Modify Canham MQC 57 For More Rear Shift?
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?