Used Canhams : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hi all,

I am seriously considering taking the LF plunge and see so many positive comments about the Canham 45DLC that I am leaning that direction. Does anyone know of a source for used DLC's, or are they so popular that the owners never part with them. I was hoping to hold my investment in the camera body below $2,000.

Also, are there any sub-5 pound monorails out there that are field worthy (i.e., packable).

I will primarily be doing landscapes/nature, but would like to have some versatility to do a bit of "light" architectural work, (I love to shoot old barns and country churches).

Thanks in advance. The knowledge that I have absorbed so far off this board has been great and many questions have already been answered.


-- Tim Boone (, April 21, 1999



I don't know where you can find a used Canham 45DLC. I am certainly not selling mine! Like most people report, it is serving me quite well.

Like you, many of my images are nature/landscape based, and include architectural elements (such as old barns), which I like to keep in a particular perspective. Within this context, I have found the movements of the DLC to be more than adequate. My monorail 4 X 5 gets little use these days due to flexibility and portability of the DLC.

Good luck and enjoy,


-- John Greenler (, April 21, 1999.

Try "The F Stop" in Santa Barbara, Cal. Jon had one not too long ago. Also check out View Camera magazine. There are commercial ads in there that will benefit you. As far as getting a mono-rail, why? A used Wisner will do everything you want with plenty of movements and weighs just over 5 pounds. Great camera. James

-- james (, April 22, 1999.

The Arca-Swiss Discovery is a monorail that weighs 5 lb. and comes in its own backpack (which is no good for long treks, but fine for a mile or so). Try (theres a picture). Its within your budget.

-- Steve Pfaff (, April 23, 1999.

A few responses to questions from Tim and Bill Glickman:

Where can you buy Canhams? Keith sells his cameras through about 20 dealers. My understanding is that he requires them to all charge the same price, so you can shop for service. You can contact him for a current dealer list (602-964-8624). He is a very friendly guy, and has always been more than willing to answer my questions. (I too had a bunch of them when I was considering such a big purchase.) He can also send you a nice brochure/spec. sheet on the DLC45. I would also strongly recommend reading the review of the DLC45 in the May/June 1997 issue of View Camera.

Does the DLC45 fold into a small package? Yes, approximately 7" X 8" X 4.5". I don9t think there is a 4 X 5 which gets much smaller than this with such full movements and stability.

Is it hard to fold and unfold? I have found that I can keep the swing and shift settings locked during folding and unfolding, and this makes it quite fast. I haven9t worked with all the field cameras out there, but it seems no more complicated or fussy than with others.

What about the lack of lens axis tilt? I was initially concerned about this point, especially having come from a monorail camera where I had used this feature regularly. What I have found is that I can utilize the "Scheimpflug principle" much more effectively using base tilt! For a complete description of this process check out Ron Wisner9s article "Camera Movements" in the Jan./Feb 1999 issue of View Camera.

What else do I find appealing? I frequently use this camera to shoot panoramics with a 58 mm lens. I really like the fact that I can use this lens on the DCL45 and the standard (an only available) bellows, and not use a recessed lens board, and still have some movements! I can then turn around and shoot head and shoulders portraits with a long lens and still have plenty of bellows extension. It is also a compact camera when setup, essentially lacking a more typical field camera "base and box". This seems to make it less vulnerable to wind-based movements, but still quite stable. In many ways it is like a hybrid between a monorail and a more typical field camera. It has also proven to be quite durable, given its all metal construction and pliable bellows.

Well, I hope this helps. It is more than I intended to write down.

Good luck,


-- John Greenler (, April 23, 1999.

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