Canham 5x7 MLC and 4x5 DLC For Architecture?? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread


I wanted to know if anyone has found any problems using the canham 5x7 for architecture other than the comments specified in the archive. I know the canham 5x7 does not have bellows locks etc... But in general do you find its handling to be suitable for night-time cityscapes and other such types of images. e.g. (1) is the fresnel bright enough for night time focusing? (2) Are the knobs usable during cold weather?

I realize it is a wonderful portrait camera and a great landscsape field camera even though it is a bit on the heavy side for such. Any comments would be appreciated, I am used to using a view cam so I wanted to know what others think. Any specific gripes or praises would be appreciated.

-- Altaf Shaikh (, May 06, 1999


I've been using a DLC45 for some architectural work the past several month. It will do the job, but I don't find it as easy as a monorail. First, I never use the built-in level; it's much too crude for my taste (I use a fairly accurate level from Stabila). I've replaced the screen with a Boss screen so I can't comment on the fresnel at night. You can get a high degree of precision out of the DLC45 if you use exernal measuring devices. I've found the two knob adjustment for tilt a bit of a bother when leveling the camera. Ditto for the shift movement. Focus gets smoother as the gears wear a bit. Haven't had any problems with focus in the winter. Having a universal bellows is a very nice feature. When multi-poping your strobes, I do wish for a more solid front standard (haven't invested in press shutters yet). After shooting an interior today for 14 hours, there were several occasions I wished I had an Arca-Swiss F- line.

The DLC is a very fine camera, however if architecture is your primary focus, I'm not sure it would be my top choice.

-- Larry Huppert (, May 07, 1999.

Check to see if your favorite emulsions are available in 5x7 before you decide on a 5x7. If you end up using a 4x5 back, you should probably just get a 4x5. I do wish 5x7 was better supported in film choices!

-- Ron Shaw (, May 07, 1999.

Larry can you explain why you choose a boss screen rather than the fresnel. I don't have experience with the boss screens so I wanted to know a bit about how users find them as compared to fresnels.

-- Altaf Shaikh (, May 09, 1999.

I believe there have been past topics regarding the Boss screen. The Boss screen has an ultra-fine grain (I believe the light scattering surface is some type of wax). As such, I can effectively see fine detail on the screen and when necessary use up to a 10x loupe for fine focusing. With a fresnel, it's difficult to use a loupe >4x because the fresnel pattern dominates your view. The downside of the Boss is that it's not as bright as a fresnel.

-- Larry Huppert (, May 09, 1999.

I just got my MQC yesterday, so I've only run a dozen sheets through it in the field, and they were landscapes. I'll probably go shoot some monuments next weekend or the one following, but wanted to give my impressions so far. The fresnel is bright - for landscape work in daylight I didn't even need a loupe to focus at f9. I'm not sure where my gloves are, so I can't say if the knobs are useable with them on, but I can't see why they wouldn't be. Pusing down the long bits that keep the front standard aligned may be hard with gloves - but it's more getting the standard aligned that seems a little tricky. If it's useful I can try to dig up a pair if they're all not away (it's been in the upper 80's for a bit, and the DC area hasn't had cold weather in a while.)

I got the MQC with reducing back over the DLC despite the fact that most of my favorite emultions are 4x5 emultions (I'll either get metric holders, cut down 8x10, or learn to live with new films - I'll probably also still shoot quite a bit of 4x5.) After lugging a 4x5 monorail around, I can't believe how light and small this thing is. I'm not a small person, so the size may be different for you, but the 5x7 was only a few ounces heavier than the 4x5 (4.8lbs vs. 5.7lbs.) I am eyeing carbon-fiber tripods though.

It's around 20% larger than the 4x5, but still pretty darned compact if your comparison is a stout monorail. My 5x7 holders and tanks arrive next week, at which point I get to see bigger negatives, and I'll probably do a jaunt out to the National Cathedral soonish.

Hope some of this helps, feel free to post or mail questions.


-- Paul D. Robertson (, June 05, 1999.

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