Modify Canham MQC 57 For More Rear Shift?

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Mike1234, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    As the title says, I'm considering sending my Canham MQC 57 to Keith Canham for modification. I'm very happy with the camera as a portable 5x7. But...

    I would like to shoot panoramics without having to invest in a second camera or replace this one. I want to take two exposures and stitch them in Photoshop to minimize size/weight of the camera. I want to use only rear shift because it's easier than using both front and rear shifts and it minimizes possibilty of error. Shooting 5x7 with six inches shift will net me up to a 5x12.5" pano (2:5 ratio) with ~1.5" overlap. That's wide enough for me.

    I need to keep costs down. I need to keep size/weight to a minimum. I already have a full compliment of lenses capable of covering 5x12.5" format. I need the other capabilties this MQC 57 offers, i.e. small/lightweight, min/max bellows draw, reasonably large lensboards, etc. I've already spoken telephonically with Keith and he sees no problems (other than those mentioned here) in going through with this process.

    The machine work required is to open and widen (side-to-side) the shift slot in the rear standard. This decreases rigidity thereby allowing the standard to torque fore or aft under stress. This issue is addressed by means of one or two clamps which squeeze the bottom of the standard together to add rigidity which is decreased by the modification. One clamp is needed when shifted fully to either side and two clamps are needed if the standard is centered (one on each side of the center point).

    There are a few down-sides to this procedure:
    1. The need for clamps makes camera usage a bit more fiddly (not much though).
    2. This will depreciate the value of the camera somewhat.
    3. The machine work will not be cheap (~$400) but this includes a complete tune-up.

    I have considered the above negative factors and am ready to accept them but BEFORE I take this death-defying leap of faith...

    Other than those who want to beat me up for modifying a nice camera... does anyone have a better idea?
     
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  2. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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  3. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    Or how about getting a Canham 5x12 woodfield? Then no shifting required and no stitching.
     
  4. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    The 6x17 rollback is quite nice but it would take six shots to reach the same image area as 5x12.5" image size and the same modification would be necessary. It adds the need to use front rise/fall as well as rear shift. I also worry (somewhat) about roll film flatness.
     
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  5. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    My question to the modification: would it be posible to put in a thicker horizontal bar to acomodate for the torque when shifted fully side-way's ?
    In that way you would not need the extra clamps.....

    Just a thought....

    Peter
     
  6. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    Cost is prohibitive... :rolleyes: It also weighs a lot more than the MQC 57.
     
  7. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    That sounds like a possibility... add a second (reinforcing) bar, perhaps made of a stiffer material like SS, using machine screws to hold it to the original base. I don't think I want to completely "replace" the base as I would worry the overall structural integrity would suffer. This would require longer thumb screws and it would affect film placement a bit but that can be compensated with a pinch of front rise. On the other hand it eliminates the need for reinforcement clamps. I'll talk to Keith Canham about this idea.

    EDIT: On second thought, adding the reinforcing bar to the top of the base of the rear standard only affects length of thumb screws and not the rear standard height... momentary inverted thinking.
     
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  8. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I like your idea better.

    The OP could also buy that 5x14 from the gentleman in Tonopah. :smile:
     
  9. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    ^^^ Money is an issue as is size/weight of the system. But I'll search for the Tonapah 5x12 nonetheless. :smile:
     
  10. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    Care to tell me where it is? :smile:
     
  11. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    One option is to sell the MQC 57 and purchase a Chamonix or Shen-Hao 5X12. I think you would come close to breaking even on this.

    Sandy King
     
  12. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    Could be, Sandy. I'll look into that option. A dedicated pano system will be easier to use since there's no need for a second exposure nor to stitch two images together unless I want to go wider than 12". It's also two fewer cuts in the darkroom to load film. Really, my major concern after cost is weight and bulk. The MQC 57 is "lighter" and "smaller" than a 5x12 pano system. I know I would prefer using a nice 5x12 but I just don't know how far I can carry it these days...