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Thread: 7x11 Cameras

  1. #1

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    7x11 Cameras

    Good Day All,
    Have searched here anf over on LF forum to see if there are very many shooting with 7x11 format and there seem to be a few. I have been considering 'moving up' in format, but not sure how much. Currently shoot both 5x7 and 8x10.

    My first impression was to go with 11x14, and had the chance yesterday to look at Jeremy's 11x14 Korona. A nice set up, but just a bit larger than I wanted, and not sure how well I would see with the format. Now I love 5x7 and find the 8x10 OK, but it is not my first choice (other than I do like the size for contact prints).

    So, what kind of cameras are out there and how hard are they to find? Have notice Kerry T. has mentioned in a few post he has had 7x11 cameras so hoping he and other that shoot the format will respond. Would love to see some work any of you have posted to get an idea of 'how' the format looks. It would seem that a camera would be pretty much the same size my 8x10 just a different format.

    If you have any advice as other things to consider please let me know - such as lens, holders, support, etc. as well as processing - currently use old paper drums and a motor to process the 5x7/8x10 and figure that I could use an 11x14 drum to process 7x17.

    Thanks in advance for your input.
    Mike C

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    As was posted in the other thread, the two 7x11 cameras that I've seen are the Eastman and the Korona. The Eastman seems to be more common, but is still quite scarce even compared to the whole plate size, let alone standard sizes like 5x7 or 8x10.

    I don't know about the Korona, but you should know that compared to the other Eastman cameras, the 7x11 is disproportionately heavy and bulky for the format. My 6.5x8.5 Eastman No. 2 weighs around 8 or 9 pounds, and I gather that the 8x10 weighs around 11 or 12, but my 7x11 Eastman No. 2 weighs around 15 pounds. Fortunately, the old wooden holders are very lightweight, which helps with the weight of the kit as a whole.

    You can see a 7x11 Eastman 2D, with its unusual sliding lensboard design, here.

    I develop my negatives four at a time in a Jobo 3004 Expert drum. Haven't done too many yet, but I have a bunch of HP5 Plus on order as part of this year's Ilford special cut, and am hoping to use the camera more.

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    Thanks for the input Oren. Do you contact print the negs, if so how would you say they compare visually to 8x10? Good info on the Jobo Expert drum too!!
    Mike C

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    Quote Originally Posted by photomc View Post
    ...Jeremy's 11x14 Korona. A nice set up, but just a bit larger than I wanted...
    It's a funny thing how formats larger than 8x10 quickly become, as Oren put it, "disproportionately heavy and bulky". It's precisely because of this that I keep returning to 8x10. Everything about 8x10 is much more accessible. Move to 7x11 and film, holders, negative sleeves, paper... -everything- (well, except for lenses) becomes a challenge. This for a format whose diagonal is a mere 6mm more than for 8x10. And it doesn't get any better if you go larger.

    But 7x11 is a beautiful format.

    If you think you want to go in that direction, tape your groundglass to 6.5 x 10 and crop your prints accordingly. If you can work in that rectangle, it might be worth the effort to move to 7x11.

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    You bet - 7x11 is for contact printing.

    For my taste 8x10 is too square for most things, which is one reason I like whole plate as a general-purpose format. 7x11 is a wonderful semi-panoramic complement - it's like a mini-12x20, and is quite comfortable if one grew up with 35mm. (Comparing it to 12x20 is also a nice way to make the weight of the camera seem a little less daunting. )

    The 3004 drum is ideal for 7x11 - the wells are designed to hold film up to 9.5x12". Unfortunately, it's long discontinued, but they do turn up on eBay now and then. Depending on the exact dimensions of the film you may be able to get away with a 3005, but you'd have to run some tests to make sure that development is even out to the far ends of the negatives. If you've had good results developing other sizes in print drums, no doubt you can make 7x11 work that way too.

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    Will's comment reminds me - there is a more logistically tractable alternative. There's an adapter back for the Musashino Rittreck View that accepts holders in a semi-panoramic format that's roughly 6x10; it's not hard to cut film down from 8x10 to fit, and of course the 3005 drum is fine for developing. If you keep an eagle-eye on eBay, you may be able to snare a camera/adapter back/holder set - because of a handful of newly active Asian sellers, the flow of Rittreck gear on eBay has increased over the past year or so. The camera plus adapter back is maybe 4-5 pounds lighter than the 7x11 Eastman, and quite a bit smaller.

    There's also a small handful of Wisner 6x10's floating around.

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    Great stuff guys, spent the afternoon - overcast and gloomy here in North Texas (after Snow!! yesterday) and gave this more thought - the camera not the gloom. Wondered if it were possible to have someone adapt the 8x10 I have (Korona) to take a 7x11 by making an adapter back of some type. Something like the 5x7 back that either Shen Hao or Tacharia makes for their 4x5. But now thinking I should just make a mask of sorts for the 8x10 so that I am shooting 6.5x10 and go from there.

    Oh, and Oren the reason I started to think about this was becuase I don't want to lug a 12x20 around, but 7x11 does seem to be a mini-12x20 format as it is.
    Mike C

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    Quote Originally Posted by photomc View Post
    Wondered if it were possible to have someone adapt the 8x10 I have (Korona) to take a 7x11 by making an adapter back of some type.
    I expect that it would be possible. You would likely need some extension, like the 4x5-5x7 expander backs that are built as truncated pyramids. There's some restriction on focal lengths and movements, but it would probably work better going from 8x10 to 7x11 than it does going from 4x5 to 5x7. Not only that, there's a fair chance you'd end up with a camera that was lighter than the Eastman.

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    pros & cons

    Let me try to adress some of the comparison to the 7x11 format. My measurements are with my 7x11 Korona and compared to a 8x10 Canham

    - the 7x11 is larger (13x13 rear standard on the 7x11 vs the ~11x11 on an 8x10 Canham)
    - Holders are more expensive
    - Holder weight - when comparing wood 7x11 to wood 8x10 is probably a wash - the wood ones are lighter then the new Lisco/Fidelity's
    - Film - Thank good for Ilford (thank you Simon) - but you need to plan ahead
    - Weight of my 7x11 is 11lbs (on my bathroom scale) - including the extension rail - the same as my 8x10 Canham
    - Perspective ratio that is more in my (and sounds like your) sweet speot - slight panoramic

    I think the mini 12x20 comment is spot on.

    My ideal would be to get Keith to make a 7x11 rear assembly so I could swap between 8x10 and 7x11 using teh same chassis.

    There were extension backs... I sold one several years ago that took an 8x10 rear frame then step up up (by adding about 2-3 inches of draw) to a 7x11. It was made by Ansco and looked original throughout.

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve_7x View Post
    My ideal would be to get Keith to make a 7x11 rear assembly so I could swap between 8x10 and 7x11 using teh same chassis.

    There were extension backs... I sold one several years ago that took an 8x10 rear frame then step up up (by adding about 2-3 inches of draw) to a 7x11. It was made by Ansco and looked original throughout.

    Steve
    My ideal as well Steve, a 7x11 assembly from Keith would be perfect. If not will keep looking for the extension back (or what it would take to have one made). Thanks for the input.
    Mike C

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