i am not the typical 7x11 user, and i don't really have a typical 7x11
camera+holders. i picked up a 11x14 studio camera ( the big ones on the
rolling iron+wood stand ) in the fall, and i have been shooting a little bit
with that. i made a 7x11 reducer (piece of paper inside the camera). i
don't have the $$ for film, just a lot of expired paper, so i have been
shooting paper negatives. the holder is a home made one (eventually i will
have more than just one). it was made with foamcore and 2ply matboard,
and the back of the camera is made of the same thing together with a piece
of waxed paper instead of ground glass.
while i would love to take the camera on the road, and away from the
studio i shoot it in, i am enjoying myself just the same. i really like the
vertical shape of the format. it isn't as wide + boxy as a full 11x14 sheet
( or 8x10 ) and the long and narrowness is great for shooting portraits,
kind of like a 5x7 but better .
i can only imagine a non-studio camera dedicated to shooting 7x11,
it would be the perfect panoramic/portrait/ulf,sort of - but not- format.
Really GREAT!! info guys, I really appreciate the input - now to digest it all. Had not considered the rail camera option - Kerry a couple of really nice looking cameras.
One of the best attributes of online communities like this is the giving of thoughts that come from so many people.
OK, a bit embarrassed to say I know very little of what I need to look for in a rail camera if I were to attempt to build a 7x11. Would a 4x5 rail and front standard work for this - any hints on what to look for or where to gather more info (plan to study Kerry's Swiss Lotus)?
My three "new to me" 7x11 Eastman holder arrived today. They are defintely not usable as is, but all are complete. So, hopefully they can be rebuilt by someone like Alan Brubaker. They all need reglued, refinished, new hinge tape and the light traps rebuilt. One has a cracked darkslide.
Originally Posted by kthalmann
I got out my other two holders to compare dimensions and condition and had a little surprise. My two previous 7x11 holder are clearly labeled Ansco, not Eastman as I had thought. They've been stored away in a cabinet since I bought them and this is the first time I've had them out since they were purchased. The good news is that all the dimensions seem to be compatible between my Ansco and Eastman holders. The Ansco holders are in much better shape and can probably be used as is - although one does have a slightly warped darkslide that I'll probably replace.
So, does this mean Agfa/Ansco also made a 7x11 camera, or did they just make holders for the Eastman and Korona cameras?
Has anyone ever had any holders rebuilt/refurbished by Alan Brubaker? I think I remember Oren mentioning it at one point. Of course, I'll contact Alan to discuss his current prices and schedule, but if anyone has had similar work done, I'd love to know if you were pleased with the work and if it was worth the expense/wait. In other words, were the holders smooth operating and light tight afterwards and would you do it again or just save you're money for some new holders?
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The 7x11 back I mentioned that was made to go on an 8x10 was an Ansco... so yes they did and yes it is surprising as I have only seen Korona and Eastmans on epay.
I think my 7x11 Eastman holders may actually have been cleaned up by Alan, but not while I've owned them. But I did have him fix up some 6.5x8.5 Eastman holders.
Originally Posted by kthalmann
The most important part of the work is that he made new darkslides for all of the holders, though he preserved the little wooden handles from the old darkslides and attached them to the new slide material. The only minor quibble is that I have to be a bit careful manipulating the darkslides, because the handles themselves and their attachment are a bit on the dainty side.
I forget the exact cost now, though I recall it was something on the order of $70-80 per holder. This was several years ago, so cost may be higher now. As usual with Alan, it took several months to get them back. I consider the investment worth every penny - the holders he fixed up are cleaner and work more smoothly than any of my non-refurbished Eastmans, and that batch is now my standard working set for my American cameras. (I have a separate set of matching Tachihara holders for the Rittreck adapter back.)
Re refurbished vs new holders, no doubt the prospect of new Fotoman holders at an attractive price will affect a calculation re 6.5x8.5 today. As for 7x11, though, the cost of refurbishing is likely to be far less than the cost of having new ones made from scratch. Also, the old Eastman holders are extremely lightweight. Based on experience with various other formats I'd guess that a 7x11 S&S would be substantially heavier. I don't know about Lotus.
The marvelous Field Cameras of the United States site does not list a 7x11 model in its Scovill/Ansco-Agfa section. But there is a mysterious gap in their coverage of the Ansco-Agfa line for the period 1900-1930, which is just where one would have expected to see such a model. So maybe there was one.
Originally Posted by Steve_7x
Originally Posted by photomc
As you may have gathered, my favorite camera for these types of projects is the ARCA-SWISS. The modular nature of the ARCA-SWISS lends itself well to such modifcations. You're really limited only by your imagination. I'm currently using an F-Line chassis as the basis for all my cameras from 4x5 - 7x17. I've combined various newer and older parts to get the exact configurations I want.
Newer style ARCA-SWISS cameras aren't very plentiful on the used market. Most people that buy them keep them. When they do show up used, they tend to fetch a pretty penny. They are definitely worth the money. They are well designed and superbly built. If you can't afford a new or used F-Line, a used Discovery is a good place to start. It's completely compatible with all the other F-Line and M-Line accessories. It is no longer available new, but when it was it was about 90% of an F-Line for about 60% of the cost. I always considered it a "best buy" in the world of new large format cameras. Used Discoverys seem to go for $800 - $1000 depending on the condition, configuration and what accessories are included.
If that's still too much, the older pre F-Line ARCA cameras are plentiful and very affordable on the used market. They share many of the functional advantages of the newer models, but aren't quite as well made or durable. Still, in good condition, they are VERY usable comeras and can be great bargains. Some parts, like the rails, are even compatible with the newer models (bellows are not, however, interchangeable between the old and new models). This was how I got started into the ARCA-SWISS system. I bought an older model ARCA-SWISS in very nice condition for $350. That camera served as the basis for the first incarnation of my 4x10 Swiss Lotus. I liked the ARCA-SWISS system so much, I sold my Linhof Technikardan TK45S (nice camera, but not modular and expandable like the ARCA) and bought a 4x5 F-Line system.
Over the years, ARCA has had a few different format frame sizes. There is the original 171mm size, the 110mm size that was originally developed for their 6x9 camera, and the much more recent 141mm size. I use a 110mm front standard for my 4x10 conversion (and my 4x5), but use a 171mm front end on my 7x17. It's bigger, studier and able to accomodate the big lenses used for shooting ULF. I also have a 171mm-110mm lensboard adapter so I can share lenses between the two standards. For 7x11, I would recommend the 171mm standard - especially if you're on a tight budget. This is the most common size available on the used market, in both older and newer models. It's the size I'll use if I build a 7x11 conversion kit.
One of the other nice things about the ARCA system is how small it collapses for transportation. I've never seen any other 7x17 camera that collapses as compactly as my Franken-ARCA. This is made possible by the telescoping rail design. I always use a short 15cm rail section to stow the front and rear standards on when collapsed. I combine this with appropriate extension brackets and rails depending on what format I'm shooting. For my 4x10 (and 4x5), that's a 30cm extension bracket and another 15cm rail section. For the 7x17, I use an older 40cm extension bracket (that came with my original $350camera) and a current style 40cm rail section. The older cameras usually came stock with a 40cm rail and a 40cm extension bracket. If you get one of these, you can cut the 40cm rail into 15cm and 25cm sections to make it more compact when collapsed - and get more longer bellows draw by extending the two halfs in opposite directions. You can see how this works in the photos of my 7x17 camera (in that case it's a 15cm section with a full 40cm section to give me the extension needed for this ULF format).
Obviously, I'm heavily invested in the ARCA-SWISS system at this point. So, that's what I know the most about. The Sinar cameras, both older (Norma) and newer (F and P models) are also well built and more plentiful and generally less expensive on the used market. They lack the telescoping rail system of the ARCA. So, they don't collapse as compactly for transport. Perhaps someone with more Sinar experience can chime in with some advice on what models and options to look for in a camera to serve as the basis for his type of conversion project.
Interesting. I've never seen one either, but now that I know they exist, I'll keep my eyes open.
Originally Posted by Steve_7x
Last edited by ReallyBigCameras; 04-12-2007 at 12:25 AM. Click to view previous post history.