Thanks!
    --A

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    Re: 5x7 Canham - More Questions

    Hi Alec. I own the 4x5 version of the metal Canham (DLC), which is in many ways almost identical. It folds into a neat little compact package. The front standard is moved close to the rear standard, and both are then folded forward flat onto the base rail. The rear standard basically folds forward over the front standard. Takes a little time to get used to though.

    The padded case is a great bonus; BUT it won't provide any protection to the goundglass, so I would advice to buy a groundglass protector right away.

  3. #3

    Re: 5x7 Canham - More Questions

    I think Louis Shu at Photogizzmo on W26th had one of the metal Canham cameras (new) when I was there a few weeks ago. It might be worth your while to go play with it.

    For what it is worth, I have used the wooden 5x7 for many years and love it. It is a bit fiddly to open and close, and if I haven't used it in a while I get frustrated. It is however a wonderful camera. If I ever replace my 8x10 Deardorff, it will be with a wooden 8x10 Canham.

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    Re: 5x7 Canham - More Questions

    Badger Graphics sell a very nice gg protect.

    http://www.badgergraphic.com/store/c...uct_list&c=166

    Or you can remove the gg when traveling and put it in its own protective wrap.

    I use this: http://www.saittabags.com/index.php
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photography/index.html

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    Re: 5x7 Canham - More Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by alec4444 View Post

    If anyone has a pic of it folded (or can describe it well) I'd appreciate it. And if you're considering selling your Canham 5x7 (wood or metal) please send me a PM.

    Thanks!
    --A
    The MQC metal 5X7 Canham definitely folds, and into a fairly small package. When collapsed the size is about 10" X 9.5" X 4".

    I have owned several wood Canham cameras but much prefer most of the features of Canham's metal cameras. The way the camera folds is much more intuitive, as are the controls for moving the standards in and out.

    When I first started using the MQC I had some trouble getting sufficient locking pressure on some of the knobs, especially the main two knobs at the bottom rear that actually allow the camera to fold. This was troubling because these two lock knobsd are he only thing that hold the rear standard erect and if they are not locked with a lot of pressure the back may move when inserting a film holder. I replaced the nylon washers with brass washers of the same size and this permits much greater pressure.

    Sandy King

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    alec4444's Avatar
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    Re: 5x7 Canham - More Questions

    Thanks, guys, this helps immensely. Thanks for the photo, Ben!

    Sandy - hopefully that's not a standard problem....while it sounds relatively simple, people shouldn't have to replace parts on a relatively new camera!!!

    Cheers!
    --A

    BTW: No PMs from people wanting to part with their Canham 5x7 yet.....

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    Re: 5x7 Canham - More Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by alec4444 View Post
    Thanks, guys, this helps immensely. Thanks for the photo, Ben!

    Sandy - hopefully that's not a standard problem....while it sounds relatively simple, people shouldn't have to replace parts on a relatively new camera!!!

    Cheers!
    --A

    BTW: No PMs from people wanting to part with their Canham 5x7 yet.....
    I think it is a standard problem. The issue is how tight do you want to lock down the back standard. It locks tighter with metal washers than with the nylon washers that come with the camera IMO. I guess Keith Canham believes that the camera locks down ok with the nylon washers, but I feel more confident with the metal ones.

    In any event, replacement cost for brass washers is less than $2 and takes only a couple of minutes so not a big deal.

    Sandy

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    Re: 5x7 Canham - More Questions

    Alec:

    The metal ones do "self-case" in the sense that many wooden cameras do. The GG is exposed (pretty standard, really) but the Canham GG protector does a nice job protecting it as well as the fresnel on the inside. (On the 4X5 model, the GG factory protector only covers the GG on the outside.) With some practice I could set the camera up and and take it down quickly. Folded up the camera is a bit thicker than a typical wooden folding 5X7, but it is relatively compact and relatively light. I have never had a problem getting any knob to lock down securely the way they come from the factory. Several times I have noticed in taking the camera down that I left one side or the other loose and still never had a problem with it. With both knobs locked down tight the tripod will start to lift up before the back starts folding, so this has not been an issue for me. The long bellows has been great, and it is very flexible.

    I am sure the wood Canham is fine, I have never used one, I am seriously considering the 4X10 model. For me the much increased front rise of the metal Canham was a real plus, but then I photograph a lot of buildings.

  9. #9

    Cool Re: 5x7 Canham - More Questions

    Sandy is correct about the rear knobs. I have the wood 5x7, but will not get the metal. I played with one at the VC conference, and found the rear standard locking too weak for my tastes.

  10. #10

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    Re: 5x7 Canham - More Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Herb Cunningham View Post
    Sandy is correct about the rear knobs. I have the wood 5x7, but will not get the metal. I played with one at the VC conference, and found the rear standard locking too weak for my tastes.
    OK, to be clear I consider the locking system on the MQC 5X7 as it comes with the nylon washers and small knobs to be a weakness. However, it is not a fatal weakness since it can be remedied by the use of metal washers and/or larger knobs that allow greater pressure. And, all things considered I still prefer the metal 5X7 to the wood one for the reasons mentioned earlier.

    Still, I believe this is an issue Canham should address. There have been quite a number of comments on the forum about the weakness of the locking mechanism of the rear standard, and my own work in practice is consistent with those comments. It would be a shame that such a fine piece of equipment develop a bad reputation for a small design weakness that could be easily remedied.

    Sandy King

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