4x5 to 8x10 in one camera

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Don Wallace, Oct 26, 2007.

  1. Don Wallace

    Don Wallace Member

    Messages:
    419
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    Ottawa, Cana
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    This question was inspired in part by the current thread on 5x7 film availibility. I shoot 4x5, 5x7 and 8x10, on two cameras: a 4x5 Wisner and an 8x10 Ansco with 5x7 back. I have often wondered if one camera could accomodate all three, e.g., an 8x10 camera with extra backs.

    The problem, it seems to me, would be with the bellows. My 4x5 Wisner has the longer bellows and when I want to use even a 90mm lens, I have to go to bag bellows. I can't imagine an 8x10 camera with a reasonably-sized bellows that would ever squeeze enough to accomodate even a modestly wide 4x5 lens,

    Is that the case, or is there some magic solution out there that will allow me to use just one camera for all three formats?
     
  2. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

    Messages:
    2,411
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Van Buren, A
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Yes, there is a solution, and it's called a recessed lensboard. On your 8x10 ansco, you would have to make one, but the overall size of the lensboard is so large that making one, or having one made would be easy, and there would be plenty of room to manipulate the lens settings. Of course, you only need a recessed lens board for the wide-angle 4x5 lenses.

    Another alternative (in a monorail camera) is a Sinar P-expert system, like I have, which has all three backs, 4x5, 5x7 and 8x10, The 5x7 and 8x10 come with tapered bellows, which allow the larger backs to be used with the standard front standard, or the standard intermediate standard, allowing you to use more bellows from intermediate standard to front standard.
     
  3. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

    Messages:
    4,677
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Italia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    With the bag bellows the Shen Fcl-810 the distance from the ground glass to the lensboard is something like 65mm. I've no idea if a lens that short would show the camera bed in the frame or not. You would also have to ask the factory for a 4x5 back. The price list only shows 5x7,4x10 and 8x10 backs. Tell them I'll take one to-)

    The stock bellows allegedly will manage a 90mm lens. Actually the tech info claims 90mm which when you consider most 90mm lenses need more then 90mm to focus at infinity means you might just fit an 80mm on a flat board. Best part is a big recessed Sinar board is much easier to deal with then a smaller recessed board. So even with the 90mm and a smallish recessed board you can go wider then any 5x7 would ever want and pretty close to very wide for 4x5. But like I said I wonder if the bed would show up.
     
  4. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,322
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Shooter:
    Sub 35mm
    Of course you can. I have a 8x10 that can accommodate as wide as my Fujinon 90SWD when using it with the 4x5 back. I think it is silly to have all these cameras. I have been selling all my cameras and just keeping one with all the backs. This way when I go out, I just take 1 camera with 23 backs and have the advantage of shooting any of the formats I want.
     
  5. ragc

    ragc Member

    Messages:
    187
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA,
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I easily do the 4x5 and 5x7 parts with my converted half-plate (I could also do that format, as I have one working filmholder). I don't want to carry anything as large as would be needed for 8x10, though.
     
  6. Neanderman

    Neanderman Member

    Messages:
    575
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Location:
    Ohio River V
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Watch it! Them's fightin' words! :D


    Ed
     
  7. Bandicoot

    Bandicoot Member

    Messages:
    201
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Location:
    Eastern Engl
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ditto Arca-Swiss - probably others too.

    I use all three (and 6x9) with Arca-Swiss. Usually I have a camera set-up for 6x9, a couple more for 4x5 but that can do 6x9 as well, and one for 10x8 and 5x7. The latter, for example, means a rail with the format carriers and a front standard, plus two back standards and two bellows that can simply be interchanged. Adding another bellows and back standard and I could do 4x5 the same way on that one: ie. three formats on the one camera, but it's less bulk to carry in this case just to use a 5x7 to 4x5 reducing back.

    As I say, I usually have cameras already set up for different formats (and different uses: a lightweight 4x5 field camera versus a heavy 4x5 studio camera with all geared movements), but component interchangeability means that I could do all four of the formats I use Arcas for with 'one camera' and a handful of parts to swap.

    As Phototone said, you can do this with Sinar and it is pretty much the same process. I'm fairly sure Horseman has monorails where this is possible too, and probably there are others as well.



    Peter
     
  8. matt miller

    matt miller Subscriber

    Messages:
    829
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Location:
    Iowa
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    A Rittreck has 4x5, 5x7, 8x10, & whole plate backs available. The minimum bellows draw with 4x5 & 5x7 backs is about 3", max is about 15". With the 8x10 back bellows goes to about 18". While not built for long lenses it's great for wide to normal lenses. It's a fairly compact system too.
     
  9. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,560
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Location:
    Pacific Nort
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes one camera can do it, it's the .... Calumet C1 ... with a 5x7 and 4x5 reducing back. All three with one camera. Bellows and camera designed to do 4x5 to 8x10 right from the start. I have one with the 8x10 and 5x7 backs.

    My 8x10 Seneca will be able to take the extra 5x7 Seneca back that I have when I am finished restoring them.


    My favorite camera would be an 11x14 field camera with 4x, 5x, 8x reducing backs. The back would be a revolving back too.
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    18,000
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Are you taking this camera into the field? In the studio, I think it's reasonable to use an 8x10" or larger camera with reducing backs, but in the field, I can't imagine carrying an 8x10" camera and requisite tripod just to shoot 4x5", and since some 4x5" cameras (like the Deardorff 4x5" Special) are really just 5x7" cameras with reducing backs, it makes sense to combine those formats, if you are using reducing backs.

    Of course the Sinar and Arca-Swiss change the rear standard frame and bellows, so this is a different approach than using reducing backs, but it's also more like owning several different cameras, since only the rail and front standard are shared by the different formats.
     
  11. rippo

    rippo Member

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    23 backs? you must have 35mm and 126 format backs in that lot then. :wink:
     
  12. wildbill

    wildbill Member

    Messages:
    2,848
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I use a wehman 8x10 and carry a 4x5 back as well. I don't get as much rise as i'd like with my 90mm but it's fine in nearly all cases. Making blanks to accomodate other backs is easy with this camera as i uses 1/4" material.

    vinny
     
  13. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,720
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Location:
    Vegas/myster
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    The Wisner 8 x 10 will focus to 90 mm on the normal bellows...it will go to 40 mm with the bag bellows...I like the Wisner cameras because I can use the longer lenses and for its rigidity when extended..IMNSHO it is the best camera offering the most features and stability---the tech series has great movement ability..
     
  14. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

    Messages:
    2,384
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Location:
    Boston area
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The 8x10 Rochester Universal I just acquired has inserts for it's plate holders that allow for 4x5, 5x7 and 6.5x8.5. The ground glass is marked for each of these formats as well. I had 4x5 film holders that fit and I can "reassign" some of my 5x7 film sheaths, but I'm going to have to works some to do the full plate thing - maybe use Ole's jam on glass routine? Have to cut the film down too...

    On second thought, maybe I better get used to the single format first. I tend to experiment too much as it is. I think less is more here.
     
  15. Nokton48

    Nokton48 Subscriber

    Messages:
    497
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well,
    I have a number of Sinar Normas, they are a modular design. I use them from 6x6cm format up to 8x10".
     
  16. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I see my name popped up in this discussion, too...

    My 24x30cm plate camera has three holders with format reducing inserts to 18x24cm, 13x18cm, 10x15cm, 9x12cm, and 6.5x9cm. Other inserts ahould be fairly easy to make. The camera can also focus a 50mm lens at infinity. With rise/fall and shift on the lens board, there is no need for bag bellows. I won't get much swing or tilt with the shortest lenses, but then again it doesn't take all that much with such short lenses...
     
  17. dslater

    dslater Member

    Messages:
    732
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Location:
    Hollis, NH
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I have to agree with David. If you're going to schlep an 8x10 camera into the field, why would you want to put a 4x5 back on it? Instead of a 90mm lens with a 4x5 back, wouldn't you be better off to replace that 90mm lens with a 180mm wide angle lens and always shoot 8x10?
    Dan
     
  18. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

    Messages:
    4,677
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Italia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I guess it depends on the camera. My 8x10 is less then 1kg heavier then my 5x7. Obviously bigger
     
  19. dslater

    dslater Member

    Messages:
    732
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Location:
    Hollis, NH
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Right - but once you've gone to the trouble to bring it out, why put a reducing back on it? Why not just use 8x10 film?
     
  20. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

    Messages:
    4,677
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Italia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Colour 4x5 film is more common and cheaper. Not to mention enlargers. Or you may want to stick a roll film holder on the camera.

    Most of the reasons to use a smaller camera apply to reducing backs. I've got 5x7 and 4x10 backs. Plus a 6x17 roll film back. I could crop all three out of a sheet of 8x10 but it doesn't take much film to cover the cost of the reducing back and holders.
     
  21. dslater

    dslater Member

    Messages:
    732
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Location:
    Hollis, NH
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Yes - well I see your point about 4x5 film being cheaper - I wasn't suggesting cropping 4x5 frames out of an 8x10 sheet - I was suggesting using a lens with 8x10 film that gives you the same FOV as the lens you would use with 4x5 film.