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  1. #1

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    4x5 to 8x10 in one camera

    This question was inspired in part by the current thread on 5x7 film availibility. I shoot 4x5, 5x7 and 8x10, on two cameras: a 4x5 Wisner and an 8x10 Ansco with 5x7 back. I have often wondered if one camera could accomodate all three, e.g., an 8x10 camera with extra backs.

    The problem, it seems to me, would be with the bellows. My 4x5 Wisner has the longer bellows and when I want to use even a 90mm lens, I have to go to bag bellows. I can't imagine an 8x10 camera with a reasonably-sized bellows that would ever squeeze enough to accomodate even a modestly wide 4x5 lens,

    Is that the case, or is there some magic solution out there that will allow me to use just one camera for all three formats?

  2. #2

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    Yes, there is a solution, and it's called a recessed lensboard. On your 8x10 ansco, you would have to make one, but the overall size of the lensboard is so large that making one, or having one made would be easy, and there would be plenty of room to manipulate the lens settings. Of course, you only need a recessed lens board for the wide-angle 4x5 lenses.

    Another alternative (in a monorail camera) is a Sinar P-expert system, like I have, which has all three backs, 4x5, 5x7 and 8x10, The 5x7 and 8x10 come with tapered bellows, which allow the larger backs to be used with the standard front standard, or the standard intermediate standard, allowing you to use more bellows from intermediate standard to front standard.

  3. #3

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    With the bag bellows the Shen Fcl-810 the distance from the ground glass to the lensboard is something like 65mm. I've no idea if a lens that short would show the camera bed in the frame or not. You would also have to ask the factory for a 4x5 back. The price list only shows 5x7,4x10 and 8x10 backs. Tell them I'll take one to-)

    The stock bellows allegedly will manage a 90mm lens. Actually the tech info claims 90mm which when you consider most 90mm lenses need more then 90mm to focus at infinity means you might just fit an 80mm on a flat board. Best part is a big recessed Sinar board is much easier to deal with then a smaller recessed board. So even with the 90mm and a smallish recessed board you can go wider then any 5x7 would ever want and pretty close to very wide for 4x5. But like I said I wonder if the bed would show up.

  4. #4

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    Of course you can. I have a 8x10 that can accommodate as wide as my Fujinon 90SWD when using it with the 4x5 back. I think it is silly to have all these cameras. I have been selling all my cameras and just keeping one with all the backs. This way when I go out, I just take 1 camera with 23 backs and have the advantage of shooting any of the formats I want.

  5. #5
    ragc's Avatar
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    I easily do the 4x5 and 5x7 parts with my converted half-plate (I could also do that format, as I have one working filmholder). I don't want to carry anything as large as would be needed for 8x10, though.

  6. #6
    Neanderman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjsphoto View Post
    I think it is silly to have all these cameras.
    Watch it! Them's fightin' words!


    Ed

  7. #7
    Bandicoot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHOTOTONE View Post
    Another alternative (in a monorail camera) is a Sinar P-expert system, like I have, which has all three backs, 4x5, 5x7 and 8x10, The 5x7 and 8x10 come with tapered bellows, which allow the larger backs to be used with the standard front standard, or the standard intermediate standard, allowing you to use more bellows from intermediate standard to front standard.
    Ditto Arca-Swiss - probably others too.

    I use all three (and 6x9) with Arca-Swiss. Usually I have a camera set-up for 6x9, a couple more for 4x5 but that can do 6x9 as well, and one for 10x8 and 5x7. The latter, for example, means a rail with the format carriers and a front standard, plus two back standards and two bellows that can simply be interchanged. Adding another bellows and back standard and I could do 4x5 the same way on that one: ie. three formats on the one camera, but it's less bulk to carry in this case just to use a 5x7 to 4x5 reducing back.

    As I say, I usually have cameras already set up for different formats (and different uses: a lightweight 4x5 field camera versus a heavy 4x5 studio camera with all geared movements), but component interchangeability means that I could do all four of the formats I use Arcas for with 'one camera' and a handful of parts to swap.

    As Phototone said, you can do this with Sinar and it is pretty much the same process. I'm fairly sure Horseman has monorails where this is possible too, and probably there are others as well.



    Peter

  8. #8

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    A Rittreck has 4x5, 5x7, 8x10, & whole plate backs available. The minimum bellows draw with 4x5 & 5x7 backs is about 3", max is about 15". With the 8x10 back bellows goes to about 18". While not built for long lenses it's great for wide to normal lenses. It's a fairly compact system too.

  9. #9
    Curt's Avatar
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    Yes one camera can do it, it's the .... Calumet C1 ... with a 5x7 and 4x5 reducing back. All three with one camera. Bellows and camera designed to do 4x5 to 8x10 right from the start. I have one with the 8x10 and 5x7 backs.

    My 8x10 Seneca will be able to take the extra 5x7 Seneca back that I have when I am finished restoring them.


    My favorite camera would be an 11x14 field camera with 4x, 5x, 8x reducing backs. The back would be a revolving back too.
    Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand

  10. #10
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Are you taking this camera into the field? In the studio, I think it's reasonable to use an 8x10" or larger camera with reducing backs, but in the field, I can't imagine carrying an 8x10" camera and requisite tripod just to shoot 4x5", and since some 4x5" cameras (like the Deardorff 4x5" Special) are really just 5x7" cameras with reducing backs, it makes sense to combine those formats, if you are using reducing backs.

    Of course the Sinar and Arca-Swiss change the rear standard frame and bellows, so this is a different approach than using reducing backs, but it's also more like owning several different cameras, since only the rail and front standard are shared by the different formats.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

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