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  1. #1

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    Anyone use an Ebony 5x7?

    Does anyone use one of these? If so, folding or non-folding? How do you like it?

    I'm doing some research.....dangerous, but necessary!

    Thanks in advance...you guys have always been so helpful. Unfortunately, I don't ever have much in the way of contribution. In time, hopefully!

    Macy
    Macy
    Just trying to be the person my dogs think I am.

    website: gallery

  2. #2

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    I thought about an Ebony 5x7 and concluded that whilst lovely (I used to have an RSW45) the price is not right. I went for a Walker 5x7XL instead and do not regret it for a minute. From my 5x4 ebony experience, it was beautiful, smooth as silk and rock solid. I heve no reason to suspect the 5x7s would be any different. Exquisite, but you pay for that!

  3. #3

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    Tom,

    Thanks for your reply!

    I meant to also ask what you guys think of jumping right into 5x7 (skipping 4x5). If I do that, I'd also get a 4x5 reducing back. I have some reservations, mainly because of the size, and also I'm not sure whether 5x7 is worthwhile given the seemingly limited film and film holders and other accessories. I definitely have no interest in 8x10.

    The other thing is a non-folding vs. folding. I use more wide angles than telephotos, so a non-folding seem like the better choice. But it is also a lot bulkier (at least the Ebonies). Any other comments regarding the Ebony folding vs. non-folding would be great too.

    Cheers,
    Macy
    Macy
    Just trying to be the person my dogs think I am.

    website: gallery

  4. #4
    WJC
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    Ebony 5x7

    Greetings from Colorado!
    I use both folding and non folding Ebony 5x7. The SW 57 was a special order brought over from Japan and was my first LF! Great camera- I use it as a general purpose camera with lenses 90 and 110-150 for architecture,
    storefronts, etc. 150-360 for general purpose and recently acquired
    400 Schneider Tele. I am using the SV 57 with lenses 150-600 mm.
    Plan to acquire a 420-450 to fill in my lens collection. I recently noticed
    a used SV 57 at Camera West for a very good price. Hard to find a used
    Ebony 5x7!

    Good shooting,
    WJC
    Colorado

  5. #5

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    Hi WJC,

    You have both? Wow.

    Can you tell me approximately how long it takes you to set up the folding vs. the non-folding? Also, is the non-folding one a lot bulkier?

    I don't use telephotos that much, so the non-folding one is actually more attractive to me, since set up time is suppose to be much quicker (is that true?); however, if it is a lot bulkier than the folding, then that would be something I need to consider as well.
    Macy
    Just trying to be the person my dogs think I am.

    website: gallery

  6. #6
    WJC
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    Hello again,


    I just did rough measurements:

    SW 57 10.5 x 11.5 x5 in. approx. 9.5 lbs
    SV 57 11 x10 x4.5 in. approx 8.5 lbs.

    Both these cameras can be made in mahogany for a 1-2 lb wt. reduction.
    The set up is nil for the SW. The unfolding set up for the SV has never has
    been a hindrance. The closest regular production camera to the SW is the
    57S-see Badger Graphics website for specs.
    An older but excellent lens for wide angle 5x7 is the Fuji 105SW with 250 mm
    image circle. I also use the Rodenstock 150 Apo Sironar W often.

    I use a 4x5 reduction back for color and a Horseman 6x12 rollfilm back.
    Hard to beat the overall quality,ease of use and versatility.

    WJC

  7. #7
    WJC
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    Hi Again-correction!



    The weights are reversed-should be SW- 8.5, SV 9.5.

  8. #8
    Baxter Bradford's Avatar
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    Hi Macy

    You haven't said what you want to do with the film image once taken. Choosing 5x7 over 4x5 does offer some merits, but there are also more drawbacks apart from film availability. Enlarger size, ability to scan ability to use wider lenses on 4x5 rather than 5x7 with reduction back and conversely to get tele effect of longer lenses etc So I think it really is worth deciding on this fundamental first. Bigger might not necessarily be better in the whole mix of things.

    For a given budget and weight, you will get a far better quality of 4x5 gear and it wieghs far less per item. Lenses with coverage for 5x7 are priced at a premium.

    In terms of moving straight to 5x7 no problems, just that each mistake will cost more!

    Go for the non folding camera. Once you've used one, you'll wonder why they ever continue to make folders, assuming that it is going in a decent backpack. I use the Ebony SU45, previously the RSW45, both non folders and fantastic cameras. Speed of set-up, ability to leave lens attached have proved invaluable to me.

    Your choice, your money, but you will have lots of fun and produce great images.

  9. #9

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    luvmydogs,

    A few thoughts from my experiences with the Ebony 5x4 non-folder, other 5x4 folders, my 5x7 non-folding Walker and lots of lenses:

    Format - 5x7 viable? - Big fat YES....if you intend to primarily shoot mono, as I do. Ilford and many eastern European companies make plenty of 5x7 film. With the 5x4 reducer you have 5x4 quickload Acros (or Tmax if so inclined) for travels when loading holders is a no-no. You can also shoot sheet colour in 5x4 with ease, tho 5x7 colour is freely available in the US/Japan. You might also be able to get a Canham 6x17 back to fit.....(Spk to ebony...fits the walker 5x7). The neg IS significantly larger than 5x4. Once a 5x4 is cropped very slightly on the short axis (to un-stubby it, which I often do) it is HALF the size of 5x7. That is significant.

    Lenses: As Baxter says, 5x7 lenses are larger and heavier and more expensive, but only very slightly. Take the following lenses as an example:

    90mm Nikkor SW (smallest lightest 90mm f8) - 235mm circle!
    110XL (OK this one is expensive, but small light brilliant etc)
    120 f8 Nikkor/Schneider - Not that small but plenty available used at good prices
    150 G claron (covers aparrently. I have one, but no shutter and not tested yet)
    150 Sironar W (Small, compact and first rate, but pricey and rare)
    180 5.6 plasmat (All manufacters have ones that cover nicely...Symmar L has 277mm!)
    210 Glaron - Tiny, light, cheap, sharp, huge coverage.
    210 5.6 plasmats -cheap, abundant, cover easily.
    240 G claron - Ditto
    300mm Nikkor M f9, Rody Geronar f9, Fuji 300 f9/8.5- Tiny, light huge coverage
    400mm Schneider/Fuji...teles
    450 Fuji C 12.5 .......Copal 1, 245g!!!!

    As you can see there are loads of small light (some are also cheap) lenses that cover 5x7...Crumbs, the 210 G claron covers 10x8 and the 110/120s come close! I would say overall, If you think about lens chopice hard, you can do 5x7 for the same money and weight as someone who tries less hard on their 5x4 set up. Many 5x4 users use 210 plasmats at 450g. You could use a G claron at half the weight. Your 90mm Nikkor f8 or Any 90mm 4.5 is commonly used for 5x4, the 90mm being small and light even for 5x4!. Apart from your 110/120/150 focal length everything else can be cheap and small. In the 110-150 length there is a trade off. The 120s are good value but 600-700g.... The 110 is 440g but expensive......The 105 Fuji SW is bigish but resonably priced if you dont get into a bidding war!!!!The 150 G claron I am not convinced will cover well enough and the 150 Sironar W is rare and quite expensive used.

    Folder Vs Non Folder - Are you going to shoot mainly short or long lenses? If you shoot at the extremes your deicsion is made. If you love ultrawides, go non-folding for greater movement, compressibility and parralellism. If you love long lenses go folder for more extension. If you shoot middling lenses scratch your head. The non-folders are much faster to set up, lighter, not that the folders take long, it is just that non-folders are almost instant!! Now for the reasons I went for the Walker:

    VERY good value - A tiny fraction of the price for an Ebony 5x7 equivalent non-folder.
    Poss even more rigid (more rigid than my Ebony 5x4, not that I thought this possible)- This is a tank, almost indestructable, but light at 2.7Kg
    Simple and fast to set up (non-folder)
    Great with short lenses (will take 72 XL on flat panel)
    Will take 400 telexenar
    Has reducing back available/bag bellows...usual accs
    Canham 6x17 back fits perfectly and there is not a more solid platform for this back than this Walker. Fixed rear standard. Spk to owners, these are the most robust cameras about.

    The Ebony non-folders have many of the same attributes above but have more movements (which I dont need). Personally I have never needed swing for landscapes or absolutely had to have rear movements.. I shoot primarily short lenses (UK...few grand vistas like USA, everything is more up close...less opportunity for long lenses from afar!!!! I decided that a non-folder helped me speed-wise in the notoriously unpredictable UK weather and made perfect sense as I knew I would be using mainly from 110mm to 210 in 5x7. I could not afford the Ebony, so the Walker was my only option. I then discovereg I lived 20 mins away from Mike Walker so dropped in...yet to be convinced of this ABS camera wizardry! That was when I discovered just how robust these cameras are and how durable. The decision was easy. They are also quite lovely in their on right

    Hope this helps.

    Tom

  10. #10

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    Baxter,

    The reason I am thinking of going straight to 5x7 is that I would like to do contact printing with 5x7 negs. I wouldn't even bother with a 4x5 back except that I'd like to shoot some colour landscapes as well. I do tend to use wide angles as opposed to teles - do you know how much of a wide angle I lose by using a 4x5 reducing back as opposed to a straight 4x5 camera? In other words, what would be the widest I'd be able to use on a 4x5 reducing back? I will likely go with the non-folder as I definitely shoot more WA.
    Macy
    Just trying to be the person my dogs think I am.

    website: gallery

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