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Thread: 5 X 7 Camera Comparison

  1. #1
    John Minor's Avatar
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    Oct 2003
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    NW Wisconsin
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    5 X 7 Camera Comparison

    I am about to buy a new 5 X 7 camera and have narrowed it down to these four, The Wisner Technical Field, Canham Wood Field, Gandolfi Variant Level 2, and the Anba Ikeda. I am leaning towards the Wisner but am looking for advise from those who have used these cameras. I will be shooting landscapes for the most part, and weight is not my greatest concern. Any advise or words of wisdom will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Clay
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
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    Asheville, NC
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    5 X 7 Camera Comparison

    Check the archives here and on photo.net about Wisner's delivery habits. Caveat emptor. Or order one through a dealer who will do the yelling for you. I have both Canham and Wisner cameras, and I think you will find the fit and finish is a little 'tighter' on the Canhams. My Wisner regularly loses screws, and its finish is laughably amateurish compared to the Canham. They will all work for you, and it will just be a matter of getting the one you ultimately 'just gotta have' and learning its quirks.

  3. #3
    Founder QT Luong's Avatar
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    5 X 7 Camera Comparison

    The first three cameras that you list are comparable, the latter being an ultralight. If you live in the US, Keith Canham provide outstanding service, which might not be the case of the two other manufacturers.

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    5 X 7 Camera Comparison

    Don't overlook the Gandolfi Traditional.
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  5. #5

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    5 X 7 Camera Comparison

    My one and only encounter with a Wisner 5x7 was on a snowy day a few years ago... The dinky knobs on that thing were a joke in cold weather.

    The T shaped knobs on my Canham are far superior, especially when wearing gloves. Kieth's locking system can't be beat, in my opinion.

  6. #6

    5 X 7 Camera Comparison

    A few years ago I was looking at the Wisner, Canham and Gandolfi cameras. I ended up with the Canham and have been very pleased with it: The Canham was the lightest of the bunch (6lbs, four lbs lighter than the Wisner), and seemed to be the most wide-angle friendly. The Gandolfi came a pretty close second, it was quite light (7.5 lbs) but I was a bit concerned with the availability of repair and parts in the US, since I tend to be rather abusive. In that way you can't top Keith Canham's service. In terms of rigidity, they all seemed about the same. Many have positive things to say about the Lotus, although I have never seen one.

  7. #7

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    5 X 7 Camera Comparison

    Canham has nicest fit and finish, no question.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
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    Southern New England
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    5 X 7 Camera Comparison

    I sold my Wisner 5"x7" Traditional last month. This was after I had a 7"x17" conversion back for it. The one thing that I did not like was the front knobs. They are in my opinion way too small. Overall the feel of the camera was excellent. The gears were smooth and the fit was nice. The weight was only 7 lbs. I sold the camera so I could purchase a used Wisner 11"x14". I also sold my Hasseldblad to purchase an 8"x20" conversion back for the Wisner 8"x10" I bought. The 8"x10" replaced my Deardorff. Had I bought the 8x10 first I would have had a 5x7 reducing back made versus buying the 5"x7". The 8x10 Wisner is very sturdy. I will have both a 5x7 and a 4x5 reducing back made.

    The wait for the cameras can be frusterating. I deal with Ron Wisner direct and have had no major problems...other then longer then usual wait times. Maybe a dealer would be better. Usually the time to wait is dictated by what model is in the largest demand.You might consider an 8"x10" with a reducing back as the 8"x10" is not much more money. By using the 5x7 reducing back you can have longer bellows as well. The Wisner 8"x10" traditional model is one sturdy camera. The larger knobs are easy to use no matter if you have gloves or not. You could also have a 4"x10" conversion back fitted on the 8"x10". These are just thoughts to consider. Had I had this advice I would have ordered the 8"x10" with the reducing back. The 8"x10" is also easier to get. Again these are my opinions after using the Wisner brand for over 4 years. If money was not an option I would also consider an Ebony. They are top notch.<Bruce>

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    112

    5 X 7 Camera Comparison

    Where can you buy a new Anba Ikeda 5x7? Or even a used one. This camera is really not in the same class as the other three. It's main purpose is light weight. I find it sort of flimsy compared to even my old Wista Field 4x5. The shorter bellows will also limit use of long lenses. And if you go to telephoto lenses you tend to lose the weight advantage. Shortest focus without playing tricks with the front standard is around 110mm. I use my 90 by taking the standard out of the vertical track and tilting backward, but very hard to tighten small knobs for solid lockdown. But it's probably the lightest cheap 5x7 camera around. Wish I could justify ungrading to a Canham.

  10. #10

    5 X 7 Camera Comparison

    I use a 5x7 Canham wood as well as a Wisner Tech. 4x10. Both cameras work great but the Canham is built better and is a bit studier.

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